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Caroline Proctor

  05 Apr 2016 • By Caroline Proctor in Industry News

  

Top Merchandise Planning Priorities for 2016 – Part Four

This is the last installment of a four-part blog highlighting the findings of a survey conducted by Boston Retail Partners identifying the top merchandise planning priorities for 2016. This JustEnough-sponsored report found that 63% of retailers plan to upgrade or replace their merchandise planning systems by 2018, recognizing that their current planning systems are not well equipped to remain competitive in today’s omni-channel environment. Even with the right tools in place, retailers still see significant value in knowing and understanding what consumers want to buy and many plan to improve their capabilities to move towards more customer-centric planning strategies.

Outlined below are the last four remaining priorities focused on demand planning and forecasting.

Reduce Markdowns

Markdown reduction is once again a top priority with 36% of retailers indicating this is a key issue for them. Failing to understand what customers want, when they want it and how much they’re willing to pay for it, leads to markdowns of excess inventory and reduced profit margin. Both art and science are required to minimize margin hits while also reducing the risk of overages and obsolete merchandise. Profit follows margin and markdowns eat huge amounts of margin in retail.

Improve Product Availability

In order to remain relevant in today’s marketplace, improving product availability has become a significant priority – especially for hard goods retailers, with 71% stating this as a top priority. Overall, improved product availability is a priority for 19% of retailers. The reason hard goods retailers find this more critical is the advent of large online retailers, such as Amazon, whose business models feature extensive, endless aisle inventory.

Many of these retailers are increasingly using systems to gain visibility into a vendor’s inventory. This can increase assortment options and help them compete better with large online retailers and make products available at the right place and time without over investing in inventory.

Improve Demand Forecast Accuracy

19% of retailers surveyed place improved demand forecast accuracy as a priority for 2016. Not surprisingly, as retailers move to omni-channel strategies, forecast accuracy is more critical as retailers need to cover sales across various channels and ship initial inventory to the right locations. The systems and software available today are more sophisticated and can help retailers gain more accurate forecasts with analytics and advanced forecasting systems. Integrating these forecasts into all levels of planning and execution helps to drive higher margins and better in-stock positions.

Improve Demand Planning Capabilities

The traditional top-down planning process is no longer one that can fully support today’s retailer. Retailers are moving towards bottoms-up approach to demand planning based on scientifically and mathematically derived forecasts. This bottoms-up approach takes into account trends and data including weather conditions, social media responses and geo-spatial technology. For 40% of retailers this is a formal planning process and for 19% improving demand planning capabilities is a top priority.

JustEnough Can Help You Improve Demand Planning and Forecast Accuracy

JustEnough´s Demand Management solutions enable you to improve your demand forecasting and inventory planning, significantly reducing working capital requirements. With JustEnough solutions, you will be able to formalize your supply chain process, make demand central to planning, focus on balancing service levels and inventory and postpone committing inventory.

JustEnough’s Demand Forecasting accurately calculates the true demand for your product and the exact amounts you should be replenishing to avoid overstocks, stock outs, product obsolescence and lost sales. In addition, the solution enables you to minimize inventory and gain quicker inventory turns with increased customer service levels. Increased planner productivity with exception-based reviewing and automated plans provide increased forecast accuracy. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you improve your demand planning capabilities.

The Top 10 Merchandise Planning Priorities for 2016:

  1. Improve Analytics – 58%
  2. Reduce Markdowns – 36%
  3. Better Integrate Assortments and Space Planning – 36%
  4. Enhance Merchandise Planning – 33%
  5. Enhance Assortments – 22%
  6. Decrease Merchandising Decision Lead Times – 22%
  7. Improve Execution Response Time – 22%
  8. Improve Product Availability – 19%
  9. Improve Demand Forecast Accuracy – 19%

Caroline Proctor

  29 Mar 2016 • By Caroline Proctor in Industry News

  

Top Merchandise Planning Priorities for 2016 – Part Three

Over the last few weeks, I have been highlighting the findings of a survey conducted by Boston Retail Partners (BRP) that identified the top merchandise planning priorities for 2016. This JustEnough sponsored report indicates retailers’ desire to further enhance their planning systems to cater to today’s omni-channel environment and become more customer-centric in their overall planning strategy.

The last two blogs covered the number one priority – Improving Analytics, as well as assortment-related priorities. Today I’ll highlight two priorities focused on merchandising.

Enhance Merchandise Planning

While 91 percent of retailers surveyed report they have a formal merchandise planning process in their organization, they are looking to break out of the linear (annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly) and disparate planning cycles. Many retailers are utilizing legacy merchandising systems that do not provide the capability for agile planning processes. More than one-third of the retailers surveyed said enhancing merchandise planning was a top priority as they need merchandising tools that can account for alternate metrics and hierarchies and allow them to make real-time adjustments throughout the season based on performance. With 63 percent of retailers planning to upgrade or replace these systems in the next two years, retailers acknowledge the critical need for enhanced capabilities to meet their omni-channel customers’ demands. 

Decrease Merchandise Decision Lead Times

Consumers now have almost instant access to the latest trends from the runway with “fast fashion” and want to wear those trends as soon as possible. Retailers with more agile systems that allow for better, faster decision making can keep lead times shorter and reduce the need to commit to all their stock in advance of each season. They’re able to respond to changes swiftly to introduce new lines. As a result of quicker inventory availability, consumers are beginning to expect this from non-apparel retailers as well. The pressure to have the right inventory at the right place, channel and time is mounting for every retailer.

JustEnough Can Help You Enhance Merchandise Planning and Improve Decision Making

JustEnough’s Merchandising Planning solution allows for the incorporation of key metrics into the planning process - including inventory, channels, sales, time periods and customer preferences. The result is that retailers achieve an optimized balance between categories and assortments to maximize sales and margins. With JustEnough, users can plan multiple brands, channels and currencies - all in one view. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you improve your merchandise planning capabilities.

The Top 10 Merchandise Planning Priorities

The report identified ten merchandise planning priorities listed below. I will continue to outline the rest in upcoming blog posts:

  1. Improve Analytics – 58%
  2. Reduce Markdowns – 36%
  3. Better Integrate Assortments and Space Planning – 36%
  4. Enhance Merchandise Planning – 33%
  5. Enhance Assortments – 22%
  6. Decrease Merchandising Decision Lead Times – 22%
  7. Improve Execution Response Time – 22%
  8. Improve Product Availability – 19%
  9. Improve Demand Forecast Accuracy – 19%
  10. Improve Demand Planning Capabilities – 19%

Download the complete report here.


Caroline Proctor

  22 Mar 2016 • By Caroline Proctor in Industry News

  

Top Merchandise Planning Priorities for 2016 – Part Two

As I wrote about in last week’s blog, Boston Retail Partners (BRP) recently published a special report covering retailers’ top merchandising planning priorities for 2016. Based on a JustEnough sponsored survey of retail industry executives, BRP identified the top 10 initiatives and functions retailers wish to upgrade and improve upon in their planning systems. The survey revealed that overall retailers want to better understand and satisfy today’s customer in this complex environment. The most crucial priority is for retailers to offer the right assortments and accurate levels of inventory to drive revenue and meet business objectives.

Last week’s blog featured the number one priority– Improving Analytics. Today I’ll highlight two additional priorities that are centered on assortments and space.

Better Integrate Assortment and Space Planning

Due to the increase in omni-channel retailing, space planning has changed dramatically. Retailers have shifted more inventory to meet online demands, decreased store space and have even closed stores. This has made the coordination between integrating assortments with the space planning function more of a challenge than ever before. Increased localized assortment planning efforts also creates a burden on the retailer to figure out how to optimize space appropriately in various stores and online channels.

It’s easy to understand that 36 percent of retailers surveyed are looking to improve integration between assortment and space planning for a more accurate view to assortment demand. This would enable them to overcome the constraint of space and the amount of capital to invest in their merchandise assortments.

Enhance Assortments

22 percent of retailers surveyed indicate it’s a top priority to enhance their assortments and that getting the right mix of assortments is still a challenge. Success in retail comes down to the right assortment plan and the execution of that plan. Planners need to not only optimize assortments at a high level but also down to localization at the store-level by applying alternate hierarchies.

From a store planning perspective, the key is clustering and uncovering anomalies by location characteristics such as region, climate and customer demographics. Retailers need to focus on making sure their planning tools have alternate hierarchies for store-type attributes enabling them to hone in on each store’s appearance. The overall goal being to customize assortments without having to manage each store individually.

JustEnough Can Help You to Create Product Assortments and Space Plans that Drive Sales and Margins

JustEnough automates the assortment planning process from store clustering through to the lowest level of product and store planning while also taking the guess work out of allocating space. JustEnough Assortment Planning helps retailers to easily navigate the process of creating localized assortments based on financial objectives. Creating a single view of the assortment plan allows for product to be assigned to planograms, aligning with space plans and constraints. JustEnough Space Planning allows for space utilization analysis and defines utilization in the future through accurate planogram creation and assignment.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you optimize your assortments and overall retail planning for an improved competitive advantage.

The Top 10 Merchandise Planning Priorities

The report identified ten merchandise planning priorities listed below. I will continue to outline the rest in upcoming blog posts:

  1. Improve Analytics – 58%
  2. Reduce Markdowns – 36%
  3. Better Integrate Assortments and Space Planning – 36%
  4. Enhance Merchandise Planning – 33%
  5. Enhance Assortments – 22%
  6. Decrease Merchandising Decision Lead Times – 22%
  7. Improve Execution Response Time – 22%
  8. Improve Product Availability – 19%
  9. Improve Demand Forecast Accuracy – 19%
  10. Improve Demand Planning Capabilities – 19%

Download the complete report here.


Caroline Proctor

  15 Mar 2016 • By Caroline Proctor in Industry News

  

Top Merchandise Planning Priorities for 2016 – Part One

Boston Retail Partners (BRP) recently published a special report covering retailers’ top merchandising planning priorities for 2016 and outlining how they are adapting their planning approaches and tools to effectively manage merchandise. Based on a JustEnough sponsored survey of retail industry executives, BRP’s findings indicate that retailers’ outdated planning systems aren’t robust or effective enough to support today’s complex omni-channel environment. However, according to the survey most retailers recognize this gap in their systems and 63 percent of those surveyed plan to upgrade their merchandising systems before 2018.

Top Priority - Improving Analytics

Not surprisingly, due to the ever-changing environment of omni-channel retail, 58 percent of retailers say their number one priority is to improve their analytics and better understand their customers. Advanced analytics is becoming more widely used across the planning processes with merchandise planning being the area of highest utilization. Other top areas include store planning at 45 percent, assortment planning at 40 percent and omni-channel planning at 20 percent, according to BRP’s findings.

Instead of having to guess what is resonating with a customer base, analytics provide advanced visibility into sales performance by channel, by assortment and item. Strategic business questions are becoming more complex and cross-functional, requiring retailers to reference more and more data in order to make better decisions based on customer insights. It has become critical for retailers to broaden their analytical capabilities to effectively address these complicated questions.

Leading edge retailers understand the value of advanced analytics to tap into real-time business intelligence (RTBI) and use science to make better planning decisions. It is more important than ever to be able to understand the data and derive actionable insights. According to the survey, retailers acknowledge that in order to compete and remain relevant in today’s retail landscape, they need insight into how their customers will respond to specific promotions, price changes, assortments and overall merchandise planning and use that knowledge to adjust their plans accordingly. This customer-centric approach empowers retailers to coordinate personalized promotions and marketing to drive sales, create loyal customers and gain a competitive advantage.

At JustEnough, we listen to our customers. We introduced JustEnough Customer Insights in January based on feedback from our customers indicating a lack of integrated customer data analytics in the industry. Customer Insights helps retailers identify trends, opportunities and causal relationships within their vast amounts of customer data and enable them to act upon those insights quickly and easily. Integrated across your retail planning process, Customer Insights improves customer loyalty, optimizes pricing and promotions and helps increase the bottom line.

With the help of JustEnough Customer Insights, you can:

  • Analyze customer behavior to understand which customers are most important to your business
  • Segment and cluster customers to localize and personalize assortments
  • Identify which promotions mobilize your best customers and which are cherry-picked
  • Manage different segmentations for each area of the business
  • Use customer insights to drive improved assortment, space, promotion and pricing decisions

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you understand your customers better for improved competitive advantage.

Nine More Merchandise Planning Priorities – Stay Tuned

The report identified nine additional merchandise planning priorities listed below which I will discuss in upcoming blog posts:

  1. Reduce Markdowns - 36%
  2. Better Integrate Assortments and Space Planning - 36%
  3. Enhance Merchandise Planning - 33%
  4. Enhance Assortments - 22%
  5. Decrease Merchandising Decision Lead Times - 22%
  6. Improve Execution Response Time - 22%
  7. Improve Product Availability - 19%
  8. Improve Demand Forecast Accuracy - 19%
  9. Improve Demand Planning Capabilities - 19%

So where does your organization fit in? We’d like to know. Give us some feedback on your top planning priorities for the near future.

Download the complete report here.


Caroline Proctor

  08 Mar 2016 • By Caroline Proctor in Industry News

  

Your Planning Approach is Broken – How to Fix It

Kalypso, a leading innovation consulting firm, recently published a Viewpoints on Innovation article describing the challenge that retailers now face when it comes to their planning approach. Many retailers are still planning in a linear, disjointed fashion which very much puts them at risk in today’s competitive retail environment. Due to the proliferation of channels including mobile and online and a more demanding consumer who expects what they want, when and where they want it, retailers must do something to integrate their planning.

The retail planning process involves multiple functional areas including Finance, Merchandise Planning, Merchandising, Digital Channels, Sales and Demand Planning that are all responsible for a piece of the overall plan. Unfortunately, these functions all too often operate independently and at different times throughout the pre, in and post season and go-to-market calendar. This means they have their own processes, different KPIs and different systems and data sources resulting in no single version of the truth and an organization that is disparate and silo’ed.

Creating an end-to-end integrated planning strategy can be daunting and impacts people, processes and often technology. So, how do you begin the journey to modern planning processes? Below are five spot-on strategies Kalypso outlines to help your organization turn to an integrated planning process and successful execution.

Five Factors for Integrated Planning Success

  1. Share the strategic vision. Ensure that there is a well-documented long-term strategic plan with very clear financial objectives and that it is communicated and socialized across the organization. It’s not enough to say “we should grow 5% next year”. The strategy must clearly define how we plan to get there, which product categories to focus on, which customer segments are most important, what new markets are being targeted, etc. Providing the Planning team with the high-level direction and financial targets earlier will enable them to incorporate the strategy into their merchandise and assortment plans.
  2. Get the right people at the table. Good planning decisions are made by incorporating the best available information, so getting cross functional input is key. Line Planning, Digital Channel Planning and Global Merchandise Planning teams need to work closely together throughout the entire go-to-market process to ensure enough products, and the right products, are being developed to meet financial goals. Regional merchants and planners should provide input on what they need and identify gaps early on so that the global design and merchandising teams can develop product in time. Incorporating Sales and/or Retail Merchants into line discussions earlier helps to identify key account needs and incorporate customer and consumer feedback.  
  3. Timing is everything. Bringing products to market quickly and efficiently requires some planning decisions to be made sooner rather than later. Procuring materials, reserving factory capacity and managing transportation need to be done well in advance to ensure on time delivery – but all of these rely on accurate planning and forecasting. Progressive lock down on product decisions combined with early involvement of both Demand and Sales Planning will help streamline execution and maintain margins throughout the entire process and prevent costly re-work.
  4. Make sure everyone is speaking the same language. Establish common KPIs that are used across teams. Ensure that there is alignment and understanding of the definitions of those KPIs. Good governance enables alignment around shared goals, improves trust in the information, and facilitates communication. Having one version of the truth is essential in ensuring smooth execution in today’s planning environment.
  5. Support the process with robust tools. Planning today requires a set of reliable and integrated planning tools that can support the key steps of the process and ensure that accurate and trustworthy information is always available. One system which can be leveraged by multiple functions simplifies communication and encourages collaboration.

At JustEnough we feel these strategies are crucial to a retailer’s success in meeting their financial objectives and this is what our company is passionate about – building solutions that are intuitively integrated, taking a lot of the work out of retailers’ hands.

Our omni-channel retail planning software enables leading retailers to merchandise assortments and maximize product inventory across physical and digital channels so products are available when and where shoppers want them – all on a single integrated platform. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you improve your planning processes for success and meet the demands of your customers.

Read the complete Viewpoints on Innovation article here.


Caroline Proctor

  01 Mar 2016 • By Caroline Proctor in Industry News

  

The Importance of Capturing Millennial Shoppers

Millennials are defined as those born between the early 1980s and approximately 2004. With the rise of this tech savvy group, new challenges have arisen for retailers on how to engage them and gain their loyalty. RetailTouchpoints recently posted an article outlining this challenge and what retailers need to do to capture Millennials. Below is a summary of that article.

Retailers know they have to adapt marketing and advertising messages to target each new generation of shoppers. But the evolution of technology over the past 20 years has forced merchants to speed up their understanding of today's more technologically advanced Millennials.

The Millennial generation has grown up with the technology revolution and is now gaining more buying power, motivating retailers to tap into more content-based campaigns that are focused on a personalized customer experience.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Millennials are consumed by these technologies and their personal gadgets. In fact, reports from Pew Research Center and The Media Insight Project indicated that:

  • 24 percent consider technology usage to be their most unique trait
  • 83% sleep with their cell phones right next to them
  • 91% use Facebook and 37% use Twitter

Millennials have every method of accessing, browsing and purchasing from a retailer at their fingertips, and as such have more buying power than any previous generation. To keep up with the evolution of the modern consumer, retailers must be proactive and provide the type of environment that will capture the hearts and minds of today's Millennial shoppers.

While Millennials may have a reputation for being fickle buyers, and even being disloyal to brands in favor of price consciousness, as many as 63% joined a loyalty program from October 2014 to October 2015,  according to COLLOQUY. This indicates that many young consumers do want relationships with their favorite brands; they just want the brands to work for their loyalty a little bit harder. With this in mind, merchants must continue to be creative and innovative when it comes to content and promotions.

Millennials listen to their peers. Retailers can take advantage of this opportunity by using brand advocates to promote the company in a way traditional advertisements cannot.

While 85% of Millennials trust recommendations from people they know, and 70% trust consumer opinions posted online, online ads don’t fare as well, according to Nielsen. The weak performance of online video ads (53%), search engine ads (52%), social media ads (51%) and mobile ads (48%) all reveal the importance of bringing a sense of authenticity to the social media experience.

Whether through developing a consistent mobile presence, a scalable social presence or a seamless overall omni-channel experience, today's retailers must ensure that each touch point is an experience the Millennial consumer won’t forget.

Read the complete article here.

JustEnough is helping leading retailers to successfully plan their omni-channel assortments, inventory and allocations in order to meet the demands of today’s consumers. JustEnough Customer Insights helps retailers make the transformation from traditional product-centric planning to truly customer-centric planning. This shift in focus is crucial for retailers hoping to compete for today’s environment. Contact us to learn more.


Caroline Proctor

  23 Feb 2016 • By Caroline Proctor in Industry News

  

What should retailers do with the holiday gift of customer data?

RetailWire recently posted a discussion of an article from rDialogue outlining how retailers can harness the customer data they received over the holidays. Below is a summary of that article to help you understand how to get the most out of your holiday shopper data.

Each January, every brand has a fresh chance to decide how to use its new gift of holiday data.

Will the new names simply be added to an e-mail list for continued mass discounting? Or will the insights fuel a long-term customer strategy to drive business more broadly?

Clearly, the best answer is to use holiday data aggressively to create a different kind of customer dialogue.

For us, the process starts with considering customers as an investment portfolio. Some have more long-term value and warrant more investment. How we act on that customer opportunity should similarly be differentiated by the customer's individual value, opportunity and needs (and not just the brand's need to sell).

Interestingly, while Amazon does a better job using data in communications than most, they miss the mark with their product-centric vs. customer-centric approach. Will 2016 be the year when Amazon considers me as a customer? Will they reduce the many follow-up e-mails for a product I happened to flag as a gift even though it doesn't fit my profile?

Consider all the conversations you can have that aren't about mass discounting, but instead help customers navigate your brand to discover what's most relevant to them:

  • Provide tips on how your customers can enjoy their holiday purchases.
  • Direct them toward brand experiences that don't require spending to keep them engaged between buying cycles.
  • Focus on gift card redemption as a way to get consumers back in your store or to your site. Use the data to guide them toward gift card use that fits their profile, making it more than a transaction.
  • Give your customers a preview of what the brand has planned for them in the upcoming year, giving them reasons to read your emails in the months to come.
  • When you do sell, make it relevant. Recognize gifts differently than purchases. Use holiday purchases (channel, product, payment type) to personalize your message. And say "Thank you."

Holiday data is a gift — a means to connect with your customers in a meaningful way beyond typical transactional initiatives. Use your data as a start to your customer dialogue 2016, well beyond the window of holiday 2015.

Read the complete article here.

JustEnough Customer Insights helps retailers to quickly identify trends, causal relationships and opportunities inside large volumes of customer data and then quickly action those insights to improve planning and localize and personalize offers. This transformation from traditional product-centric planning to truly customer-centric planning is critical for retailers hoping to compete for today’s demanding consumers. Contact us to learn more.


Caroline Proctor

  16 Feb 2016 • By Caroline Proctor in Justenough News

  

JustEnough Recognized Among Top 10 Merchandising Solution Providers

We are excited that JustEnough was recently recognized by Retail CIO Outlook as a Top 10 Merchandising Solution Provider for our extensive business process knowledge combined with our in-depth, integrated and innovative retail planning solutions.

This annual list features the best solution and service providers offering tools and services in the Retail Merchandising landscape and assists CIO’s in finding the right technology solution providers to help them succeed in today’s fast-evolving digital retail environment. The Top 10 listing provides a look into how these solutions work in the real world so that organizations can gain a comprehensive understanding of what technologies are available and how they shape up against the competition. Companies are selected for the Top 10 list by a panel of industry and technology experts and members of Retail CIO Outlook’s editorial board.

JustEnough’s inclusion was based on evaluation of our omni-channel retail planning software that enables retailers to merchandise assortments and maximize product inventory across physical and digital channels so products are available when and where shoppers want them. The evaluation was across more a dozen quantitative and qualitative elements taking into consideration our experience, industry recognition, technology, market presence and positive client reviews.

You can read the complete JustEnough profile in the report here.


Caroline Proctor

  09 Feb 2016 • By Caroline Proctor in Opinions

  

How Retailers can make the Digital Leap

I was recently quoted in an interesting article in the latest issue of OnWindows magazine about how Microsoft and its partners are supporting retailers as they look to reinvent themselves and meet the needs of the modern consumer. Here is the article.

With digital technologies having a major impact on the daily lives of consumers across the world, there is a growing pressure on companies to reinvent themselves and make a digital transformation of their own.

“It’s a true revolution, not unlike the industrial revolution in its own way,” explains Tracy Issel, general manager of the worldwide retail industry at Microsoft. “The digital business is the reaction to the incredible amount of change that is happening around everything technical. But it’s not just technical – it’s actually about the way people work, the way people engage in their personal lives, and the way we use information to better understand the needs of people.”

Indeed, with their mobile devices never far away, the modern consumer is always connected – and the impact on retail is huge, as JustEnough’s Caroline Proctor explains: “To keep up with digital consumers, retailers have become digital by adding online and mobile channels and engaging through social media,” she says. “Digital businesses embrace everything today’s digital age offers to get closer to their customers and deliver what those customers want, when and where they want it.”

This requires retailers to expand their thinking across every channel. “The digital change has resulted in the merging of traditional commerce and e-commerce,” says K3 Retail’s Tony Bryant. “As consumers are now interacting across various channels, there is an expectation for a seamless and integrated experience throughout the entire purchase journey.”

To achieve this, retailers need to better understand their customers – how they behave, what they buy and what makes them come back for more. This requires greater levels of insight. “Data is the new currency for business. It’s all about data and what we do with that data, in the planning on the frontline, at every step of a transaction or an engagement,” Issel says.

 “Businesses today are able to create a more valuable in-store experience by starting with the customer’s viewpoint,” adds Scala’s Tom Nix. “By looking at data - website clicks, actions on a mobile app, purchase history – and bringing in digital, messaging is personalised, refined and rapidly adjustable.”

Wincor Nixdorf’s Sabine Grün agrees, adding that digital data processing is ‘the most important economic growth driver of our time’. “As consumers are now interacting across various channels, there is an expectation for a seamless and integrated experience throughout the entire purchase journey,” she says.

“If you can make sense of your data, the sky’s the limit,” adds LiveTiles’ Nick Rameka. “Chief marketing officers are fast becoming the key decision maker in the purchase of business technology. Technology that details buyer behaviour will always demand the attention of marketers and the boardroom.”

With the amount of data now available, the cloud also has a vital role to play. “The intelligent cloud helps users understand what to do with that insight. Without an intelligent cloud, the amount of data that exists would overwhelm a company,” Issel explains.

The cloud is enabling a more dynamic approach to data, as Simplement’s Robert Maclean testifies. “With the cloud, I’m able to build a value network that gets customer-facing information,” he says. “Furthermore, manufacturing processes and demand generators are becoming more closely coupled. The time is decreasing for that information to flow through, and thanks to the cloud, I can now plug in different applications against that stream of information and do different things with it. I am no longer tied to a monolithic system – I’m able to have an adaptable system. That was previously not possible.”

NEAL Analytics’ Greg Gomez agrees that both cloud computing and analytics in the cloud are having a transformative effect. “Platforms like Microsoft Azure and analytics suites like Cortana Analytics eliminate the barriers of entry and enable companies to scale these capabilities across a broader swath of business functions,” says Gomez. “As these technologies are being democratised, they fuel the transformation to a digital business.”

Issel believes that the ability to improve productivity is another very exciting space, and points to tools such as Yammer and Skype for Business as being able to enable greater collaboration, training and sharing. And while this internal element is vital, Issel explains that it is in the personal computing space that the information that is gathered and analysed is then bred for action.

“Every professional that takes advantage of data and the intelligent cloud is also a personal computing consumer,” she says. “Therefore, making personal computing more personal, leveraging a more natural user interface, leveraging something like Cortana for an executive assistant for example, is massively important.”

Overall, Issel says that with the right combination of digital technologies retailers will create more productive business processes and enable the derivation of more outcome.  “Then the intelligent cloud helps users understand what to do with that insight, and personal computing is where that information breeds action.”

Though times and technologies will continue to change and advance, one thing will remain continuous: the need to appeal to customers. Be it by reinventing internal processes to improve employee productivity, or rethinking the way they connect with customers, in a digital age such as this, retailers cannot afford to leave any stone unturned.

You can view the article online and check out the rest of OnWindows here.


Caroline Proctor

  04 Feb 2016 • By Caroline Proctor in Justenough News

  

InDemand: JustEnough Launches Customer Insights

Check out the lead article in the most recent issue of JustEnough’s InDemand Newsletter and click here to read the entire newsletter.

We recently showcased our new Customer Insights solution at National Retail Federation's (NRF) BIG Show 2016 in New York City. This solution is uniquely positioned to enable retailers to analyze customer data and turn it into actionable insights to optimize merchandising, assortments, promotions and pricing.

Retail’s consumer-centric transformation brought into focus the need for retailers to develop capabilities to quickly analyze customer data across all channels and touchpoints and to have technology that supports customer data-driven decision making. Merchandise planning has traditionally been product-centric and largely based on merchant intuition. Now with consumers in the driver’s seat in today’s omni-channel and digital age of retail, that approach needs to change. EKN Research recently reported that the lack of customer insights in the merchandising process is the number one merchandising challenge for retailers1.

JustEnough Customer Insights helps retailers to make the transformation from traditional product-centric planning to truly customer-centric planning. This shift in focus is critical for retailers hoping to compete for today’s demanding consumers.

Some of the key features and advantages of JustEnough’s latest solution include:

  • CustomerInsights-segmentations

    Create and Manage Different Segmentations for Different Organizations

    Customer segmentation was pioneered by Marketing organizations – but marketing segmentations focus on what communications inspire customers. They don’t help the Pricing organization understand which customers are most likely to respond to a price change. Nor will it help Merchandising to understand if there are holes in their assortments. Each organization needs their own segmentation – and you need a platform that can help bridge and manage all these segmentations so it doesn’t get out of control. If someone tells you “we have a segmentation – Marketing is doing that” then you definitely need JustEnough to enable your entire organization with targeted and unique segmentations.

  • CustomerInsights-retailers

    Purpose-built Insights for Apparel and Specialty Retailers and Wholesales

    At JustEnough, we know apparel and specialty retail – it’s our focus and passion. Our platform was built from the ground-up for your business. It effortlessly handles seasons and tracks customer behavior from one assortment to the next. Our promotion and coupon algorithms are unmatched in the industry, as is our ability to create a unified view across brands, divisions, countries and channels. For example, you can see in one view the effectiveness of coupon campaigns in terms of increased traffic and changes in basket value or view affinity and understand what products are purchased together.

  • CustomerInsights-learn

    Act on What you Learn – in the Same Solution

    An insight is only valuable if you can act on it. Because the JustEnough solution is a unified platform, you can effortlessly make pricing changes, modify promotions and drive your assortments based on the customer insights you capture - all in one platform.

  • CustomerInsights-data-visualizor

    Rich, Intuitive Data Visualization

    Our solution delivers intuitive visualizations that provide you the right level of information needed to make decisions fast. These include maps so you can see your sales and customers geographically. Decomposition allows users to drill down into the data to see the details behind it, like what customers are behind that bump in sales and what customer segments respond to which promotions.

  • CustomerInsights-no-data

    No Data Scientist Required

    Our Data Scientists did all the hard math so you don’t have to. Let’s face it. Your business is retail. You don’t have time to find, hire and manage a team of data scientists. Our Customer Insights’ engine has all the heavy math built in. Put our tools and widgets in the hands of a curious analyst who understands retail – and together they’ll create magic.

“Customer centricity has come to the forefront as a critical component of the overall retail planning process – especially as consumer expectations for getting the products they want, when and where they want them continues to increase,” said Malcolm Buxton, CEO & President, JustEnough. “Our solutions were built from the ground up for omni-channel planning and by embracing actionable insights from customer data retailers using our solutions will gain the efficiency, relevancy and agility needed to prosper in today’s omni-channel retail environment."

We look forward to helping additional retailers to analyze their customer data and action valuable insights to drive their retail planning. Visit our website or contact us at info@justenough.com to learn more about how JustEnough can help make the most of your customer information.

1EKN's 3rd Annual Merchandising in Retail Benchmark Report

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