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Smart Merchandising Technology

Inter-store transfers – Reshuffle inventory for optimum sales

As an established retailer, you always carry multiple styles and sizes to meet customer demand. The need for instant gratification has become a dominant force in retail, hence the primary requirement of having the right stock available in the right place at the right time. Constraints on store space, money to buy new stock, and minimum display requirements added to regional demand predictions, determine how this stock will be distributed across a chain of stores. 

“If only we could time-travel into the future, rearranging stock will not be required!

In situations when you know you have stock that is present in another store where the demand is not so much, or when the fresh inventory becomes leaner in terms of both width and depth, inter-store transfer plays a critical role. It is a process of re-filling pre-purchased inventory, balancing the quantity between stores, and making corrections to the allocations done during the pre-planning period. 

Since every decision involves the resources of cost and time, retailers need to analyze the requirements and benefits before making these shifts. Inventory optimization through inter-store transfer has several benefits:

  • Improve inventory health – Boost sales of slow-moving articles by reallocating them to top-performing stores.
  • Increase inventory turns – Increase sales of available stock by redistributing its basis true in-season regional demand.
  • Improve stock cover and reduce stock-outs at SKU level – Minimize loss of sales by identifying the true Rate of Sale (ROS) for every SKU at the store-level. Ensure there is no over-stocking nor understocking anywhere which directly impacts the top line and margins. 
  • Increase full price sell-thru – Push stock from the stores with lower footfalls to those with higher footfalls and higher bill value. This directly increases the chances of selling at full price, thus impacting the top line and margins.  
  • Reduce brokenness: Minimize the broken stock (styles with only fringe sizes available) by consolidating broken stock from all the stores and transferring full-size sets to the ones where the likelihood of selling is maximum as per the latest trends.
  • Improve Omni-Channel distribution: Identify the right stock to be pulled out of Offline stores and transfer them to the Click and Collect stores or other stores that can be used as hubs for online fulfillment.

Increff Iris, our smart merchandising tool, helps in inter-store transfer to optimize stock at the most granular level. By calculating the ideal requirement for every Store + SKU, it utilizes excess inventory to improve stock health and has consistently helped bands achieve 20-30% improvement in stock health and ~30% improvement in sales. 

One of India’s leading formal wear brands used Increff Iris across 150+ brand outlets and witnessed a 40% increase in sales at the receiving store. It reduced brokenness by ~40% and prevented sales loss. One of the well-known International brands, expanding operations in India, reduced brokenness by 34% and uplifted sales by ~80% for the transferred stock. The overall store sales increased by 66%. 

Overstocking and understocking are some of the major challenges in retail. It not only limits proper exposure of inventory but also hugely impacts topline revenue and bottom-line margins. Increff Iris helps you make quick decisions on stock adjustments basis true demand patterns so the optimum potential of your brand can be realized, any time of the year. 

Categories
Smart Merchandising Technology

Making online shopping easy. Give more than what your customers want

The rise of the internet and tech-advancements have moulded the way consumers connect with a brand. This relationship is now more value-driven and personal. While shopping has been around since history itself, the way we shop evolved dramatically with the rise of e-commerce. Digital Darwinism played a critical role in pushing companies to take the online route as the role of brick-and-mortar stores gradually shifted to healthy support structures that assist brands in selling on multiple marketplaces.

“Digitization is no longer an option, it is a necessity.”


Recent technological shifts have only moved in the direction to make e-commerce stronger and robust by empowering the consumer base. Providing an equal opportunity to homegrown brands to scale up operations and leverage digital infrastructure to compete with global brands, e-commerce extends power to customers to determine the true value of a brand. Today we are catering to a population that is digitally native and globally-connected. Sellers need to put the right technology in place that helps them serve customers better.


“It’s much easier to lose customers today than attract new ones.”

To address major e-commerce challenges, Increff has designed specific solutions that help retailers address basic customer needs like:

  1. Full visibility of a range of products across multiple marketplaces, simultaneouslySince your customer can be anywhere, expose 100% inventory across all marketplaces with no bucketing or dedicating stock. Help your customers locate you, wherever convenient for them.
  2. ~100% order accuracyUse technologies like barcode scanning, bin mapping, and photo identification to ensure the right product is picked and packed for your customer. With zero human decision-making errors or delays, guarantee precision and efficiency.
  3. Don’t hinder conversions, make shopping convenient Live Inventory- order sync feature, lets your customer know stock availability instantly. Reduce order cancellations and disappointments by giving your customers a chance, at the perfect time, to select an alternative option as soon as their product of choice is low in stock or over.
  4. Faster, accurate order fulfillmentEcommerce is highly competitive and price-sensitive, hence distributed warehousing is the way forward. Effective, intelligent regional utilization helps reduce logistics costs by increasing surface shipments and delivering the perfect order from the closest local warehouse. This means faster deliveries at the lowest cost.

The benefits extend to retailers in several ways, such as:

  1. 100% remote onboarding Our tech-solutions are built for right-first-time foolproof operations. Through self-learning tutorials and fully scan-based operations, no expert supervision is required in 100% remote onboarding. This ensures the deployment is fast and friction-less.
  2. Easy DeploymentAdvanced technology solutions integrate with, or replace the existing system seamlessly and rapidly to ensure no loss in sales. The transition is quick and effortless with a simple UI/UX designed interface that can be learned in no time and requires zero decision making. There is less dependency on skilled labour and more focus on delivering results.
  3. Efficient resource management, ideal picking, and packing Fully automated, scan-based systems and error-proof operations ensure efficient working of each resource. From tracking every piece in the inventory to mapping every human action in the warehouse, the tool ensures accurate and fast order picking. No piece gets stuck or lost in the warehouse. We have proven competency in achieving ~99.9% fulfillment within SLA. 
  4. Faster return processingAbout 20-30% of e-commerce orders are returned, not due to any defect but because customers habitually purchase more for in-hand comparison. Retailers incur heavy logistics costs on these returns and have a huge impact on the bottom-line and margins. Convert these returns into profits by expediting the return process. Simplify system complexities and make your inventory live and available for sale, almost instantly.

As e-commerce becomes more competitive, brands have a tough road to tread. The right tech-support is necessary to not only develop a competitive advantage but also predict the future in time to take appropriate action. Increff Assure removes complexity in inventory management and order processing and creates a user experience that is free of clutter, smooth, and fulfilling. Get Assured to know the difference!

Categories
Smart Merchandising

Tough Challenges need creative solutions. Merchandise planning made easy now!

Assortment or option planning is a holistic process that blends fashion with finance. It helps merchandisers and retailers create a comprehensive store package that satisfies customer demand and allows businesses to achieve financial goals. A part of assortment planning is smart decision-making in merchandise planning and buying process. 

Gartner recognizes Increff as a key tech-player for devising befitting solutions for new-age brands. Increff Iris provides analytics-driven pre-season and in-season buy plans with tactical execution. Its algorithm-driven platform helps retailers better understand customer requirements and align planning to ensure higher store profits and bigger sales.

Budgets are too tight, margins are too lean, brands cannot afford guesswork in the buying process.

Retail has changed dramatically in the last year. Smart assortment planning is critical in providing hyper-localized recommendations that curate the right mix at stores and resonate with local shoppers.

No excess buying. Optimize store-level inventory for higher margins and sales. 

Pre-season planning: 

  • Store clustering –  Increff Iris takes one step further with a granular store-level analysis that is location-specific, and not region-specific. It creates a win-win-win combination for merchandisers, retailers, and customers by considering each store as a separate entity, with a different customer base and a unique size set ratio. 
  • Product ranging – Designing a perfect mix of category, price range, size ratio, etc. drilling up to 17 layers of attributes for predicting the ideal store mix. Getting precise width and depth in its offerings at the PoS/ store level, and overall regional level. 
  • Assortment / Financial Plan reconciliation – The assortment plan for each store is made in parallel with the financial plan. It is then adapted to the individual store to ensure complete inventory is well distributed to meet store-level financial targets.
  • Replenishment and flow planning – This is done considering seasonality, holiday or festive season, and recency. It involves planning for drops, NOOS (Not Out Of Stock) styles, replenishments, and replacements.  

In-season planning: 

  • Plan to actual reconciliation – Increff Iris intelligently handles supply chain inaccuracies by optimizing whatever inventory is available in the warehouse at the time of sales. Through proper allocation, it helps stores maximize revenue effectively. 
  • Allocation support – Planning for a new store or collection-level allocation, replenishment, or a possible replacement for bestseller styles, Iris offers inter-store transfers to reduce unnecessary buying. 
  • Open-to-buy – With quick store analysis, Iris has the capability to generate a buy plan at any frequency desired by the brand to increase inventory turns. It automates drop planning and style level planning for each store to increase sales. 
  • BI dashboards – Extremely useful for quick in-season decision making, the BI dashboards can instantly generate reports to analyze top-bottom sellers, drops, trends comparison based on stakeholder requirements. 

As the unpredictability of 2020 continues, it is a challenge for brands to determine trends and assess true customer demand. Hence it is critical to plan cautiously and optimize stores for a better experience and higher conversion. with Iris. Reimagine planning and allocation for consistent and profitable growth with Increff Iris.

Categories
Business Smart Merchandising

Do you know what Zara and H&M do to be on the best-in-class Supply Chain list?

An efficient Supply chain streamlines everything from sourcing of raw material to delivery of the final product, adjusting and adapting to unexpected situations on the way. It not only gives brands the ability to diagnose an operational glitch and address it at the right time but also be more responsive towards societal needs. In the current scenario when the competition is high, a sustainable supply chain is a source of competitive advantage to boost customer service, reduce operating costs, and improve cash flow. 

Gartner’s Supply Chain top 25 list is the distinguished ranking of brand leaders, recognized for their achievement and advancement in supply chain capabilities. For this list, brands are evaluated on business health (ROPA, Inventory turns, Revenue) and Social responsibility metric (environmentally responsible supply chain). 

Only 2 Fashion brands have made it to the list so far, they are Inditex or Zara, and H&M. Zara has been on the list since 2010 and H&M since 2012

What makes them a class-apart? 

Their innovative demand-driven business model is centered around the customer’s decision-making process. The specialized real-time, demand shaping, and demand sensing tools help them immediately respond to market changes, increase flexibility, and speed of bringing innovative designs to the market. Zara offers 24 new clothing collections and H&M offers 12 to 16 collections each year.

Zara’s RFID technology ensures accurate inventory count and faster deliveries to the end consumer, while H&M through Treadler, its B2B service, helps clients accelerate sustainable change by overcoming internal barriers and accessing benefits of its global long-term supply chain partnerships for viable growth. Businesses today are not only implementing best-in-class technology to meet true customer demand, but also building sustainable partnerships for Industry and environmental benefits. 

How can you join the leader’s pool?

INCREFF’s sustainable, cost-effective SaaS solutions, ASSURE, WaaS, and IRIS are built for inventory optimization for both online and offline channels. Our cloud-based platforms are extremely easy to learn and use, without supervision. The best part is, we can get you started in less than 7 days. 

Increff ASSURE allows simultaneous 100% inventory exposure across all sales channels, so no piece is left behind. Its live-inventory sync feature captures instant sales even during peak time so your potential buyers know the exact availability and there are fewer cancellations. Low cancellations deliver a better customer experience, add value to the brand and build trust. 

While ASSURE is a fully automated and scan-based tool in itself, Increff’s Cloud warehousing service that runs on ASSURE lets brands have on-demand access to warehouses in multiple cities. There is no use of paper & pen and no human decision-making to minimize errors or delay in execution. Each piece is assigned a fully trackable unique piece barcode (UPB), which is more accurate than RFID. Once scanned, the location of a piece is recorded and referred to when pick-paths are defined at the time of order picking. Pick-paths are linear so there is no back and forth, and the picker’s time is most efficiently utilized. Return processing is fast and strict as the rejected piece is immediately moved out of circulation and its UPB is tagged with the reason of rejection. 

Increff IRIS is a cloud-based intelligent merchandising, buying and distribution platform that enables merchandisers to take pre-season and in-season decisions like what, when and how much to buy and where to showcase inventory via 100+ customizable patent-pending algorithms designed specifically for fashion and lifestyle business. For online sales, it analyses order location and distributes stock to ensure fulfillment from the local warehouse, reducing air shipments and logistics costs by nearly 70%.

The Global fashion industry has been heavily criticized for causing irreparable damage to the environment. Luxury fashion brands prefer to burn millions of dollars worth of clothes to prevent counterfeiting and protect intellectual property. We can help you protect the environment through our initiative of donating unsold inventory to the needy who cannot afford to buy good quality clothes.  

If you are sitting on a large pool of inventory and looking for a smart tech-tool that can help your brand realize its true demand potential, then you have reached the right place. Contact us today!