- Retailers used to rely on intuition to tell them what was hot for the holidays, but with sales and customer data flooding the market, gut feelings no longer stand a chance, Chain Store Age reported Monday.
- When holiday sales make up roughly 40% of annual revenue, retailers cannot afford to ignore all the buying data available to better predict sales success and inventory needs. JC Penney learned this the hard way in 2014 when it neared bankruptcy, but CEO Marvin Ellison's focus on the "science of retail" has helped the company turn the company around.
- Technology drives the modern market, even down to sales locations — the data can tell you what will sell best where, why, and how.
The holidays are lucrative for successful retailers, but they also face significant challenges in serving their customer base.
Inventory management is key. The ability to rapidly restock exhausted items means greater customer access and therefore better customer satisfaction. Mining data isn't enough — acting on what's been learned about buying patterns and popular items means ensuring the ability to task the supply chain to replenish when needed.
Supply chain agility requires more than fulfillment speed, however. Upstream visibility and actionable lines of communications must be in place for products to travel the supply chain at moment's notice.