Infographic – Global eCommerce sales and trends

Multichannel transformation requires adoption of technology that dissolves the boundaries that create an operational divide across various retail touch points. As retailers continue to see rapid shifts in customer demands, competitors’ capabilities and available technologies, the pressure for Multi-channel transformation has reached a tipping point.
Retailers are investing, but it is of prime importance for them to know which capabilities are most important.
The infographic below highlights the new phenomenon observed in Retail indicating that almost one-third of the shoppers of the top 10 retailers whether big or small use smartphones and tablets to make purchases. In a recent event  India’s biggest online retailer Flipkart took just 10 hours to hit its target of $100 million in gross merchandise value (GMV), or the value of goods sold, , when it hosted its Big Billion Day sale

The mobile commerce trend is now picking momentum and empowering customers to engage more with retail sites, apps and transact easily. This calls for retailers to adapt to this ever-changing landscape if they wish to succeed in this realm.

Infographic - Global eCommerce sales and trends

Milano Impex goes Online to expand customer reach with iVend eCommerce

COMPANY: Milano Impex Pvt. Ltd.

Country: India
Industry : Footwear

Milano Impex Pvt. Ltd owns two brands EGLE & LOUIS ALBERTI and has been successfully selling them globally. After carving a niche in European market, Milano Impex Pvt Ltd introduced brand EGLE in India in 2003 followed by introduction of LOUIS ALBERTI.

Milano Impex Pvt. Ltd initially followed the dealer & distributor business model which contributed to a major chunk of their revenue. After achieving considerable success in their maiden Retail venture, company looks forward to expand their reach with an online offering.

Challenge

With a successful lineage of introducing European shoe brands EGLE and Louis Alberti, Milano Impex wanted to launch a new business-to-consumer eCommerce Portal. A portal that would allow them to sell merchandise directly to the consumers and deliver an integrated brand experience to match the spirit of “Shoes for all occasions”.

The company wanted an eCommerce portal that seamlessly integrates into their iVend Retail and SAP Business One so that their. Online and Physical stores function as a unified retail unit.

Milano wanted their eCommerce portal to come alive with innovative and intuitive design, that features images, description and media to showcase their wide range of Men’s Shoes.

Solution

iVend eCommerce with SAP Business One

Benefits :

  • Customers can quickly find products and create wish lists by selecting products in Categories / Brands or by using the shop-by filter
  • Increase in the average order size with promotions, smart up-sells and crosssells
  • Marketing, merchandising and sales staff have better control to manage portal content without IT intervention
  • Conduct integrated sales as a result of seamless integration with iVend Retail and SAP Business One
  • Eases the process of rolling out international Web sites in multiple languages and currencies
  • Supports Web traffic exceeding one million page views per day, helping the company meet or exceed its sales expectations
  • Ease of reporting and order information analysis to comprehend and optimize marketing, online sales, billing and customer support, returns management, shipping and product distribution logistics
  • Higher customer satisfaction with engaging shopping experience

We really like iVend eCommerce Portal’s ease of access with update capabilities…it is expected to support company’s expansion strategy and provide real-time brand visibility and shopping access for our customers anywhere anytime.

Prem Raj Sharma
CEO, Milano Impex Pvt. Ltd.

Perk up Loyalty to drive sales

Perk up Loyalty to drive sales

Loyalty programs are known to increase both the value of customer relationships and revenue for businesses. A recent study by AC Nielsen shows that 60% of consumers consider loyalty programs an important factor in their buying decisions. And customers spend 46% more with brands that deploy loyalty programs on average.

But what makes loyalty programs tick, and how should a retailer choose the program’s value back to the bottom line?

A successful loyalty program is built around powerful rewards and incentives that encourage frequent visits and increased spending.

Increasing visit frequency or repeat footfalls is just one reason customer loyalty matters.

Designing Incentives

Attractive incentives are the main driver for buying behaviors. A good loyalty program helps retail businesses offer custom rewards. Retailers are able to assign point values and create rewards that encourage customers to come back and repeat buy. An effective loyalty program impacts customer behavior by aligning point values with the number of visits. Design rewards to entice members to return to increase revenue.

Mobile Loyalty

With Forrester reporting that mobile will account for 29% of online consumer purchases in 2014—up from 21% last year—it’s now imperative that a loyalty program be mobile too.

What, exactly, does mobile loyalty look like?

A Mobile loyalty program depends on the retailer’s business, his target audience and the kind of relationship retailer is looking to build. But despite all if’s and buts brands are now extending loyalty programs to mobile environments in ways that create new customer interactions and build brand value.

iVend Loyalty portal is distinct way to integrate mobility where customers enroll in a loyalty program, and see reward balances—all on a mobile responsive portal. Remarkably, many retail brands have not yet reached this point, but sooner or later most of the brands will have to: “Customers today expect a program to deliver customization, value, and relevance everywhere, all the time”

Increasing Visit FrequencyPerk_up_Loyalty_350x350

Increasing visit frequency should be the core of every loyalty program. Frequency translates to members visiting more, and increasing their spend over time. Research indicates that loyalty program members not only spend more when they visit, they also visit about 20% more often than non-members.

By designing incentives that entice customers and urge them to shop are one of the most impactful way to motivate customer decisions is to understand what they want, and to stay in touch.

Loyalty programs encourage people to Buy and then repeat the purchase. Customers like to be rewarded for being loyal — especially if the rewards program offers them a significant savings or discount. Incorporating rewards programs that connect to customers’ socially puts additional focus on the business, thereby increasing the potential for new customers.

Recognition is the Buzz-word – Acknowledge the Customer with instant Gratification

More I buy more I feel the need to be rewarded. iVend loyalty programs help in setting up exclusive level definitions for various customer categories like Silver, Gold & Platinum

One of the most valuable aspect of iVend Loyalty is that it instills among retailers the abilities to identify individual customers and to measure and understand their buying patterns. This behavioral trend far outweighs the “currency” value of providing consumers with rewards for shopping at any retail store

The Shopping behavioral intelligence of loyalty program can make retailer use it many innovative ways to tailor new promotional activities with focused and targeted campaigns. A customer loyalty program therefore becomes an ingenious marketing tool that makes a memorable statement about a Retail business.

Leveraging iVend Loyalty makes it possible for retailers to get a clear, unified view of brand interactions across channels whether online, mobile or instore. The integrated Loyalty experience enhances retailer’s ability to offer customers personalized service based on all they know about them—no matter which channel they opt to shop from. Loyalty is the crucial bridge between offline and online. And an integrated loyalty application such as iVend Loyalty that reflects all-channel view of consumer behavior is a big opportunity for retail chain owners to boost sales and increase profitability.

Introducing iVend Loyalty Portal

Introducing iVend Loyalty Portal

The purpose of the loyalty program is to provide competitive advantage for the retailer. To maintain that edge, retailers must continuously adjust and evolve their program as per customers’ needs, business requirements, and competitors’ offerings. With Mobile devices gaining an important position in retail landscape, iVend Loyalty introduces Loyalty Web Portal which allows loyalty cardholders to view their card balance and history on their mobile device while the merchant can change the look and feel of loyalty customer portal online using the html editor.

A loyalty card holder can access loyalty account on a mobile device anywhere, anytime, view the reward details and merge/join/link multiple loyalty cards with single account.

iVend Loyalty Portal is a secure, web-based application that allows, the retailer manage cardholder accounts, update cardholder profile information, add new pages, change email template, customize the registration page, design and publish the new page created page on loyalty customer portal.

The Customer Loyalty Portal allows loyalty cardholders to view their current card balance, Customize the registration and update profile cxs loyaltypage, card transaction history and update their contact information. To register and log in, Loyalty cardholders will need the Loyalty card number and the transaction receipt number provided to them by the Retailer. Retailers can design and publish webpages on customer portal and use them as marketing Page to alert on on-going and upcoming campaigns

Loyalty Portal features:

  • Designed exclusively for Loyal Customers of a retailer using iVend Loyalty, users can use loyalty portal to modify and review the following
  • Statements for loyalty points earned & consumed
  • Transaction History (storage period)
  • Profile Updates of loyalty customer
  • Marketing Page to alert on on-going and upcoming campaigns
  • Link and merge multiple loyalty cards into one account.
  • Customize the registration and update profile page

To know more about Loyalty Portal and other features of iVend Loyalty write to us at info@citixsys.com

Redbell – Great Online Shopping Experience with a Single Seamless Solution

COMPANY : Redbell Retail Pvt. Ltd.

Country: New Delhi, India

Industry : Multibrand Toy Store

Redbell is a multi-brand online toy store, helping parents find the best fit toys and gifts for kids. Housing more than 10,000 premium and best quality toys of over 200+ international brands, from the seasonal, most recommended, shopped, latest, hot deals and hard to find specialty toys, Redbell store has it all for children in the Age group of 0 to 14 years.

Be it Birthday, holiday, any special occasion, entertainment, learning and much more, Redbell has categorized their products well in order to help customers shopping effectively while saving their time to find the perfect toy. The client’s business model required a fully functional online toy store with integrated payment processors and shipping.

ChallengesDownload Case Study

Redbell was looking for an Online Store solution to develop an integrated, high volume e-commerce portal which could seamlessly integrate their product and transaction data with SAP Business One.

Their existing website could help them to only showcase their products and pricing, for further transactions and sales completion the company had to depend on tele – order. Disintegrated web portal and sales process often led to lost sales.

Solution

iVend eCommerce with SAP Business One

Benefits :

  • Easy to Use interface that works as expected and very comfortable to use with great site management features
  • Deliver a Great Mobile Buying Experience
  • Managing Products and Catalogs is easy by using the standard provided fields as an online retailer we can conveniently create product catalogs with various products
  • Application of Promotions, discounts and adding images, videos and sale prices to products is easy
  • Customers can quickly find products and create wish lists by selecting products in Categories / Brands or by using the shop-by filter
  • Search Engine Friendly for easy discovery
  • Enable seamless fulfillment and supply chain planning
  • Conduct integrated sales as a result of seamless integration with iVend Retail and SAP Business One
  • Ease of reporting and analysis of customer and order information to comprehend and optimize marketing, online sales, billing and customer support, returns management, shipping and product distribution logistics

“At Redbell we always wanted to impart our customers a great visually engaging shopping experience. With iVend ecommerce we have successfully combined a stimulating shopping experience with an advanced back-office management making online buying simple & convenient for our customers while more profitable for us.”

Naresh Tomar, Head of Operations, Redbell Retail Pvt. Ltd.

Mobile Responsive: Future of Online Retail

Mobile Responsive: Future of Online Retail

Mobile Responsive Web design is a new design approach that enables retailers to build and maintain a single online shopping portal to serve to all kinds of customers on all sorts of Mobile devices: smartphones, tablets, laptops and more.

Mobile adoption is skyrocketing, as is the diversity of mobile devices on the market. Smartphones and tablets are currently leading multi-screen customer experiences. Today’s multi-device environment is bolstering mindshare and profile for responsive design because it offers a compelling promise to both website visitors and to those who build the Web: a single eCommerce portal that works on all devices.

iVend eCommerce portal’s new mobile responsive skin demonstrates that something as complex as shopping online for any commodity whether it is apparel, sports gear, footwear or car accessories or jewelry – can be easy, intuitive and secure on a mobile responsive site.

With Mobile responsive shopping portals, retail businesses can be in front of consumers at every step of their online Mobile Responsive-Future of Online Retail 2journey. Customers search for a business’ site, begin reading content and viewing videos from their desktop computers and then continue their shopping journey on their smartphones into products and services.

In contrast, if the retailer has a traditional, non mobile responsive website, the retailer runs a heavy risk of frustrating potential customers visiting the website from a smartphone due to the cramped interface appearing on the devices – eventually losing revenue.

iVend eCommerce, a mobile responsive shopping portal provides continuity between different viewing contexts, remaining completely agnostic to the type of device used and the size of the screen being viewed. This means that the same portal will present an optimized layout regardless of which device it finds itself being loaded in.

Consumers are increasingly wanting to share the purchases and their shopping experience in their social circle. New research indicates that more than 75% of consumers trust peer recommendations of products and services, while less than 15% trust paid advertising. iVend eCommerce gives retailers an opportunity to tap into this trusted form of communication to market their Brand and through a mobile responsive platform becomes a lot more easier.

e-commerce business is huge, it is therefore important for a retailer to think beyond immediate network and find creative ways to encourage fans to spread the message about the brand and a mobile responsive portal eases the task.

One thing is certain, that a mobile responsive eCommerce portal is the only durable, flexible and future-proof approach to building Online retail stores for today’s multi-channel retail landscape. A retailer who doesn’t want to lag behind and watch competitors go ahead must focus to get responsive with iVend eCommerce now.

Forecasting: Maximizing Retail Revenues

Forecasting: Maximizing Retail Revenues

Sales forecasting is a crucial part of the financial planning of a retail business, essentially is the process of estimating future business’s sales. A forecast is based on historical sales data and is done for a particular period of a time in the near future, usually the next calendar year. A sales forecast enables a company to make informed business decisions regarding inventory or cash flow or plan for growth.

It is for this reason, forecasting is a central activity in any retail operations. It is a self-assessment tool that uses past and Forecasting Maximizing Retail Revenuescurrent sales statistics to intelligently predict future performance.

Forecasting methods anticipate the future purchasing actions of consumers by evaluating past revenue and consumer behavior over the previous months or year to decipher patterns and develop forecasts for the upcoming months. Data is adjusted for seasonal trends, and then a plan for ordering and stocking products may follow the analysis. After fulfillment of current and forthcoming customer purchases and orders, an assessment of the results is compared with previous forecasts, and the entire procedure is repeated.

Function

Optimization of business decisions in a retail organization largely depends on the ability to forecast demand accurately. The optimization of order quantities, stock levels, or store shipment allocation depends on the aptitude of a retailer to forecast accurately demand at store and/or SKU level.

In retail management, forecasting serves to predict and meet the demands of consumers while controlling pricing and inventory. Holding excess inventory adds to overhead costs for a business whereas under stocking may lead to loss of revenue. Forecasting helps the retailer to meet the demands of the customer by understanding consumer purchase patterns better. It is also known to assist in more efficient use of shelf and display space within the retail establishment, in addition to optimal use of inventory space.

Benefits:

Accurate forecasts that meet the forthcoming consumption demands of customers help retail business owners and management to maximize and extend profits over the long term. Forecasting permits price adjustments to correspond with the current level of consumer spending patterns. Maintaining and controlling a sufficient but moderate inventory that meets the need without being excessive also adds to long-term profits in the retail industry.
Major financial benefits of inbuilt forecasting in iVend Retail include:

  • Return on capital: Inventory is the largest investment in a retail organization. It is therefore important to forecast inventory by an accurate demand prediction that helps generate return on capital. High inventory is a drain on capital for any retail organization.
  • Cash flow: Accurate forecasts are important to keep capital free that is otherwise tied up in excess inventory.
  • Revenues: It has become important to sense customer demands to provide visibility and to market acceptance. Forecasting helps companies to support better revenue management by adjusting sourcing and distribution strategies and avoiding unproductive accumulation of inventory.
  • Earnings: It is seen that good business sense is in adapting to supply chain optimization strategies. Accurate demand helps in precise supply chain decisions. Costly write offs are created If inventory becomes obsolete and that can result in significant disposal costs.

To know more about How retail Forecasting functions in iVend Retail 6.2 write back to us on info@citixsys.com or contact your local CSM.

iVend Retail Dashboards

iVend dashboard

Intense transformation in retail industry puts retail technology and information technology in key focus. The data collected from various 200by200 dashboardssources is expected to converge together to derive actionable metrics and give a competitive advantage to retailer’s.

The data is collected in volumes from all possible sources. New technology deployments are driven by an increased focus to use this voluminous data to deliver a better customer experience. Mobile and instore point of sale (POS) systems, mobile apps, online stores, generate a tremendous volume of transactional data. This data is a critical source of information to retailers in providing new insights into operations and business.

With increasing reliance on real-time visibility across a multitude of platforms, today’s retail technology faces a formidable challenge in deriving actionable and accurate insights generated by different retail touch points.

iVend Retail helps retailers’ take full competitive advantage of the wealth of information present in transactional data with iVend Dashboards. These are build-in dashboards available in iVend Management Console. These include inventory snapshots, comparative sales by month, quarter, year; promotional sales, top sellers, gift certificate analysis, promotion analysis, top and bottom performers, sales contribution, sales trends and many more.

This application allows creation of fully interactive business intelligence dashboards for Retailers. iVend Dashboards includes a completely optimized drag and drop feature for faster creation of dashboards. These dashboards created can either be viewed from within iVend Management Console or viewed in any standard browser using the iVend web viewer. With iVend Dashboards, interactive drill down reports can also be created which can be viewed using a web browser.

iVend Dashboards extend a detailed snapshot of business performance levels. Effective, informative and intelligent analysis tools gather data in one place to report on essential KPIs for retail business. The dashboards can be tailored to uncover strategic possibilities within current plans and explore best paths to effect positive results and genuine sustainable improvement.

A retailer can now choose to build his own or modify dashboards to assess the progress of current performance levels. Retailers can now focus on different areas of analysis and swiftly customize each performance overview, Stay in sync with live and current retail metrics to remain in touch with retail business performance level even when on the move

By applying innovative purpose-built data management, reporting and analytics technologies with iVend Dashboards, retailers have the opportunity to take advantage to access and view retail insights to reap significant benefits — they can improve the end customer experience, increase wallet share and drive higher profits.

iVend eCommerce 1.4 enables Mobile responsive sites

iVend eCommerce 1.4 - Release Enables Mobile Responsive Sites

With great pleasure we announce today the release of iVend eCommerce 1.4 version, which in addition to a host of features,  includes the new Mobile Responsive skin enriching the online shopping experience. Also significant in this release is the RTL (right to left) feature which will enable right to left languages like Arabic to be displayed appropriately.

Listed below are the main features that have been incorporated in this release.

Mobile Responsive Skin

The default skin in iVend eCommerce has been replaced with a new mobile responsive skin. The new skin is intuitive and rich in user experience.

download

PromotionsPromotions

With iVend eCommerce 1.4 store admin can define exhaustive promotions for the online store. Promotions can be setup to auto apply or can applied manually by the shopper by entering a promo code. Following are some of the sample promotions that can be setup in iVend eCommerce:

  • Buy X and get Y free
  • Buy X and get Z % or Fixed Amount discount on Y
  • Buy any item from Product Group / Product Category / Manufacturer and get Z% or Fixed Amount discount on YiVend Banner1012x1012
  • Buy N quantity from Product Group / Product Category / Manufacturer and get Z% or Fixed Amount discount on Y
  • Get X discount percent on the entire sale if Bill values exceeds N amount.
  • Buy N quantity and get Z% discount on Shipping
  • Buy any item from Product Group / Product Category / Manufacturer and get Gift Certificate free
  • Get discount on current order based on total bill value of past orders within a date range.
  • Get discount on current order based on number of past orders within a date range.
  • Get discount on current order based on total bill value of past orders within a date range.
  • Get discount on current order based on past purchase of specific products within a date range.

The Promotional Sale Countdown Timer is a very handy tool in promoting time bound sales. On the Product Page it displays Days, Hours, Minutes and Seconds remaining for the validity of a special price on the product. This tool draws attention of shoppers and is helpful for time sensitive sale events and is perfect for Seasonal Sales, Holiday Sales, etc.

Coupon-IssueCoupon Issue

Coupons are a great way to attract shoppers to keep coming back to the online store and avail discounts on subsequent purchases. With iVend eCommerce 1.4 the store admin can setup automated delivery of coupons based on rules. Following are some of the examples:

  • Issue a discount coupon in the welcome mail whenever a shopper registers on the portal between X and Y dates.
  • Issue a discount coupon in the receipt when the bill value is more that X
  • Issue a discount coupon in the receipt on purchase of specific products between X and Y dates.
  • Issue a discount coupon in the receipt if past order value exceeds X within a date range.
  • Issue a discount coupon in the receipt on every Nth order placed on the portal
  • Issue a discount coupon in the receipt for the first N orders.
  • Issue a discount coupon in the receipt for specific customer or customer group
  • Issue a discount coupon in the receipt on use of specific payment method
  • Issue a discount coupon in the receipt only once per customer between a date range.

Payment-ProfilePayment Profile

Payment Profile in iVend eCommerce 1.4 allow the Site Admin to setup conditions based on which payment methods will be available to shoppers during the checkout process. Following are some of the examples:

  • If the Bill total exceeds X then block checkout by COD.
  • If the shopper is purchasing from a specific Product Group / Product Category / Manufacturer then allow checkout only by Credit Card.
  • If the customer balance exceeds the available credit limit then block checkout by PO option.
  • Based on customer’s shipping address (Country, State, City, Zip) block checkout by COD.
  • For specific customer or customer group block checkout by specific payment methods.

Customer-HierarchyCustomer Hierarchy

For B2B implementations the site admin can setup a parent child relationship between customer records. This will allow the Parent customer to:

  • View orders placed by his child customers
  • Make payment for orders placed by his child customers
  • Impersonate any of his child customers and place an order on their behalf.

Store-CreditStore Credit

With iVend eCommerce 1.4 a store credit can be issued for refunds against cancelled orders. Store Credits issued from iVend eCommerce can also be redeemed at iVend POS at the brick and mortar stores.

Store-locatorStore locator

The store locator in iVend eCommrce 1.4 will enable shoppers to locate brick and mortar stores close to their location. Shoppers can search for stores by city or zip code. The store locator is integrated with Google Map that will help the shopper to get directions to store easily.

Price-Display--Tax-Inclusive--ExclusivePrice Display (Tax Inclusive/Exclusive)

iVend eCommerce 1.4 can be setup to display the Tax Inclusive or Tax Exclusive product prices for a specific customer or customer group.

Quotation-to-OrderQuotation to Order

iVend eCommerce 1.4 can be configured to allow shoppers to generate a quotation by selecting Quotation as the payment method during the checkout process. The site admin can setup a validity period for a quotation. Shoppers can further convert quotations to orders.

UDFUDF Integration

UDFs created on Customer and Product objects in iVend POS are integrated with iVend eCommerce 1.4. UDFs created on customer object can be used for collecting additional information during the registration process. UDFs on product object will be available as Read-Only on the Product Page.

CC-Avenue-Payment-Gateway-IntegrationCC Avenue Payment Gateway Integration

iVend eCommerce 1.4 is integrated to CC Avenue Payment Gateway for online payments. With this integration the shopper has the option to pay by Credit Card, Debit Card and Net Banking. This feature is only available for India.

RTL-SupportRTL Support

iVend eCommerce 1.4 can be setup to display the Storefront section in Right to Left format for Arabic language.

Approval-based-Order-IntegrationApproval based Order Integration

iVend eCommerce 1.4 can be setup to integrate online orders to iVend Enterprise based on payment methods. For example – A COD order will not automatically integrate to iVend Enterprise unless approved by the site admin.

Report-DesignerReport Designer

A new reporting module has been included in iVend eCommerce 1.4. An admin user can change the existing canned reports as well as create new reports. The store admin can also publish reports to the storefront section for specific customer / customer group.

Enhancements

Improved Digital Download

Digital Downloads functionality has been enhanced in iVend eCommerce 1.4. The site admin can now setup a validity period for the download link.

Site Configuration Wizard (Admin Section)

The site configuration wizard in iVend eCommerce 1.4 has been enhanced for better end user experience by grouping configuration settings under different sections.

Integrated Application Pool

The iVend eCommerce 1.4 Website can now be run in a .Net 4.0 Integrated Application Pool.

Popup on IE10 and above

Admin editing popup windows now work with IE10.

Caching Product Price

With this release, the product price is being cached which substantially improves the overall web site performance.

Merchandize Hierarchy and its relevance in planning

citixsys Merchandize Hierarchy and its relevance in planning copy

Every retail organization, regardless of its size, has a merchandise hierarchy for all the goods. A Merchandise Hierarchy is a reporting structure under which sales and inventories of products are tracked and managed.

The function of the merchandise hierarchy is to categorize products and is NOT intended to describe product or classify organizational, 200X200- Merchandize Hierarchy and its relevance in planningproduction or design elements. Merchandise hierarchy can have multiple levels with the highest level providing an overall enterprise view and then narrowing down to families or classes of products, with the total number of levels being determined based on specific business requirements and is the same throughout the enterprise. It provides a common language and consistent codes at each hierarchical level and ensures that merchandise systemically resides in one place and is grouped based on similar form and format and common purpose and use.

With Merchandise Hierarchy in iVend Retail 6.2, users will be able to:

  1. Define multiple Merchandise Hierarchies in the system
  2. Attach more than one Merchandise Hierarchy to individual products.
  3. Top down reporting at all Merchandise Hierarchy levels

Hierarchical classification of products allows companies to customize their data analysis and evaluation, and to address specific needs of individual businesses or the overall enterprise.

A retail organization with well – structured merchandise classification has a fuller view of its products across multiple levels and is able to drill down and analyze data in a variety of ways suitable to their specific business requirements.

A standardized merchandise classification allows similar items across different businesses to be grouped logically. This allows a retailer to view, evaluate and report on data at different aggregate levels and with higher accuracy not only within an individual business, but also across multiple business lines at an overall enterprise level.

By incorporating merchandize hierarchy a retailer benefits through better performance visibility, understanding of consumer demand, and more effective merchandise and sales planning.

The benefits continue down the supply chain and are reflected in better integration with supply chain partners, and improved coordination between retail planning and production, which in turn leads to a reduction in production costs and inventory requirements.

Standardization of the merchandize structure and allocating data ensures data integrity, allowing data governance to be addressed throughout the retail chain at an enterprise level.

Not limited to this, it supports continuous business growth and accommodates moving into other product lines and other industries as the business expands. Through development of common definitions, terminology, nomenclature and structures, an enterprise-wide standardization approach to merchandise classification becomes a key element in driving successful planning, analytical and execution capabilities at a retailer.