Retail sales have taken a beating this year, with March’s record decline of 8.7 percent followed by the April showers of another record-breaking 16.4 percent drop. The retail industry will clearly need more than just a coronavirus vaccine before it can enjoy the full-scale resurgence it desperately needs. Both suppliers and retailers need to take maximum use of the smartest possible practices to encourage sales and strip away costly supply chain inefficiency. Might scan based trading (SBT) therefore hold the answers to a retail revival? Let’s see why the answer to that question looks to be a resounding yes.
First of all, what does the brick-and-mortar store of the future look like? Ideally, it remains stocked with all the products consumers love most, enticing them to buy early and often. While BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up in Store) may prompt many online shoppers to purchase items in response to Web searches, they can’t offer the same compelling, sale-closing experience as seeing, touching, or trying on products in person — including products that weren’t necessarily on the original wish list.
Scan-based trading not only greatly facilitates retailers’ ability to make those sales, but as importantly, provides retailers and suppliers alike with the data to have the right inventory in-stock in the first place. Pinpoint control over inventory allows retailers to offer limited stock for immediate, take-home purchase at premium prices. A more satisfying customer experience also helps to ensure greater customer loyalty.
Suppliers can also benefit from the use of SBT in brick-and-mortar retail stores. The wealth of customer purchase data they get back from the retailer helps them make informed suggestions as to local product assortment, giving them extra influence over stock orders. They may even decide to place supplier personnel in key stores to help assort, demonstrate, and sell certain products.
Brick-and-mortar store owners that envy Amazon’s super-efficient supply chain can enjoy a similarly streamlined, cost-effective approach by adopting scan based trading. The use of SBT to minimize costly out-of-stocks, reduce time to market, and keep shelves stocked with the most desired products at all times can help level the playing field against the online giants.
It’s only realistic to expect a lengthy, sometimes painful recovery for brick-and-mortar retailers as closed stores reopen and consumers struggle with the financial effects of layoffs and furloughs. The more attractive these retailers can make their in-store selections and expansive inventory to shoppers, the more quickly and easily they can start to recoup the losses of the past months. At the same time, they’re laying the groundwork for a more efficient, effective way of doing business.
If you’re a retailer looking for ways to revive your brick-and-mortar locations, you owe it to yourself to look more deeply into the many benefits of SBT. Contact Nexxus Group to present your needs, goals, questions, and challenges to our team.