Planning your best merchandise assortment
This is a constantly evolving process. What was good last season or last year may not be good today. Your merchandise goes through – or SHOULD go through – a predictable cycle that repeats itself each time you buy.
There are 6 separate steps in that cycle.
1. Decide What To Buy
This step includes understanding your overall merchandising philosophy, having a clear picture of your department structure, studying what your customers have bought in the past and using your instincts about what your customers will like.
2. Buy It
This seems pretty simple, but it is the make or break step for your upcoming season. If it’s any consolation, this step actually does get easier the more the cycle is repeated.
3. Offer It To Your Customers
This is the part of the cycle that most store owners love. It’s the visual display, the marketing and the selling of the merchandise you’ve just bought.
4. Let Your Customers "Vote"
This is the acid test of your assortment planning process. Your customers buy or do not buy the merchandise you’ve selected.
5. Count the "Votes"
Track and analyze exactly what your customers are buying and what they are leaving on the shelf. To do this effectively, you must have a good computerized Point of Sale system.
6. Make Adjustments
Buy more of what’s selling. Try to determine why slow movers aren’t selling. It may be as simple as lack of a good visual display. Or it could be lack of product knowledge on the part of your sales staff. Maybe it’s poor marketing on your part. Sometimes you just have to take the markdown!
Which takes us back to… Decide What To Buy. You should have a better idea the next time around because you’ve counted your customers’ votes. You can see what they like and what they don’t – What they’ll buy and what they won’t – what works in your store and what doesn’t.
Now it’s time to revise your plan. That good Point of Sale system mentioned in Step #5 will supply you with the data you’ll need to make the next cycle a winner!
Remember that CCS can supply you with the best Point of Sale system for it’s price point – CounterPoint SQL. Contact us for more information.
Until next time ~ Norma