0 comments on “Ways to Manage Seasonality in Small and Medium Businesses (Sales and Inventory)”

Ways to Manage Seasonality in Small and Medium Businesses (Sales and Inventory)

Filipinos are known to celebrate Christmas early. Once September kicks in, you’d hear Jose Mari Chan songs blasting on mall grounds, see Dapitan Arcade stalls abound Christmas decorations for sale, and of course, experience unimaginably worse standstill traffic.

We call it the “-ber months”. Filipino businesses rely on this four-month period for their entire year’s sales.  This may be true and established for some, but many are just following suit and don’t even know when the exact period of their business’ seasonality peaks. In fact, in its recent reader survey, Rappler found that -ber season is a myth – to quote: “Though many retailers begin their Christmas campaigns in September, consumers aren’t making the bulk of their purchases that early.”

Not knowing about this behavior as it relates to your business is dangerous and risky especially in inventory management and cash flow. Obviously, understocking leads to lost opportunities and unserved deliveries, resulting to reputation damage. However, another real danger is in overstocking, because cash is tied up to inventories that you may need to undervalue just to sell.

The only way to outlast seasonality woes is through data-driven planning and analysis. Off-peak seasons are a great time to start this deep-dive thinking process so you are equipped when the next peak season comes.

If you already think this is unnecessary time to spend, better be prepared for the worst because truly, it pays to pay attention.

Here’s how:

  • Historical information is good reference point, especially because you want to understand overall direction in a do-nothing scenario.
    • First things first – know your seasonality! Point-of-sale (POS) solutions are top sources for this key information because seasonality should be drilled down as far as days than just months.
    • Then, find out historical inventory balances (at least monthly). Just note that not all POS can provide this, except when it is integrated with a dynamic analytics tool.
  • Find out patterns and plan accordingly — the devil is in the details!
    • Inventory supply must anticipate the demand highs and lows. Understanding and establishing patterns in sales trends help minimize errors in buying inventory.
    • Thorough review of inventory balances highlights slow or non-moving inventory, allowing you to plan returns, exchanges, or proper markdown strategies to prevent inventory losses.
  • Ensure planning is an ongoing process. Monitor performance, see if plans work, and adjust as necessary.

Don’t succumb to being a bandwagoner especially with running your business. Know MORE so you can WIN in business.

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How can we help? Accelerating your analytics journey is the core objective of RAPID INSIGHTS ZONE — premium analytics professional services, made available to all business types and sizes. We offer PREMIUM but affordable retail management solutions and professional services suitable to your requirements: point-of-sale and analytics. Our services will help you KNOW MORE through analytics, so you have MORE TIME and resources to focus on growth. When you are ready to accelerate your analytics journey and inevitable business transformation, contact us!

0 comments on “Expand Your Business with the Trendy Midorexics”

Expand Your Business with the Trendy Midorexics

While Millennials are indeed a strong force in consumer market, did you know there is another rising consumer group called, Midorexics?

In its Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2017 report, Euromonitor International defines Midorexia consumers as follows:

Midorexia is a tongue-in-cheek label for the middle-aged and older consumer who acts younger than their years. However, this label highlights the shifting status and expectations of a demographic whose members are living and working for longer and prioritizing wellness while challenging the typical age-appropriate behaviour of older people. These consumers are transforming what it means to be older in terms of lifestyle and are more demanding in their consumption needs, creating what is increasingly referred to as the “Longevity economy”.

Because Midorexics defy ageing and live their days proving they can keep up with younger generations, they are also tech-savvy, active, and can be influential on social media. Look at the Instagram feeds of Gretchen Barretto, Alice Dixson, and Ina Raymundo (among others) — they all flaunt their youthful skin, fit bodies, healthy choices, and on-trend outfits. Heck, both 20-year-olds and 30-year-olds wish to be like them when they turn 40!

In fact, even retail pharmacies experience this demand shift – the usual maintenance prescriptions availed by this age group has changed to wellness and weight loss supplements like MX3, ATC Squalene, Yaki, etc. Likewise, food and beverage industries have responded as they increase healthier offerings for the conscious Midorexics.

Indeed, Midorexics are a force to reckon with, having the means and willingness to “invest” in youth and wellness. But make no mistake, their experience and wisdom give them confidence to demand the highest standards in delivery and customer service.

Small and medium businesses can expand their business by ensuring they respond quickly and successfully to Midorexics. By knowing who they are, where they are, and how they behave, selling point triggers can be identified and real opportunities are always maximized.

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How can we help? Accelerating your analytics journey is the core objective of RAPID INSIGHTS ZONE — premium analytics professional services, made available to all business types and sizes. We offer PREMIUM but affordable retail management solutions and professional services suitable to your requirements: point-of-sale and analytics. Our services will help you KNOW MORE through analytics, so you have MORE TIME and resources to focus on growth. When you are ready to accelerate your analytics journey and inevitable business transformation, contact us!

0 comments on “Building and Creating a Personalized Customer Experience”

Building and Creating a Personalized Customer Experience

The market is becoming a forum for conversation and interactions between consumer and consumer communities.  This increased access, transparency, and understanding of risk-benefits are making customers more informed, empowered, and active.

Today, one-size-fits-all strategy is rapidly becoming old-fashioned as customers start to expect customized services and tailored recommendations.

There are many ways to personalize customer experiences, though you don’t have to try all of them.  In fact, you can start with the data you already have to see what works and what doesn’t.

Below are tips to get you started:

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS.  Simply using a customer’s name can bring you places.  After all, a person’s name is the sweetest sound.

KNOW WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS WANT.  Use existing data to know customer interests and needs and identify market gaps and opportunities.

TARGETED MARKETING.  Provide relevant content marketing to not risk annoying customers with ads (text blast or emails) they don’t want to see.

CUSTOMER PROFILING.  For instance, millennials are more open-minded with personalized products and services than older customers who may think their privacy is violated.

STREAMLINE PROCESSES.  From initial inquiry to after-sales support, eliminate unnecessary delays, confusing information, and pointless red tapes.

DON’T BE CREEPY.  When interacting with customers, don’t use specific or private customer information (age, address, or family members found in social media) that can make them feel uncomfortable.

BE TRANSPARENT.  When gathering customer data, make sure to be clear with customers what you are collecting, how you will use it, and whether you will share it with others.

CUSTOMER VOICE.  Allow your customers to interact with your organization.  Listening to customers is crucial to a company’s ability to compete on customer experience.  Information from customer feedback can be used to take action and monitor company performance over time.  If you don’t understand the perceptions of your customers or how they experience interactions with your company, it’s nearly impossible to regularly meet, much less exceed, customer expectations and personalize customer experience.

With all these available customer data at your fingertips, the next step is to extract valuable insights that can only be enabled by analytics.

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How can we help? Accelerating your analytics journey is the core objective of RAPID INSIGHTS ZONE — premium analytics professional services, made available to all business types and sizes. We offer PREMIUM but affordable retail management solutions and professional services suitable to your requirements: point-of-sale and analytics. Our services will help you KNOW MORE through analytics, so you have MORE TIME and resources to focus on growth. When you are ready to accelerate your analytics journey and inevitable business transformation, contact us!

1 comment on “Maximizing a Millennial-Driven Retail Market”

Maximizing a Millennial-Driven Retail Market

Retail must move with the speed of market changes, or be out of business.  This speed is accelerated by new technologies and by users (consumers) who use it the most – millennials.

Millennials came of age during the time of disruptions triggered by new technology and globalization.  Hence, this young generation is more tech savvy and more knowledgeable.

Millennials grew up and matured with mobile technology and use it constantly in every aspect of their life.  They turn to their smartphones to do online research and learning, use social media, chat with friends and meet their personal needs — whether it be getting their ride via Uber, ordering their meal via Food Panda, buying their clothing and household items via Zalora and Lazada, and booking their budget trips online and accommodations via AirBnb.

Millennials are addicted to and hooked into their devices. Technology is how they get things done and how they make things happen.

The convenience of the mobile device is supreme to them.  But this young generation also values traditional experiences – great customer service!

Just like everyone else, millennials want a customer-centric experience in which they feel wanted and valued. Be it in-store or online, showing interest in them will certainly create ongoing loyalty.  They seek customer service professionals who understand their preferences and make recommendations tailored to their specific needs.

Mind you, millennials will share their experiences over the brand or product including their overall retail interaction.  They utilize social media in real time, posting photos of their whereabouts and purchases, affording retailers instant social media exposure – good or otherwise.

Millennials will continue to use technology, and expect all to adapt them quickly.

TRANSPARENCY.  A word of advice. Millennials love transparent organizations. Authentic voice is what all people, millennials especially, are looking for.

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How can we help? If you are scouting for systems that will help you achieve real benefits, don’t just assess and validate the systems operational features. Look for other e-enablement e.g., intelligent process automation and management controls. More importantly, seek the background and kinds of people behind the development and delivery of the systems. We offer PREMIUM but affordable retail management solutions and professional services suitable to your requirements. Contact us for assistance.

1 comment on “Physical and Digital Channels Must Co-Exist in Retail”

Physical and Digital Channels Must Co-Exist in Retail

The digital retail landscape has been fast growing because of numerous benefits from both customers and business owners.

For the customer, the clamor for convenience is motivation enough to shift to online shopping.

Some of the conveniences offered in the digital retail space are: avoidance of Philippine traffic and long checkout lines, ease in sorting, searching, comparing products, access to multiple and credible product reviews or recommendations.

To the business owner, it is all about untapped opportunities and breaking barriers.

For one, e-commerce solutions are way cheaper than building brick and mortar stores. Customer reach is beyond geographical location, presenting an opportunity to expand on under-served markets.

This digital transformation is believed to be a threat to the conventional physical retail channels. Business owners feel that transformation is purely “digital”, and thinks physical channels can be ignored. On the contrary, digital must instead be integrated with physical because the latter completes the customer experience through human interaction. Other than those customers who need to buy items they instantly need and wouldn’t want to wait for delivery lead time, there are also customers who place more confidence in the value of experience than convenience.

Indeed, business transformation calls for an inclusive approach – leveraging on the wealth of digital solutions and information sources while keeping reality beyond virtual.

Insights can be extracted from these information sources through analysis. Robust analytics will help improve operational efficiency (i.e. inventory management) and target valuable customers so that customers will be provided a seamless experience throughout available channels.

rapid insights zone

How can we help? Accelerating your analytics journey is the core objective of RAPID INSIGHTS ZONE — premium analytics professional services, made available to all business types and sizes. Our services will help you KNOW MORE through analytics, so you have MORE TIME and resources to focus on growth. When you are ready to accelerate your analytics journey and inevitable business transformation, contact us!