RESEARCH STUDY: Unraveling the Mysteries of Assortment Planning
New solutions, customer expectations, intensified competition and the evolution of omnichannel business models continue to pressure retailers into fundamentally re-examining their businesses from every angle, including processes involved, organizational alignment and supporting technologies. One area in which retailers continue to be challenged is how to best leverage Assortment Planning capabilities and increasingly available solutions – and whether or not they should do so.
Over the past century, retail assortments have required a decided shift in how they are viewed and managed. Once the dawn of advanced computers and the prominence of the internet opened up the possibilities of much more closely aligning products to consumer wants and needs, retailers seemingly had abundant opportunities to leapfrog the competition. But this is only possible if companies are able to effectively harness Assortment Planning capabilities to their advantage.
Herein lies much of the mystery.
Granted, "true" Assortment Planning may not be reasonable for all types of retailers. However, in many cases, strategically defined and well-executed processes, as well as advanced tools that truly support the space may represent the panacea for having the "right" products available to a retailer's target consumers.
In this research study, The Parker Avery Group examines Assortment Planning objectives, challenges and practices from the viewpoint of over sixty retail professionals, including what elements are most important and plans or considerations for the near future. We also highlight key insights based on our experience in helping retail clients achieve success with Assortment Planning.