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Assortment Planning Analytics: Strategies, FAQs, & Best Practices

June 21, 2024
Ashley Jefferson Author 5 mins read
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Staying ahead of the curve in today’s fast-paced retail landscape is no small feat.

There is hope, however.

With assortment planning analytics, businesses can uncover valuable, actionable data hidden in vast swaths of information, rapidly identify market trends, defend against competitive threats, and plan for dynamic consumer demands. This powerful tool offers a comprehensive, high-level view of assortment strategies, empowering companies to make informed decisions and drive revenue growth.

What are Assortment Planning Analytics?

While Google currently defines assortment analysis as a way for manufacturers to monitor their product segments and protect their brands, assortment planning analytics take this concept to new heights. It provides a holistic, analytical approach to understanding and optimizing your product assortment strategy in relation to your competitors.

Rather than simply tracking your own products, assortment planning analytics gives you a bird’s eye view of the entire market, allowing you to compare your assortment planning strategies against other retailers and manufacturers and better prepare for key business practices such as product line reviews.

This invaluable insight enables you to identify gaps, capitalize on opportunities, and stay ahead of the competition.

The 5 Primary KPIs for Assortment Planning Optimization

To truly harness the power of assortment planning analytics, businesses should focus on five critical key performance indicators (KPIs):

  1. Revenue and profit growth: This fundamental metric tracks the overall financial performance of your assortment strategy. By monitoring revenue and profit growth, you can gauge the effectiveness of your product mix and identify opportunities to increase sales and margins.
  2. Market share and penetration within relevant categories, sub-categories, and price bands: Keeping a close eye on your market share and penetration across different product categories, sub-categories, and price points allows you to pinpoint areas where you excel and areas that need improvement. This information is crucial for making strategic decisions about where to focus your efforts and resources.
  3. Customer loyalty and retention: A loyal customer base is essential for long-term success. Assortment planning analytics can help you understand customer preferences, identify products that drive repeat purchases, and develop strategies to foster lasting relationships with your customers.
  4. Product availability and turnover: Ensuring that your products are readily available and moving off the shelves at an optimal rate is crucial for maximizing sales and minimizing inventory costs. Assortment planning analytics can help you identify slow-moving items, optimize stock levels, and make data-driven decisions about product replenishment.
  5. Customer feedback analysis: Understanding customer sentiment and gathering insights from feedback is invaluable for refining your assortment strategy. Assortment planning analytics can help you analyze customer reviews, survey responses, and other feedback data to identify areas for improvement and tailor your product offerings to better meet customer needs.

By closely monitoring these KPIs, companies can gain a comprehensive understanding of their assortment performance, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to drive growth.

Key Factors of a Successful Assortment Strategy

Effective assortment planning analytics incorporates several key factors to ensure a successful assortment strategy:

  1. Competitor Analysis: Monitoring your competitors’ assortment planning strategies is essential to defend against threats and seize opportunities in the market. By understanding their moves, you can stay one step ahead.
  2. Historical Data: Leveraging past sales data and consumer behavior patterns can provide valuable insights into future trends, enabling you to anticipate demand and adjust your assortment accordingly.
  3. Balanced Assortment: Striking the right balance between staple products and trendy items is crucial. Assortment planning analytics helps you identify the ideal product mix to meet customer needs and maximize revenue.
  4. Cross-Merchandising: By analyzing customer preferences and purchase patterns, you can identify complementary products to cross-merchandise, enhancing the shopping experience and increasing sales.

Assortment Planning Analytics: Best Practices

To fully leverage the power of assortment planning analytics, it’s essential to follow best practices:

  1. Invest in Robust Tools: Utilize advanced analytics tools that can process vast amounts of data, providing actionable insights and visualizations to inform your decisions.
  2. Harness Historical Data: Take advantage of your organization’s legacy data to identify patterns, trends, and opportunities that might otherwise go unnoticed.
  3. Adopt a Data-Driven, Customer-Centric Approach: Prioritize data-driven decision-making that puts the customer experience at the forefront, ensuring your assortment meets their evolving needs and preferences.
  4. Continuous Monitoring and Optimization: Assortment planning is an ongoing process. Regularly monitor your performance, gather customer feedback, and adjust your strategy as needed.

Examples of Effective Retail Assortment Analytics Tools

While there are numerous assortment analytics tools available in the market, it’s essential to choose solutions that align with your business needs and objectives. Some examples of effective tools include:

  • POS Data Guy / krunchbox: Trusted provider in retail data management, helping clients harness the power of POS data, delivering analytics from your own POS data and helping find the golden nugget insights.

Learn more about what Doug Murless, the POS Data Guy,
and krunchbox can offer in our recent podcast episode.

  • Retail Pro: This comprehensive retail management software offers assortment planning capabilities, allowing you to analyze sales data, optimize stock levels, and make informed merchandising decisions.
  • Oracle Retail Assortment Planning: Part of Oracle’s retail suite, this tool helps retailers plan and optimize their product assortments based on consumer demand, competitive landscape, and business objectives.
  • SAS Assortment Optimization: Leveraging advanced analytics and machine learning, this solution helps retailers optimize their assortments, maximize profitability, and enhance customer satisfaction.

In addition to tools like the ones listed above, TraQline delivers unmatched market data that can help improve your assortment planning.

TraQline: Helping Businesses Improve Customer Data Analytics

At TraQline, we understand the vital role that customer data analytics plays in driving successful assortment planning strategies. Our cutting-edge solutions — including Hybrid POS™ and SKU Metrix™ —empower businesses to unlock the full potential of their data, delivering actionable insights, and facilitating consumer-driven data-based decisions.

Whether you’re looking to streamline your assortment planning processes, gain a competitive edge, or enhance customer experiences, TraQline is your trusted partner for all your customer data analytics needs. Contact us today to learn more about the product data we deliver for your market.

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