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Retail is defined as physical or online stores that buy merchandise from traders, producers, or wholesale distributors and resell it for profit. While running a successful business in the retail sector is challenging, savvy business people know how to tap into the wants and needs of customers and turn desires into serious profits.

However, without the right strategy, you might overstock or understock, and both of those miscalculations can cause serious financial harm to your business. While overstocking is not as serious a problem as understocking, both aspects bring many problems for businesses.

If you don’t have enough inventory, your client might visit your store or website and be left empty-handed, forcing them to take their business elsewhere. On the other hand, some of your products might lose value over time if you have an excessive amount of inventory .

Below, we will share some tips on effectively managing supply and demand so that your retail business always works optimally.

Understand you business

The beauty of retail is that each business is different. As a result, the products massively differ from one store to another, and customers enjoy having options.

Since there is fierce competition in the retail industry , it’s only natural to seek to find that edge that drives more sales. But if you want your retail store to be successful, it’s absolutely vital to understand who is involved in the different stages of the retail value chain as you’re not the only party responsible for bringing the product from raw materials to happy customers. 

Understanding these stages will allow you to devise a robust supply and timeline strategy. Using technology can enable you to order products in real-time and, as a result, shorten the ordering process within the retail value chain. This will help you avoid understocking, reducing the likelihood of losing sales. 

Unlike the supply chain approach, which puts procurement of materials and logistics as a priority, the value chain starts by analyzing customer needs and focuses on innovation to gain a competitive advantage. And since you have a lot of customer data, you can use it to make informed decisions.

Capitalize on data

While you can never predict the exact number of products you will need to have in your inventory, you can rely on data to make some predictions. For instance, you can always count on loyal customers to purchase. So, take that number and make sure that there are enough units to supply your loyal customers with products.

Besides that, you can use data to analyze current trends and see the most popular products. The more popular the product, the more units you should have in your inventory. If you do not stock your inventory with your best sellers, your customers might take their business elsewhere. 

However, there is a trick you can use to keep everyone happy. If the demand exceeds your current supply and you cannot deliver on time, simply send out an email apologizing for that inconvenience. But since you value your customers and their desire for your products, offer them a discount on their ordered items and notify them as soon as you restock.

To avoid such instances, you can use tools that allow you to view your inventory in real-time and know when to hit the breaks and restock your entire inventory .

Planning versus forecasting

While data is crucial to optimizing your supply strategy, the year-long experience can help you actually plan your strategy rather than forecast it. 

During the holiday season, it’s only normal to increase your inventory and stock up the shelves. During the off-season, you can put your online store platform in focus. With online orders, you generally have more time to supply the customer and give yourself more room to maneuver and keep your store constantly stocked.

Bottom line

Understanding how to set up a proper supply and demand strategy is vital to your business’s success. In modern times, you can effectively rely on data and technology to make your decisions. 

Data can help you predict demand and, on top of that, analyze customer behavior and come up with products that will fly off the shelves. On the other hand, tools allow you to keep track of your inventory in real time and make adjustments in a manner of seconds.

The post The Right Way to Match Supply and Demand in the Retail Store Industry appeared first on Productivity Land .

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