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Ensure the right breadth of product assortment.

Review and rationalize your organization’s merchandise assortment through advanced analytics tools to determine the merits of adding, retaining or deleting items to improve GMROI.
A manager works on a deep assortment of product lines.

Leverage enVista’s experts to rationalize your product assortment.

To efficiently and effectively determine which items to sell and understand whether to increase, reduce or eliminate products requires strong planning and analytic tools. enVista’s team of product assortment experts can help your organization select and implement the specific tools necessary to optimize your assortment.

Product Lifecycle Management

Increase product speed to market, enhance supply chain transparency, minimize redundancies, and decrease costs. Optimize your product-to-market strategy and development with an effective and integrated PLM solution.

Keep customers engaged, reduce out-of-stocks and overstocks and maintain higher profits. Ensure you have the right product at the right place at the right time and at the right price – with the right supply chain planning and demand forecasting and inventory optimization tools.

Delight customers with the right assortment while maximizing profitability. Assortment planning combines in-depth analytics, consumer purchase preferences, assortment lifecycle planning, and sizing and pre-pack optimization into a simplified workflow.

Product Assortment
Strategy Tips

Create a clear vision and business strategy for your company and stores. If you don’t know who your target customers are, it will be difficult to optimize product assortment. Understanding what types of customers your company is targeting is one of the most important business strategies. What are your customers looking for? What needs do they have that will be met by your store?

For instance, if your store is targeting consumers of niche skincare brands, you will want to offer more depth in your product assortment since these customers are likely looking for a deep product assortment they can’t easily access elsewhere. On the other hand, if you’re opening a general beauty product store in a mid-sized town, you’ll want to increase product breadth and select a varied product mix to cater to the more diverse customer segment you are targeting.

You must understand your customers before creating your product assortment. When customers are disappointed, they tend to move to the nearest location carrying the product they want, so this is important to get right from the beginning. You can also use this information to create a targeted pricing strategy, such as two-for-one sales or placing small-purchase items near the related item to encourage impulse purchases.
Use shopping patterns as a tool. Understanding what your target customers want is the first step. The next step is observing the way they seek out and purchase these items. You can observe shopper buying behavior patterns both in-store and online to maximize future shopping experiences.

For physical stores, observe how the average customer comes to purchase decisions. What products do they come in for? What additional products do they tend to impulse buy? What items are commonly purchased together? What colors and sizes sell out first? What colors and sizes usually remain? These are a few things to consider when optimizing product assortment for a physical retail location. Ensure you have the right products available when a customer comes in to purchase, otherwise they will likely seek out a competitor who does.

Online stores are slightly simpler to observe, since you can track how customers interact with your website and what site searches are performed most frequently. What items do buyers tend to add on to purchases? What items are often purchased together? This data can be used to a) make sure you stock in-demand items, and b) suggest other items that the consumer would like based on previous searches/purchases.
Understand your inventory data. The data you use for making inventory management decisions can also help with your product assortment strategy. For example, if you carry one item from a manufacturer and that item consistently sells out quickly, you may consider carrying more items from that manufacturer. Keeping a close eye on what is selling when, can go a long way towards helping you decide how and when to expand your assortments.
Account for seasonality and locality. Other considerations that require agility in your product assortment decisions are seasonality and locality, as consumer behavior is influenced by both.

A good example of seasonal merchandise is Christmas-related items. Most retailers stock them during the holiday period but not during the rest of the year. Failing to stock Christmas-related in time could cause a large loss of sales. You can use historical data to see when consumer demand for certain items is likely to spike, ensuring you have the right assortment of products in stock. An example of locality could be a fashion retailer near a beach in Florida stocking more swimsuits in summer than a clothing store in Alaska.

Seasonality and locality seem simple but understanding how they impact your target customer base is imperative to picking the right product mix for your store.
Pick the right tools. Making product assortment decisions can be daunting, but there are tools that can simplify the process. The most important tool for product assortment is a good inventory management system. This makes it easy to keep track of stock levels in real-time. If you need even more personalization, there are a variety of other tools that can help. If you’re interested in using tools to take your product assortment strategy to the next level, enVista’s product assortment consultants can help you find a personalized solution.
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