Note: Today’s post is part of our “Editor’s Pick” series where we highlight recent posts published by our sponsors that provide practical knowledge and advice on timely and important supply chain and logistics topics. In this post, Scott Fenwick, Manhattan Associates’ senior director of product management, describes how to take inventory optimization in an omni-channel environment to the next level.
Is there anything better for delighting customers than robust omni-channel retail experiences? There are many reasons why: When the distribution center (DC) is out of something displayed on the website, it can be fulfilled from store inventory. Or, when an item is needed right away, like a last-minute-birthday gift, a customer can browse store inventory, pay for an item, and pick it up the same day. And when a merchant has a single record with customer information and orders regardless of channel, store associates and call center representatives can deliver consistent high levels of customer service.
Welcome the Superconsumer
Delighting customers keeps them engaged. And in this age of experience, consumer engagement is worth holding onto. There’s a name for the most engaged customers: superconsumers. Superconsumers aren’t just frequent buyers. Instead, they’re defined by their passionate attitude toward products and brands. One estimate pegs superconsumers at about 10 percent of a brand’s total customers. And they account for 30 percent to 70 percent of sales.
What do superconsumers have to do with inventory optimization? Since they account for so many sales, their consumption of inventory leaves breadcrumbs. Those breadcrumbs—or demand signals in inventory terms—can lead the way to stronger forecasts and a better pooled inventory strategy.