Our third episode is out. Listen to it now! Santhosh Aerabati, Principal JDA Solutions Consultant speaks extensively on Category Management to us. In this episode, he also highlights why retailers need to focus on localized assortments in meeting customer demands.

Transcript of the conversation

What is Category Management?

Retailers have to capture and manage high volumes of shopper data from various sources. They have to analyse data and generate insights about shopper behaviours at macro and local markets.

Going forward, based on the insights develop localized, actionable assortment plans. They need to have complete collaboration on assortments and planograms for store-level execution. Finally, retailers will have to monitor this entire process and bring about changes in the assortments and planograms from time to time.

On the whole, category management leads to collaborative growth of category sales and margins for both suppliers and retailers.

Considering the growing customer demands, what could be the bottlenecks that need to be addressed today?

Retailers are facing this increased complexity and fast changing business environments. But certain practices need an upgrade to get going. For instance:

  1. Manual data management and analysis are draining and time consuming
  2. Dis-connected tools and analytics lead to further inaccuracies and latency
  3. Inconsistent and unreliable performance monitoring compromises the quality and productivity of people

How can retailers drive Category growth?

There is a lot of action items that retailers can do:

  1. Retailers have to focus on customer demand preferences. Optimise on space-aware assortment to realize tailored space plans that meet the customers’ needs
  2. Switch to Easy-to-use tools that are scalable, well-integrated and Web/mobile-enabled to realize category management collaboration and efficiency
  3. Start using retail analytics that provide deeper reporting and real-time insights to uncover at-the-shelf opportunities leading to performance gains

I understand that retailers have to stock-up their stores with the right assortments day in and day out. What could be the problems retailers’ face in localizing assortments?

Generally, localizing assortments is not a straightforward process. The current systems are not able to efficiently analyse extensive data to create meaningful insights.

Thus, retailers have to undergo the time-consuming exercise of working through thousands of planograms to create store-specific planograms.

This process does not equip retailers in anyway to capture more sales, increase productivity and precision or even meet immediate deadlines.

How can retailers come-up with Localized assortments under these circumstances?

Retailers need a Category Management solution that empowers them with:

  1. Generation of Thousands of planograms in minutes instead of weeks
  2. Increased shelf productivity through automation
  3. Offer alignment with local shopper preferences for minimized inventory waste and improved sales per square foot

This requires high volume of data management, advanced business analytics, increased precision and skilled people who are always ready to develop, review and adjust the assortments.

Can a good Category Management solution also enable retailers to optimize their Omnichannel operations?

That is a very good question. Today, the savvy customers need Ominchannel shopping experience. And stores failing at that can certainly optimize their Omnichannel operations using the JDA Category Management Suite.

For an omnichannel experience, this Category Management solution takes care of:

  1. Space accuracy – Create Space Plans that Cater to Segments & Goals
  2. In-store picking support
  3. Store compliance
  4. Mobility

Readers, we are happy to hear from you. Please keep sharing your suggestions and comments. Thanks for listening. Cheers!

Retail Journey Podcast