High-end customer expectations, massive technological advancements, and omnichannel commerce are trends that have already reshaped the retail world. However, an industry that thrives on thin margins cannot afford to sit still. Constant innovation, and readiness are the key to surviving all the challenges that come their way.

An economic slowdown is on the radar, which shall impact businesses across multiple layers. Therefore, to sustain this lull, retailers must understand their way ahead.

In this piece, we shall talk about how retailers can curb the imminent inventory and supply chain pressures that are knocking on their doors.

Building Supply Chain Resiliency with a real-time Inventory Visibility

Upcoming business challenges call for robust approaches to supply chain and inventory management. Merchants today are plagued with reduced resources, drained inventory, curtailed technology spending, slowed core processes, and more. But there is no time to brood. Instead, the way ahead is to hit back at the markets with a spike.

Oracle’s retail suite of products offers ways to build a resilient supply chain and inventory management process. The prominent ones include Assortment Item Planning, Retail Inventory Planning and Management, Retail Planning and Optimization.

Oracle Retail Assortment Planning Cloud Service

A consumer study shows 53% of global consumers1 feel that new and exciting products and assortments with personalized offers are necessary for them to continue shopping with a retailer. Therefore, developing new and strong assortment strategies is crucial for retailers to sail through the highly competitive retail landscape.

[1] https://www.oracle.com/industries/retail/consumer-research/

Maximize Business Benefits with Assortment Planning: To remain connected to customer desires and deliver a desirable and fast-paced assortment, retailers must invest in modern planning applications. Oracle retail solutions offer an integrated, single view of the enterprise so that merchants can innovate with speed. Oracle’s Retail Assortment Cloud Services allows retailers to develop authentic and loyal customers by delivering the right product at the right fulfillment location.

With Assortment Planning, retailers have a visual, end-to-end workflow to define and execute the local assortments, improve conversions of traffic into sales and increase customer delight. It increases gross margins and the return on investment through item-level visibility, using a seamless planning and managing the complexity with ease.

Retail Inventory Planning and Management

One–in–three consumers (34%)2 stated that out-of-stock items constituted as a bad shopping experience for them. Similarly, the other side of the story says inventory is the largest financial liability of a retailer. The constant balance between inventory costs and the cost of out-of-stocks is a complex task. In recent times, the cost of out-of-stock has increased. The reason is that consumers have become less tolerant of empty shelves as they have instant access to pricing comparison and product availability from competitors. Therefore, an industry (retail) that’s dominated by trends and consumer preferences cannot have weak supply chain links.

[2] https://www.oracle.com/a/ocom/docs/industries/retail/retail-consumer-research-2021-report-us-spotlight-oracle.pdf

It’s high time retailers execute the positioning of the inventory at the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities, from suppliers to warehouses, to stores and customers.

Oracle’s Retail Inventory Planning and Management delivers optimized inventory targets by item, by location to satisfy both business and financial goals. It considers factors like inventory availability, pack sizes, distribution capacity, store space to flow in merchandise through the supply chain. Retailers can have insights on the cause and impact of out-of-stock and overstock conditions. Hence, with optimized inventory control and order management operations, Oracle’s tailor-made retail solutions can increase revenue and profit, while reduce inventory and decrease labor and distribution expenses.

Retail Planning and Optimization

Did you know 84% of customers3 want a more individualized experience? They are keen to have consistent brand experiences and compelling assortments. The question boils down to how can retailers achieve this goal.

[3] https://www.oracle.com/assets/retail-planning-optimization-info-3840292.pdf

Oracle’s Retail Planning Optimization allows merchants to switch from a product-centric to a customer-focused merchandise planning process. Retailers can define their assortments, placement, pricing, promotions, and product lifecycles to grow profitability using the Retail Planning Optimization.

Retail Planning Optimization has a wide spectrum. Embedding this solution, retailers can:

  • Increase Profits using merchandise financial planning
  • Tap into the intelligence of assortment planning to meet fashion trends
  • Curate localized assortment plans to maximize profits in grocery
  • Make effective pricing decisions and minimize retail markdowns

Retail Demand Forecasting (RDF) Cloud Services

Have you ever realized that forecasting is the foundation of every retail advanced analytics? And accurate forecasting is the key to survive the modern retail environment.

Oracle has made it possible with its Retail Demand Forecasting (RDF) Cloud Services. It uses extensible analytics and AI for optimal planning decisions. The specialty of RDF is that delivers accurate forecasting so that retailers can offer demand driven outcomes and hence more customer delight. RDF offers value to retailers since it gives a single view of the demand, thereby allowing retailers drive optimal strategies in planning, increase inventory productivity in retail supply chains, decrease operational costs, and drive customer satisfaction from engagement, to sale, to fulfillment.


Are Retailers ready to ride the next wave?

Global supply chain disruption will linger for quite some time due to economic conditions, soaring inflation, and global tension. According to a survey by Carl Marx Advisors among the US Supply Chain Executives4 more than half executives did not expect an equilibrium in the supply chain until the first half of 2024. However, the question is what magic levers could curb the imminent disruption and mitigate uncertainty in supply chain and inventory management during the lull period? The answer to this isn’t simple, but retailers need to embrace technology and opt for smart solutions to make their operations shockproof and sail through difficult times without many hurdles.

[4] https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220711005117/en/Supply-Chains-Unlikely-to-Stabilize-Until-First-Half-of-2024-or-Beyond-According-to-New-Survey-by-Carl-Marks-Advisors-and-SupplyChainBrain