How To: Achieve Data Accuracy for Retail Success

While retailers should know what products their consumers want; the most successful retailers know exactly what prices, promotions, locations and seasons to offer those products so they sell best. To understand products at that level, you need accurate sales and product data.

In this blog, we will discuss how to maintain accurate sales and product data, ways of using it, and how it will help you be more successful.

How To Achieve Data Accuracy for Retail Success

Important note: The concept of accurate sales and product data applies to all retail verticals, including apparel & footwear, pet supply, gift shops, hardware & paint, pharmacy and sporting goods; as well as retailers that carry varying products, such as thrift & consignment.

Challenges with sales and product data

One of the biggest challenges retailers face is maintaining sales and product data. The most common data issues are inaccurate inventory counts, and inconsistent product data (descriptions, images, etc.). Other data quality issues involve product styles (colors, sizes, widths), inventory value, sales-to-inventory ratios, and more.

Data quality issues affect every aspect of the retail business- making it difficult to forecast inventory, control spending, reduce overstocks/stock-outs, lookup products, allocate products, fulfill orders, and so on.

Over 35% of retailers said poor quality data contributed to inaccurate targeting and wasted marketing (Forrester Consulting survey, May 2019).

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Maintaining accurate data

Is accurate sales and product data attainable? Yes. The first step is to realize data quality can be affected anywhere in the supply chain, and therefore you need a holistic approach to managing your data. This is especially true in today’s multi-vendor, multi-channel retail environment. Processes need to be in place to ensure data quality throughout the entire supply chain- from purchase to fulfillment, and everywhere in-between.

Tips to maintain accurate data:

  • If you buy from multi-vendors, standardize product data (names, descriptions, images) from each vendor
  • Add, update and mange product data in a single retail database- single source of truth
  • Combine product, sales and customer data across all channels
  • Control access to the data through the point of sale
  • Leverage a system that updates inventory in real-time (or close to it) after each sale
  • Complete a yearly physical inventory; and perform regular cycle counts

To be successful, data must be accurate and consistent across all retail channels- whether you have 1 or multiple stores, remote popup shops, eCommerce, marketplace accounts (Amazon, eBay, Walmart, etc.), or a combination of all.

Learn how Celerant can help you maintain accurate data across all retail channels


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