How Software Can Substitute for Gut Feelings in an Unpredictable Business

Posted on: 15 March 2019

Retail is one of the more unpredictable economies around. People can earn lots of money but decide to save instead of spend, or they could not have that much cash but a lot of credit and start spending again. Then it can all reverse on you and then switch back to what it was three months previous.

Rather than relying only on your instinct or gut feelings about how things might go, add demand planning software to your retail arsenal. Your instincts still count for something; when something doesn't feel right, that's a sign you should honor, but the software provides a more well-rounded view of how retail might go over the next few months or years.

Storing Historical Patterns

Retail patterns don't always follow history, but it's still helpful to know how the market has reacted in the past to different stimuli. Unless you've been in retail for decades, you're likely not going to remember a lot of the events or ups and downs. That's where the software can come in with historical records that help you determine how your shop might fare given similar conditions. When you hear about events or laws that might change how people spend, you can look up similar situations in the software if it has historical records.

Including Economic Data

Sometimes, the actual economic data doesn't match up with your expectations given the activity you see in news reports. For example, despite indicators saying the Great Recession of 2007 – 2008 had turned around, many people in the 2010s felt like they weren't recovering economically. Issues like that can lead to lopsided spending where part of the retail market still suffers while other parts soar.

Noting Trends

Sales for your business are not likely to always be spread across all your products. The planning software could help identify trends based on economic data input that show clothing purchases falling with shoe purchases going up or organic foods falling in popularity after a supply-chain scandal with pre-prepared food sales increasing. If you see that happening elsewhere, you know what might become popular for a while in your store, and you can increase your stock accordingly. You can also get a sense of how far along the trend is, which can affect how long people might buy those products from your store.

The software packages you find may differ widely in what they offer. Evaluate each one carefully to ensure you buy the software whose features most closely match what you need to know. Contact a demand software planning business, such as Enhanced Retail Solutions, for more information.


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