Everything has been affected by the rapid change in technology, and inventory management has not been an exception. More companies have been switching to an inventory application instead of relying solely on traditional unreliable tools like spreadsheets. In order to make the whole inventory management system more efficient and maximize their returns, companies are investing in modern techniques of inventory management.
So let’s analyze and understand better what major trends are in the retail inventory industry:
1. Predictive suggesting and human study using Artificial intelligence
With the rate developments in AI have been made, we might soon see warehouses that pick products before the consumers even press the ‘buy’ button. The advanced systems in AI use unstructured data to recognize patterns using interdependencies and predict your behavior. So the AI can place the order for you even before you open the website or app.
Today, AI predicts near-perfect forecasts for customer orders using variables like weather season and marketing campaigns. The application of AI to inventory management goes further beyond forecast. In some cases, artificial intelligence helps warehouse robotics learn to navigate warehouses the way humans do.
There is a lot more experimentation concerning what has been going on. It doesn’t mean that you should dump all your money into AI technology. But it is certainly worthwhile to pay attention to the advancements and assess which innovations will be most useful to your business.
2. Moving towards experiential shopping
Customer experience, as we know, today, is changing at a rapid rate. Consumers today browse online for goods and services from the comfort of their homes. It is getting more difficult to convince people to get up, get dressed, and get down to a shopping mall to look at a new gadget.
In response to this shift, brands are shifting to experiential retail. The aim is to turn shopping into a kind of experience like going to the movies to visit the zoo. To meet this objective, many brands have opened concept stores that are designed to draw customers and introduce them to their new products.
Many companies have now accepted that only US consumers spend over $500 billion a year with online merchants, so the only way to survive is to re-imagine the purpose of their brick and mortar shops.
It is no longer a question of making inventory management more efficient using inventory management software tools, but the whole retail industry is moving towards experiential retail.
3. Increasing personalization with your consumers
When it comes to e-commerce, knowing your customers name is not enough. It’s about knowing your customer’s buying habits, helping them find new products, and creating a seamless user experience that is tailored only to your customer.
Amazon recently implemented this and has achieved tremendous success. According to a McKinsey report, the recommendation algorithm accounts for 35% of online retail sales. Brands that collect customer information and use it to suggest additional products can significantly boost their sale number.
But first, this requires a suitable inventory management system in place. It is already difficult to determine inventory levels and balance between preventing stock-outs and reducing carrying costs. Throw in a new variable like recommendation algorithm, and the process becomes even more complex.
The only possible way for retailers is to facilitate real-time analytics of customer’s shopping habits. It also comes in handy for companies to design product data management strategies around online customer conversations about their brand image.
4. Creative financing options between vendors and customers
Innovation can be very expensive, but it is unavoidable if companies wish to survive. With this in mind, warehouse management software providers are working with consumers to develop creative financing options. In some cases, the supplier partners move away from traditional or knowledge models to provide better flexible rental options.
Many software providers are also taking a proactive approach by forming partnerships with their hardware companies to come up with cost-saving opportunities that can be passed on to the end-user, thereby acquiring more customers.
In the Inventory management world, there are many solutions that the managers could adopt for their financing options to provide businesses with a cost-effective way to manage their inventory efficiently.
If you want to be a successful retailer, paying attention to the latest inventory management trends can help you keep your costs low, margins high, and goods protected. As retail is slowly moving from a single channel to omnichannel, shopping is becoming an immersive experience. It is essential that you must change the way you handle your inventory as well.
Studying the current trends and the upcoming ones and by understanding new technologies, your company can adopt the right inventory management solutions to get your goods from warehouses to your customers’ doorsteps.