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How to have a cracking Easter

Lauren Wright, Sales Director

As we approach our second Easter in lockdown, trying to anticipate shopper habits and customer demand will be a familiar challenge.

Pre-Covid-19, you could anticipate the start of impulse buying as seasonal isles transitioned in January and the inevitable last minute panic buying the weekend before Easter (my typical style!), but now with less footfall in store and little historic data of the pandemic impact on performance to reflect back on, the focus will be on getting the things in our control, the basics, right.

Here are the top 5 ways we supported our customers with valuable speed to insight during Easter 2020:

1. NPD & promo visibility

Easter is a great time for activity, but getting visibility from day 1 of launch can be a challenge. Our visual reports and alerts were used to support a customer launching a new range of confectionery to track SKU performance daily to see sales, distribution, ROS, stock levels and availability. This level of understanding was invaluable when communicating internally and to the retailer how they were performing. Last year we also launched our new store insights tool, which meant our customers promoting over Easter were able to use the daily out of stock alerts to direct resources to the right place. 

2. Collaboration with retailers

Last year we had a supplier who could see they had a live issue with availability due to low levels of stock being ordered to satisfy demand, but they were struggling for air time with their counterparts at the retailer (see ‘selling to an inbox’ blog). They used an image from one of the replenishment reports in SKUtrak to articulate this problem and the proposed solution to their supply chain analyst and buyer. This resulted in a decision being made collaboratively and quickly to order more stock, all over email. They used SKUtrak to monitor the additional stock going into the network and the availability increase as a direct result.

3. Ranging 

Two questions that came up during Easter around this topic:

  1. Can we see which stores are ranged vs stores selling? Yes, SKUtrak provides insight into stores ranged but with low or no sales. We also alert you to potential book stock errors where there are patterns of no sales but stock showing.

  2. Are my products in the right place? This was particularly important to a customer who had launched a new vegan Easter egg as they were trying to understand demand across different parts of the country where they believed they would have higher ROS. In SKUtrak you can see sales and ROS by format and region to analyse where you may be over/under indexing.

4. Exiting Easter

Balancing availability, lost sales and waste during any seasonal period is tricky to get right. Daily visibility is key to understanding optimum stock levels to keep availability high whilst knowing how much stock you are sat on to avoid surplus stock on exit. This became apparent when supporting a customer who had Premium Easter eggs ranged in stores where they could see the stock levels were too high for their current ROS. By using SKUtrak, they were able to scale down future orders to ensure they did not incur costly markdowns after Easter.

5. eCommerce sales

We all know eCommerce sales have grown significantly in the last 12 months, but trying to understand the impact this is having at a granular SKU level over time is difficult to visualise/quantify unless you have been collecting this data consistently. We were able to help our customers see their dot.com store pick and dark stores sales to allow for more accurate planning and forecasting, especially where stores with store pick were suffering from availability issues due to high demand.

 

If you would like to know more about how SKUtrak can help your business, we are offering FREE one hour remote consultations using your live data to show you how powerful this speed to insight can be. Please contact us.

SKUtrak saves time through the automated collection and processing of retailer data, this curated data is presented using visual analytics and reports, enabling visualisation of your key metrics and the ability to take decisive action on complex problems. See our case studies to hear directly from SKUtrak customers.

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