From excess merchandise to figuring out fit, minimizing returns and increasing post-purchase satisfaction, the current inventory landscape is a challenge to say the least.
The inventory glut has heavily eroded margins for many retailers, including Walmart and Target who both discounted heavily to right-size inventory—even after canceling billions of dollars of wholesale orders.
Adding insult to injury, returns have been identified as the “$761 billion albatross” around retail’s neck, with as many as 91 percent of merchants reporting that returns are accelerating faster than revenue, a recent survey from Appriss Retail and Incisiv indicated. Poor fit remains the top reason for returns, indicating that retailers have yet to maximize their augmented reality (AR) and fit technology investments or unlock the full value of the sizing data customers are providing.
“Return windows are getting longer, refunds are happening faster, and technology is making returns easier than ever before—boosting customer satisfaction,” said Narvar CEO Amit Sharma. Retailers, on the contrary, are left dealing with the high costs and hassles of reverse logistics, on top of trying to realign existing inventory problems and better plan for next year.
Sourcing Journal’s 2022 Inventory Report seeks to educate readers on the services and strategies available to better optimize transactions and assortments, how brands can swing the returns pendulum in their favor, and how new platforms—like online B2B marketplace Ghost—allow brands to discreetly offload excess merchandise.
Download the report to discover:
- What key industry executives have to say about the biggest challenges in inventory management
- How the combination of an overabundance of goods and a lack of fresh merchandise will weigh heavily on margins
- How a mismatch between what retailers have and what consumers want has exacerbated product overload
- What Wells Fargo retail analyst Ike Boruchow found while investigating the trends at play in retail and what they mean for off price in 2023
- Which warehouse robotics company recently closed on $71.7 million in Series C-1 funding
- How brands can utilize new ways to leverage the recurring returns problem to their benefit
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