The customer journey is filled with stops, starts and redirections, as they search online and buy in-store—or vice versa. Add in a myriad of fulfillment options, and you have a complicated list of if/then scenarios that can leave stores either awash in product or completely tapped out when goods aren’t accurately accounted for.
While managing inventory of widgets maybe challenging, the range of SKUs, prices and sizes related to apparel, footwear and accessories makes tracking these goods truly complex. For this reason, Montreal-based software company Multidev crafted the integrated CRM solution ChainDrive to optimize allocation for these specific segments of the retail market.
The ChainDrive CRM helps retailers store and navigate individual SKUs in both physical warehouses and a cloud-based inventory management system, using inventory and performance management tools that are specialized for retail segments. The goal: to ensure product is where the consumer is whenever he or she decides to open their wallet.
Multidev uses lots of transactional data to optimize inventory by region or season. Retailers can create intensely-detailed, precise product matrices to track what consumers are buying and re-order or transfer product accordingly. The CRM is specifically designed to allow merchants to alert shoppers if an item they’re eyeing online is available in their local store.
The tool is especially helpful for jewelry stores, which often offer a breadth of luxury price points as well as services like repairs and customization. ChainDrive also offers a specialized appraisal module, warranty and serialization management, and detailed repair tracking tool, all of which are specialized for jewelers.
Footwear, too, is a challenging market, demanding that stores forecast and stock the right distribution of sizes in basics as well as seasonal assortments. ChainDrive utilizes the cloud inventory in this sector to point customers to shoe styles in their size in real-time, both in stores and online.
The cloud-based inventory management not only means shoppers can always find real-time information on stock levels, it’s also designed to provide agility to merchants. The centralized database allows retailers to hold the items they definitely need in-store, and pivot based on unforeseen changes like weather fluctuations.
Other features target allocation sore spots that are consistent across market segments and commerce platforms. Flexible bin management systems within the ChainDrive interface allow retailers to assign specific bins to specific types of merchandise, and create “pick-from” and overstock bins to better meet consumer demand. Stats on warehouse and fulfillment center activity prevent stock from sitting dead on a shelf, and inform retailers when they need to re- re-allocate inventory that isn’t moving from a warehouse to stores or e-commerce fulfillment.