At Indix, we’ve been researching and discussing pain points of a number of different types of product managers working at brands and retailers in a series of blog posts. Each delves into the working lives of a fictional character, and all are based on interviews with individuals within the field.
Today, we are introducing Lisa Johnson. Lisa is a retail merchandising manager at a large online company selling housewares. She manages the kitchen accessories product line. Here’s Lisa discussing her challenges in her own words:
As the merchandising manager, I’m tasked with monitoring sales, inventory levels, and purchasing behavior of our customers in order to forecast, and plan for future cycles. At the same time, I’m managing relationships with my suppliers, creating timelines for promotions, and setting the priorities for product placement.
My job is measured by the quality of merchandising execution. I need to know that the products I bring to market are going to be successful long before they hit the floor. I have to meet sales and inventory goals and I need accurate data to react in real time and plan for the future. Finding and analyzing that data takes time.
Consolidating data across our multiple channels, then analyzing it for actionable insights, takes time and energy: energy that is typically going towards the execution of merchandising activities that I’ve laid out months before. I’m pulling data where I can, but often I’m reaching out to the IT department in order to get the numbers I need; not to mention scouring online for the strategies and statistics of competitors.
I just wish it was an easier task to tackle. If I could reduce my dependency on the IT department to get stats, and lessen the time it takes to source the same information about our competition, I’d have more time to plan and execute merchandising strategies and grow my product line. I crave structure, ease, and access to quick insights when I think about the challenges I face.
It is these pain points and requirements that we have taken into account while building Indix, our product intelligence platform for brands and retailers. Using Indix, Lisa can now track product assortment, product availability (e.g. out of stock situations), price trends, promotions, insights on channels and competition all in real-time. Lisa can also upload internal data on sales and inventory to get highly visual insights in real-time.
If you are a Retail Merchandising Manager, we would love to hear your pain points and requirements. Please provide your feedback via comments.