In the age of the empowered consumer, shoppers have higher expectations of retailers, and require fresh, compelling assortments to stay engaged and loyal.
To help retailers meet these challenges, SAP SE today announced plans to launch the SAP Assortment Planning for Retail application, which is envisioned to enable retailers to optimally cluster stores using attributes then select and plan items per store cluster in order to maximize sales and profit. The announcement was made at the NRF 104th Annual Convention and EXPO, being held January 11-12 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.
Given financial and space constraints, retailers must periodically decide the right product breadth and depth for a given period of time for each location. Retailers need the right tools to arrive at the right balance. Combining art and science, planners need to align purchase budgets with assortment plans. SAP Assortment Planning for Retail is envisioned to take advantage of the SAP HANA platform, a real-time platform for next-generation applications and analytics, to rapidly determine optimal location clusters and speed up the assortment planning process. SAP Assortment Planning for Retail intends to also leverage the SAP Fiori user experience, providing a simpler and more efficient user experience, and is planned to be built on the SAP Customer Activity Repository application, which collects customer activity, sales and inventory data in one place.
Planned key features of SAP Assortment Planning for Retail:
- Planning of assortments, sales and purchase quantities by product group and location cluster
- Application of attributes, metrics and clustering techniques to group locations
- The ability to balance assortment width and depth with option planning
- The use of sales history to suggest assortment lists and reference “like” product performance to introduce new products
- Simplified new product planning using placeholder products
- The ability to leverage the flexible planning engine to tailor metrics, plan unlimited versions and manage the calculation sequence using rules of precedence
“Retailers often struggle with planning large assortments manually with just spreadsheets, a lack of integrated business processes and the rapid changes in the marketplace,” said Lori Mitchell-Keller, senior vice president of Global Retail Industry Business Unit, SAP. “The development of SAP Assortment Planning for Retail is envisioned to allow retailers to simplify this business process and leap-frog their competition as they take advantage of this next-generation planning solution.”