Abercrombie works in the direct-to-consumer space with its hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores and outlets. For any retailer, placing inventory before demand is tricky. Retailers must accurately predict seasonal desired styles and features before a customer sees the product. If they predict incorrectly, it may mean overstock on shelves and in distribution centers or having product that doesn’t match customer preferences.
To create a seamless customer experience, all channels must act in unison: “We try to reach our customer through a full, omni-channel, unified platform so that they can shop who we are, anywhere that they are. We find that the customer who shops through multiple channels is our strongest customer,” explains Daniel Trimmer, Senior Manager of Product Facing Solutions.
Using Tableau, merchandising product teams can effectively track sales (size, color, and style), which helps in planning where to place inventory, as well as see what product is in or out of stock. There are shipped sales—sales that occur when a transaction is accounted for—and then there are demand sales—when a customer indicates their intent to buy online and creates demand. Tableau empowers the product teams to take a rear-facing view and alternate between ship or demand sales.
Tableau empowers the merchandise planning team to see sales and demand trends that were hard to previously visualize over time and by customer segment.
With a clearer picture of transactions and customer behavior, the company can take action on inventory immediately instead of waiting. Before Tableau, sales information was siloed, but having a complete view means faster time to insights and action, giving the company a competitive edge.
Today, the team combines product and customer data to determine common links between product and location, allowing the brand to skew product choice and assortments depending on the location of the customer. “To be able to see trends across time, look at them, and just the sheer amount of data, Tableau allows us to capture it, and as we place merchandising bets, find the anomalies that pop and react to them quickly,” adds Daniel.