Logistics and Merchandise

Predicting demand is important – especially if you are Walgreens. Retailers have to place orders for merchandise to capitalize on demand – if you predict correctly then you’ll be able to make sales until inventory runs dry. If you have to much then you have waste – unsold product costs money. Walgreens invests in logistics to predict the trends of consumer purchasing. With over 8,200 stores, Walgreens tracks the products sold each year, helping to predict the sales for the future. They also monitor spikes in sales, things like cough medicine or cough drops, to get ahead of viral/bacterial outbreaks. This can give drug companies lead time to make medicine. Using big data to keep supply even with demand makes eliminating waste a cinch.

Other big retailers do the same thing – Kroger has been tracking consumer purchasers for years. Using royalty cards and offering cheaper prices to repeat customers give valuable data that can help stores stock product that will sell, while removing products that don’t. Additionally, this same data can be used to target promotions. Oh, you bought coffee, well here is a coupon for creamer.

Big data and analysis. That is what all of this is about. The more information that is collected, the more predictive that companies can get with behavior and eliminate waste. This is a good thing. This gets consumers what they want and keeps product out of landfills.

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