TECHNOLOGY

New insights help fashion retailer make smarter inventory decisions

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

River Island understands the value of a single view of orders and available inventory — especially as it grows.

In addition to an online operation, the British retailer operates over 320 stores across the U.K. and Ireland, and internationally throughout Asia, the Middle East and Europe. As the company expands its global footprint, River Island required new tools to make more accurate and impactful inventory decisions for continued growth.

The top pre-requisite was a single view of order and inventory. It also needed a solution that could support more-consistent and accurate planning processes, and deliver insight into how merchandise was performing across channels.

By adopting Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning, River Island can establish more-consistent and accurate planning processes that will help users better understand how merchandise was performing across channels. The solution will also enable the company to pinpoint emerging customer trends — details that enable River Island to shift strategies amid changing consumer demands.

“By implementing Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning correctly, we are now about to evaluate profitability, reduce markdowns and follow a single version of the truth for the whole business,” said Doug Gardner, CIO, River Island.

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TECHNOLOGY

Radial: Cost is king for online shoppers

BY Marianne Wilson

Consumers will choose cost over brand loyalty when shopping online.

More than 60% of respondents across all regions reported that purchasing products at the lowest price possible is most important to them when shopping online, according to a global consumer insights study by Radial. In related findings, 60% of U.S. consumers expect their goods to arrive at their doorstep at no cost. Only 23.5% expressed willingness to pay up to $10 and 6.3% were willing to pay between $10 and $25.

The “Outsmart eCommerce Giants to Win Online Shoppers in 2018: A Guide” report also noted that timeliness of deliveries remains important to customers. U.S. respondents are flexible, expecting to receive packages in two days or less (34.6%) or under a week (34.1%). Ancillary factors, including “one-click checkout,” were reported as being of lesser importance, proving that cost reigns supreme for online shoppers.

The Radial study also found that the majority of consumers who shop online also hold a membership in an e-commerce marketplace such as Amazon or eBay. Across the regions, Amazon is the favorite marketplace. Australia is the only outlier, which is not surprising, considering Amazon launched in the region in December 2017. In Australia, eBay is the leading marketplace with 63.8% of online shoppers.

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Party City banks on ‘science’ to hire most qualified candidates

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Party City isn’t leaving anything to chance when it comes to hiring new employees.

Through its partnership with Infor, the party supplies retailer is adding an analytics-based platform to improve hiring practices. Infor’s Talent Science solution uses analytics and behavioral science to streamline hiring process and select the most qualified candidates.

Called pre-employment assessment software, the cloud-based platform’s predictive models assist hiring managers to better select, retain, and develop the right talent across the entire employee life cycle. The technology allows users to compare and contrast the characteristics of a candidate against the attributes of their strongest performers. This information is stored as a “Performance Profile,” or benchmark for defining success in a given role.

Organizations can also use the gathered data for insight throughout the employee lifecycle. Hiring managers can access behavioral data to uncover employee strengths, deliver high impact coaching, establish short-term and long-term goals, and develop a strategy for career path planning, according to Party City.

“We decided to partner with Infor to identify the key success traits of our top employees, so we could make our workforce more productive,” said Jim Viola, VP, Party City, which operates more than 900 specialty stores in the United States and Canada, operating under the names Party City and Halloween City banners, and e-commerce website. “By bringing modern technology into our hiring practices, we’re able to gain greater insight and develop best practices so our teams can provide a superior customer experience.”

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