Drowning in Excel? Here's How to Save Hours on All Those Merchandising Reports
Ain’t nobody got time for frantic spreadsheeting. Save yourself the drama and have everything you need at literally the click of a button using Style Arcade.
Peak season is upon us, and this time of year many in the retail trade are wildly trying to forecast and understand all the numbers - just so we have time to do our actual jobs, and make sure we GET. THAT. SALE!
But when the retail analytics tools we have are ancient BI systems, spreadsheets and split into different sources (sales from here, stock from there, who knows where PO’s are kept?!). Just trying to get a full understanding of what needs to be done can be frustrating, riddled with formula inaccuracies and let’s be real, a complete time suck. Time that could be better spent elsewhere, giving you headspace to get ahead in your role instead of fighting fires and reacting.
That’s where Saved Views can help you get on top of it all. Below I’ve thrown together some common retail data analysis scenarios for fashion merchandising teams. Who have, for far too long, been wrangling data into spreadsheets, when through fashion technology could have been accessing everything at the click of a button.
Those in retail merchandising know the feels. Bracing yourself for a million questions, flying at you all at once. What were the best sellers? What products are the dogs of the month? How did online compare to stores? More importantly, WHY are the sales trends the way they are?
More often than not you spend the majority of your early Monday morning throwing the numbers together, not leaving nearly enough time to actually look at the WHY. The qualitative callouts and key learnings we are all dying to know.
All Your Info INSTANTLY in One Source of Truth
No more copy and pasting data from here to there, and pivoting like there's no tomorrow.
We pull from all your various systems (in seconds, not ages) into Style Arcade allowing you to filter based on whether you want top or bottom sellers, by category or brand - that you can save and retrieve at any time simply by clicking on a link.
Need it separated by region, channel or store? Sure, use the filters and see which locations need to move that “IT” item we bought deep in 😬
Whatever you have attributed can be brought in and filtered on. In fact, many use Style Arcade as a good opportunity to further enrich their product attributes by adding in dress lengths, sleeve lengths, silhouettes, even model. The sky is the limit.
VISUALLY see your products and understand the trends instantly
I recall a colleague from another company telling me that one season their brand decided to take their icon and enlarge it 5x on polos. But because of the sheer volume of SKUs, a lean team and the fact they operated in spreadsheets without imagery, they were unable to pick up quickly that their customer was not keen on the blown up branding until over a month after launch.
Style Arcade is visual retail intelligence pulling imagery from your ecommerce platform or image source and puts it alongside your sales, stock, purchase orders and Google Analytics data. So you can visually see that everyone is loving the new subtle pipeline trim on your basic tailored shirts (that would so easily be missed when scanning SKU codes).
What's even better is Style Arcade’s Discover tab, or as I like to call it Silver Platter Land, where merchandise insights and recommended actions are served up in handy carousels. (Tell you more? Ask the crew how here.)
Not meant to have favourites, but if I did, the Power Filter would be up there. What you are able to uncover using this feature I know blew my absolute freaking mind when I first saw it. When used in relation to Markdowns being a prime example.
If I was still in the wonderful world of fashion buying and merchandising, the amount of time that having a Saved View for markdowns would have been a game changer.
With Power Filter, I could ask Style Arcade to show me only the products that:
I have in stock,
That has yet to hit a 40% sell through,
That is older than 6 weeks old, and
Has broken sizing
BOOM. Your markdown report, WITH IMAGES, saved ready to go. 🤯
Obviously, you do you, you may have other criteria like GP% etc you may want to layer in there (which you totally can) but for example sake let’s roll with this.
Download the SKU codes, decide on either the % off or your new price points and bulk upload into your system. Markdowns are done before morning tea.
Do you have stores you need to communicate markdowns to? Add a STORE filter of let's say Sydney Flagship, and BAM! Your store has a visual report of what markdown stock they personally have in store and at what % off it's at so visual merchandising and your retail team know what's on sale (and what’s not).
Take a Further? Simply take the same report, update the criteria (e.g. let’s go hard on aged inventory, and update weeks age to 8 weeks) and save as a new different report that you can reference later.
Point is, save your Markdown and TAF reports ONCE and that's it.
Every time you reference it, you will be looking at exactly what you need to be addressing and you can just get on with it.
Where was that post season template again? I mean it’s been awhile since I last did it… **Starts digging into the depths of Downloads folder**
Saved Views allows you to create a folder, let’s call it END OF SEASON for fun, and save everything you need for this time of the season in one place. No more digging!
With Style Arcade’s Rollups, you are able to understand summaries of which categories, brands, colours, pricing and products drove the most retail profit. Simply build a Category/Brand/Pricing Performance report ONCE, and all you have to do is change the SEASON filter to the required season. EOS reporting done in 2 clicks of a button.
Let’s get even deeper - using Style Arcade’s Size Curves, you can see INSTANTLY by region/category/brand/style exactly which sizes sold out too early, and which sizes didn’t even sell in markdown - so you don’t make the same mistakes next season.
THIS is how you unlock growth.
THIS is how you actually make an impact.
THIS is how you don’t spend your whole day buried in reporting.
To understand how Style Arcade can save you time and unlock hidden sales and profit from your products - book in with one of our super chill team to show you what we can achieve for your brand.
About the Author
Madeline is an experienced fashion buyer & merchandise planner with over 14 years working in international luxury brands such as Prada, Burberry and Coach. After experiencing first-hand how much better life can be with fashion technology, she just cannot go back to a world where #REF can ruin her day #iykyk