Walmart’s Retail Link is a comprehensive tool used to pull Point-Of-Sale (POS) data. This data has many uses for retailers who sell through Walmart. The data predicts buying patterns and trends, Inventory management and ensures supply chain reliability and provides other important information. POS data goes together with customer satisfaction and brand awareness. Due to the amount of data that it can provide its sellers, there are professionals dedicated to interpreting Retail Link data. Retail Link provides in depth data that lends itself to business growth.
Predicting Buying Patterns and Trends
It might be possible to predict a fashion trend as it tends to be adapted from the previous season’s runway. In the rest of retail, it is not so easy. Large companies hire many analysts and data scientists to go over their sales and inventory. They use POS data, inventory results, business and political trends…the list can go on. Retail Link provides a way for any size business to capture results.
Which Products are Selling?
Sellers want to know what is going to sell and how much return they are going to get on their products. Utilizing POS data, they can gauge why one item is selling more than another. They can look at the sales over a whole year or season to determine if and when the product sees spikes in activity. Suppliers can also look at an item’s activity when it is placed on promotion or its price is altered.
Seasonal Product Activity
POS data is especially helpful during the holiday season. Suppliers want to know what to sell to capitalize on the increased traffic. Using the collected data, a seller can look at all the products they have in inventory and how well they did the previous year. If a seller has an item that sells out over the holiday season, they might want to order extra. In turn, they will be able to identify items that do not sell as well during the holidays and remain in the warehouse. Having an educated idea of what to expect keeps the bottom line in check.
Keeping the Shelves Stocked
A retailer’s worst fear has two parts to it: first, is running out of a product; second, is having too much inventory on hand. Retail Link data can enable a supplier to understand what the customer wants. Taking the time to look at purchase patterns and trends helps the supplier understand inventory management. If a retailer knows how many “gingerbread” scented candles they are selling around the holidays, they can predict the inventory level to have on hand. Conversely, a Walmart seller can hold production of an “ocean breeze” scent in December when its sales dip down. This eliminates waste and unnecessary sales and price reductions.
It also ensures that enough product is on hand for the demand. The days of guessing are gone when you know how to use Walmart’s massive data on Retail Link. As a Walmart supplier, sellers have the benefit of high traffic and visibility due to the store’s recognition. That however, means there is a lot of competition. Suppliers who utilize data from the Retail Link system have an advantage. They learn about their customer, what they are buying and when they are buying it.
A Happy Customer is a Repeat Customer
POS data has the ability to influence customer satisfaction and brand awareness. How likely is a customer to purchase from a supplier that is out of inventory on a popular item? How likely are they to purchase from a supplier who prices incorrectly? Retail Link helps to resolve these common issues. Through the data reported, a retailer can stay stocked on the products their customers want.
Anticipating the Customer’s Need
These reports create a positive customer experience by anticipating their needs. Anticipating the needs of customers is a huge trend in customer service. In Walmart Stores, associates are trained to know that if a customer asks about product “x” to show them product “y”. As a Walmart supplier, it is important to do the same by making sure their products are readily available for purchase when a consumer wants them.
Increasing Brand Awareness
Dissatisfied customers talk but so do happy ones. If a customer has a pleasant shopping experience, they are inclined to talk about it. With POS data, a brand is prepared as much as possible to ensure a pleasant and efficient shopping experience. Happy consumers will spread the word of that brand and their products. This will increase brand awareness without an expensive marketing campaign. Thus, saving money and increasing revenue at the same time.
Retail Link is a registered trademark of Walmart Stores, Inc.
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