Keeping products on shelves is one of the simplest and most important requirements for bringing in revenue, and companies often can't do it on their own. While keeping a handwritten spreadsheet may once have sufficed, it is necessary for retailers to update their inventory technology to reflect consumer needs, as well as those of the enterprise itself. Relying on manual data input can leave businesses open to errors, which can be costly whether those occur because of incorrectly-ordered stock, loss of reputation stemming from the inability to meet patrons' demands or violations of inventory compliance regulations. Inventory management software can reduce the likelihood that these mistakes will happen.
One of the reasons these technologies are so helpful is that inventory requirements can change. In the United States, the recession affected how much product companies kept in store, since consumers were spending conservatively. Fortunately, economic indicators seem to be improving, and this means retailers have to readjust. Inventory management software can make this process simple and painless.
Sales rising early in 2013
According to Fox Business, the most recent data from Redbook Research found that sales rose by 0.7 percent during the first two weeks of March across national chain stores. Year-over-year, these figures were up nearly 3 percent. Additionally, Redbook forecast that future readings for March will reflect increases as well, remaining strong through the upcoming Easter weekend.
However, large corporate retailers are not the only ones seeing growth as of late. MasterCard Advisor's latest SpendingPulse for Small Business Report saw consumer spending grow by 2.7 percent in February 2013 from over one year ago. Perhaps most significantly, smaller companies have once again outpaced their bigger counterparts, a trend that has continued through 16 of the 17 months since September 2011.
The research noted that improvements prevailed even in light of winter storms in many U.S. regions.
"The severity and the timing of the major winter storms that occurred on weekends this February had a negative impact on spending at restaurants," Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president of market insights for MasterCard Advisors, explained. "Saturdays tend to be the busiest day of the week for restaurants, but winter storm Nemo essentially shut down New England on Saturday, February 9th. However, we did begin to see a positive pick-up in sales as the weather improved and consumer optimism returned."
As spring takes hold, many businesses may continue to see boosts in sales as shoppers enjoy sunnier weather. With consumers ready to shop, retailers should get their inventory in order with the help of inventory technology.