One of the most difficult decisions any business owner needs to make is how he or she will stock the store. The quality of inventory-related choices have far-reaching effects on many other important aspects of companies' everyday operations. If the amount of product isn't correctly scaled to account for consumer demand, too many items could be ordered, resulting in wasted money, or too few could be stocked, making for disappointed customers. Both of these scenarios can mean in falling short of financial goals, ultimately holding organizations back from making improvements.
With the use of inventory software, managers can quickly and easily take shoppers' buying habits and economic conditions into account to reduce or increase stock as needed. Plus, inventory technology allows decision-makers to gain more insight into how well certain products are doing, which can affect an array of future choices. By taking manual record keeping out of the equation, leaders also free up time for employees, who will be able to dedicate more of their effort to serving customers.
Americans spending more
According to the new Intuit Consumer Spending Index, which measures the buying habits of Mint.com users across 20 categories, shoppers are more willing to boost their spending levels. In the first quarter of 2013, American households are spending up to approximately $4,200 each month, while they had only spent $3,870 on average during the first quarter of 2009.
Intuit noted that food-related purchases are seeing significant shifts. Between 2009 and 2013, Americans increased their grocery spending by 17 percent, and the source noted that this is largely attributable to the popularity of "premium groceries," such as those sold at Whole Foods Market and similar specialty shops. At the same time, consumers have allocated more of their budgets to dining out over the past four years, showing 11 percent growth.
Gallup additionally showed that while daily consumer spending remained relatively stable in the first quarter, at $86 per day in April compared to $83 in February and $89 in March, improvements over a longer period of time have been significant. In 2009, households spent an average of $60 every day, and this April's figures now match what they were for the same month in 2006.
As signs of an economic rebound continue to roll in, retailers can get ready for the rush by using inventory management software to ensure their stocking efforts can support current levels of demand.