Member Article

Survey Finds Fashion Retailers Struggling with Buying Process

-Online Retail Agency Identifies Opportunity for Sector to Make Better Use of Technology to Drive Buying Decisions

Pure London, Olympia, London 21 August 2012 – More than 30% of retailers, buyers and managing directors attending Pure London this week admitted that they would find it difficult to record all of the crucial stock information that they collected at the show.

This was among the key findings from a show-floor-survey of 100 attendees carried out by Anya Media during the first two days of Pure (London Olympia, 19-21 August 2012), which also revealed that 31% of respondents find it a tricky task to share their findings with their wider team.

Attendees were more certain when it came to having accurate margins at their fingertips for everything they were considering, with 60% of respondents confident that they have a grasp of prices and potential profits while at the show, but the difficulties that come with capturing everything from an event like Pure are clear.

“Retailers visit a huge number of suppliers at a show like Pure,” says Malcolm Duffit, Ecommerce Director, Anya Media. “Buyers will be jotting down a lot of information from each visit, like the prices of each item, stock availability and potential profits.

“For the typical buyer who may be visiting up to twenty suppliers in one day, recording and storing all of this can be a nightmare, especially as many will use scraps of paper, the backs of cigarette packets or whatever comes to hand to do so! At the same time, they will often come home exhausted, with an untidy file full of order sheets from their visit as well as a host of catalogues and fliers stuffed into carrier bags – not always the best preparation for a key buying decision.”

More than 50% of those surveyed were not using software at all for planning and buying stock. And even among those using it, more than half (55%) said they were using old-school spreadsheets for their merchandising and buying decisions compared to just one in four (25%) making use of dedicated merchandising software.

In these tough economic times for retail, the cost of spending additional money on software could be perceived as the main reason for this, but in fact, Anya Media’s survey revealed the opposite.

“Our survey finds that software being free or low cost is much less likely to influence fashion retailers’ buying decisions for fear of that the software may not actually do the job,” Malcolm continued. “Most would opt to spend more money to use software that will ultimately make them more efficient, work better as a team and increase the probability of the business.

“It seems that for the fashion industry, value that the technology will potentially bring them to a business remains the key criteria for buying software, rather than simply how cheap it is.

“At Anya, we believe that having the right software in place can be key in helping retailers stay in control of the buying process, particularly at a show like Pure. Ensuring that retailers have all the information they need in one place to make the right buying decisions for their customers is vital to any successful fashion business.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Teradata .

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