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Range Planning in Retail

Understanding Range Planning In Retail

Most retailer feels a shiver down their spine when it comes to “Range Planning”. 

And why not? 

It’s a critical task that requires careful consideration, strategic thinking, and an understanding of customer needs and preferences at a deeper level.

It’s an inseparable part of retail operations that emphasizes selecting and stocking the right products in the right quantities. Using retail planning retailers can optimize their inventory, reduce waste, and boost their overall sales.

The end goal of range planning is to meet the customers’ demands and provide them with an exceptional user experience. But with a plethora of factors to consider including the trends, seasonality, and supply chain disruptions, range planning can be quite tricky.

In this post, we will share the secret steps that you can consider to master range planning in retail.

Benefit of Range Planning for Retailers

With effective range planning retailers can ensure that the right products are available at the right time, in the right place, and at the right price. It also helps in improving the overall shopping experience for customers by making it easier to find what they are looking for and discover new products. 

Additionally, with range planning retailers can reduce waste and costs associated with overstocking or understocking. Overall, range planning plays a critical role in driving profitability and growth for retail businesses.

Secret Tips To Master Range Planning in Retail

Know Your Customer

Range planning can’t be as effective if you are not aware of your customers. Before you even start to plan your product range you should have a clear understanding of who your target audience is, what are their needs and how much are they willing to spend on it.

One effective way is to conduct market research and get insights into your customers’ demographics, lifestyles, shopping habits, and purchasing behavior.

Define Your Product Strategy

Once you are done understanding your target audience it’s time to focus on defining the product strategy. Start by identifying the type of product or categories you want to offer to your customers. Make sure whatever you choose perfectly aligns with your brand promise and the needs of customers.

To achieve this you can consider factors like price point, quantity levels, and features of the product.

Analyze Sales Data

Identifying patterns and trends goes a long way in making informed range planning decisions, and you can easily achieve this by analyzing historical data. This data will give you a deep understanding of the type of products that sell, when they sell, and why they sell.

This information will pave the way forward to determine the right products to sell, products to avoid, and find the gap in the assortment.

Develop a Product Lifecycle Plan

Product lifecycle management includes creating a plan for each product category you want to offer. In this plan, you must include product introduction, growth, maturity, and decline stages.

This process will ensure a balanced assortment, and efficient inventory management and help you manage the flow of new products.

Plan for Seasonality

Certain categories have strong seasonal patterns, for such products, you need to create an effective seasonal plan. To create this plan, you need to take into account aspects like peak selling periods, transitional periods, and off-season demand.

You must ensure that all these fluctuations are reflected in your assortment & your inventory has sufficient stock during the peak seasons. 

Manage Breadth and Depth

Managing breadth and depth in your product line is a delicate yet crucial aspect of range planning. You need to strike a perfect balance between offering enough variety within a specific category and having enough depth in your product line. This includes offering various styles, sizes, colors, and features that appeal to a broad spectrum of customers. 

However, you need to be mindful that you don’t fall for over-assortment while still providing enough options to meet customer needs. Offering too many products can lead to confusion, clutter, and inefficiencies in inventory management. 

Conclusion

Mastering range planning in retail is crucial for maximizing sales, minimizing inventory costs, and delivering a compelling shopping experience. By following the steps outlined in this post, you can create a well-curated product assortment that resonates with your target market. Remember to stay focused on your brand identity, keep your product mix balanced, and continuously analyze customer feedback to refine your offering.