June 20, 2012

Merchandise Forensics: Channel Skew

We have a lot of channels to manage these days.  And while the pundits tell us that we have to integrate all of these channels in one big bowl of "omni-channel" mastery, customers tell us that each channel serves a unique purpose.

The table below represents a month of merchandise category demand, by advertising channel.  In the bottom half of the table, red cells are at or above average, whereas blue cells are below average.

The catalog channel skews to Mens Apparel, Womens Apparel, and Footwear.

Email skews to Footwear and Cosmetics.

Search skews to Mens Apparel, Footwear, and Accessories.

Affiliates skew like Catalogs ... this is a signature of one channel that supports another ... customers are buying via an affiliate after receiving a catalog.

Online demand skews to Mens Apparel, Cosmetics, and Accessories.

Social disproportionately skews to Womens Apparel.  This is important.  Pundits tell us that 900,000,000 worldwide are on Facebook.  However, the highly-motivated minority who purchase via Social are fundamentally different than the core population.  This requires a different style of merchandise management ... not everything can be integrated when those shopping via this channel are so different.

I frequently find that Search yields a different mix than is illustrated here.  Your Search program is ultimately going after an infrequent shopper, one that has a different merchandise preference than what is purchased by core customers.

I frequently find that Email yields a different mix, one that is influenced by discounts/promotions, and/or one that is influenced by the very best customers.  In most of my projects, the more loyal a customer becomes, the more likely the customer is to purchase via Email.

Use Merchandise Forensics to understand customer differences by channel, then manage each channel in a unique, personalized manner.


  1. Can you do a tutorial of this? I want to learn how to do this because I want to see the comparison of men and women’s apparel merchandise category demand of my company.

  2. Just sum total demand by channel and merchandise category, then calculate percentages. Easy!


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