This table, from the Merchandise Forensics booklet, illustrates A/B/C items for an actual business.
Remember, I categorize A/B/C/D/F items in the following manner ... "A" = Top 5% in Demand volume and Top 5% in Unit volume ... "B" = Top 5% in Demand volume, Bottom 95% in Unit volume ... "C" = Bottom 95% in Demand volume, Top 5% in Unit Volume ... "D" = Top 45% in Demand Volume, Not In A/B/C Category ... "F" = All Other Items.
Ok, back to the business being analyzed in the booklet.
In total, A/B/C items dropped from 120 in 2011 to 105 in 2012 to 94 in 2013. In other words, the number of highly successful items (which comprise 6-9% of items and 50% of annual demand) is on the decline.
Look at the middle portion of the table. This is where we depict the number of existing items. This business reasonably maintains high demand items (A/B), but has cut way back on the number of low demand / high unit volume items. In other words, this business is de-emphasizing low price point items.
Look at the bottom portion of the table. Here we observe a complete meltdown. The merchandising team sold 29 A/B/C new items two years ago - and only sells 18 A/B/C new items today. Notice that new "B" items remain relatively flat - suggesting that the merchandising team continues to churn out new, expensive items. Notice that both "A" and "C" new items are in free fall - these have lower price points.
This is a case where the merchandising team is fully accountable for the meltdown of the business. They are not offering enough new items, and they are de-emphasizing low price points.
I've been in a lot of meetings in my career. Of course, merchants are under a tremendous amount of pressure, and for good reason. But at some point in a meeting, especially when business is below plan, the merchandising team turns on the marketing team. It's "their" fault. If it is a catalog business, then the wrong customers are being mailed. If it is an e-commerce business, then email and search programs are not targeting the "right" customer.
The marketer must have this data at their disposal. Must. Have. This. Data. The marketer has all the metrics in the world to prove that catalogs, or email campaigns, or paid search, or social, or mobile works. None of it, and I mean none of it, matters when the merchandising team is making glaring mistakes.
This example, which I see happen all the time, has nothing to do with the marketing team. The merchandising team is hurting this business.
Purchase on Amazon (click here).
Contact Kevin (firstname.lastname@example.org) for your own, customized project.
You ask your staff to come up with a "Discount Strategy" for your August email campaigns. Is this a strategy, or is this a tactic ...
It is time to find a few smart individuals in the world of e-mail analytics and data mining! And honestly, what follows is a dataset that y...
Yeah, that's a lousy picture. Too bad. Today is essay day. If you don't want to read something long, stop here. I spend a...
Say you manage a paid search program. Last month you spent $100,000 and the following happened. Cost = $100,000. Clicks = 200,000. Co...