Retailers and Suppliers Ensure High On-Shelf Availability

1010data’s retail analytic application provides predictive recommendations to ensure high on-shelf availability of products


New YorkDec. 13, 20131010data, Inc., a provider of big data discovery and data sharing, announced the release of 1010data Shelf Monitor, an innovative on-shelf availability (OSA) analytical application that alerts businesses when products are potentially unavailable on a store shelf. 1010data Shelf Monitor analyzes billions of data points and uses proprietary predictive analytics to determine whether a product is potentially missing from store shelves. Product alerts notify store managers and suppliers when they need to conduct in-person store shelf checks to ensure that products are readily available.

Product Unavailability: The Silent Scourge of Retail

Retailers’ perpetual inventory systems are notoriously inaccurate and do not completely reflect actual product availability on the shelf. It is a given that products were perhaps stolen, misplaced within the store or not properly placed on the shelf, and thus unavailable for sale to the consumer.  For retailers that carry thousands or even tens of thousands of items in a store, continually policing store shelves is a difficult, manual and costly task.

Moreover, according to the study, On-Shelf Availability: An Examination of the Extent, the Causes, and the Efforts to Address Retail Out-Of-Stocks by Daniel Corsten and Thomas Gruen, when customers do not find the specific products they want on the shelf, 31 percent buy them at another store, 22 percent substitute a different brand and 11 percent do not buy the item at all. In short, product unavailability is a retail problem that leads to missed sales opportunities, inventory challenges, decreased customer loyalty and customer defections.

The Power of Big Data in Retail

By analyzing historical sales patterns on an item-by-item and store-by-store basis, 1010data Shelf Monitor uses big data and proprietary algorithms to transform a fully manual process into a laser-focused, data-driven activity. Crunching through billions of data points in mere seconds, 1010data Shelf Monitor is an application that takes inventory management one step further by enabling retailers and suppliers to know what’s happening on the shelf. This allows retailers and suppliers to proactively manage product availability issues in order to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction, lower inventory costs and larger shopping baskets.

1010data Shelf Monitor provides a practical solution to the problem of managing shelf availability for thousands of shelf-keeping units (SKUs). Key features of the 1010data Shelf Monitor include:

  • Alerts about OSA issues through active monitoring of discrepancies in sales patterns.
  • Targeted lists pinpointing stores with shelf availability issues to enable quick updates to forecasting and store distribution plans.
  • Lost sales analyses that examine the number of days OSA issues occurred and total lost sales.
  • Dashboard analytics on all OSA issues related to products, stores and lost dollars.
  • Day-of-week analyses highlighting specific days of the week when OSA issues are more likely to occur.
  • Low availability product analyses showing which products have more OSA issues.
  • Lost sales forecasts of potential missed sales opportunities.

In vendor portal environments, suppliers using 1010data Shelf Monitor become active participants in OSA issues to not only improve product availability, but also help avoid the brand switching that occurs when a particular item is not available for sale. Moreover, with active supplier involvement, 1010data’s retail customers gain significant increases in the intellectual capital attacking the OSA problem.

“Empty shelves mean lost sales and reduced customer loyalty, and in today’s competitive retail space, chains that solely rely on inventory management systems are at a competitive disadvantage and are potentially alienating customers,” said Jim Mattecheck, vice president of retail solutions at 1010data. “As a customer-focused solution, 1010data Shelf Monitor leverages the power of big data and predictive analytics to allow retailers to capitalize on the data they already have. This will improve the shopping experience for customers, while bolstering sales and decreasing supply chain costs.”

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