For retailers, cracking the merchandise sizing equation is challenging but imperative to keep customers satisfied and operations profitable. To assist retailers in this effort, Aptos, Inc., a recognized market leader in retail technology solutions, has introduced two powerful new analytic applications to optimize in-store and online size mixes for improved inventory performance, revenues, gross margins and customer loyalty.
Savvy retailers use size curves to decide how to buy and allocate merchandise based on customer demand. However, creating size curves becomes both challenging and complex given the sheer volume of transactional data that must be analyzed, and when inconsistencies in sizing and data anomalies are taken into account.
To help retailers take sizing to a new customer-centric level, Aptos has introduced the Aptos Size Curve Solution and Aptos Size Pack Recommender – two new analytic tools that examine massive amounts of data and convert that data into actionable intelligence and recommendations.
The Aptos Size Curve Solution removes the complexity and resolves the challenges inherent in analyzing large volumes of data to pinpoint and prescribe accurate size distributions. Using advanced size analytics based on true customer demand, the solution also identifies ideal store-level size curves and detects outliers to boost sales and gross margin return on investment by size.
Once optimal size curves are identified, the Aptos Size Pack Recommender allows retailers to create optimal pack configurations with the right sizes pre-packed for online and/or physical stores to avoid stock-outs and overstocks in each store location or channel, while maximizing size selling within packs. With pack profiles, retailers can leverage multi-pack buying to maximize service levels, improve shipping efficiency, minimize manual handling, simplify allocation, ensure consistent size spreads and reduce costs.
“Size does matter – it’s a ‘ubiquitous concern’ for retailers selling everything from wedding dresses to water heaters,” said Greg Girard, program director, Merchandise Strategies, at IDC. “In the merchandise planning continuum of anticipate-forecast-optimize and execute, analytics give retailers insight into ‘true demand’ based on demographics, preferences and dimensionalities – essential given that retailers can have billions of store size combinations across the various buying seasons.”
“Having to analyze overwhelming data volumes, facing fierce time constraints to understand and apply size profiles, and knowing when to throw out anomalies are all enormous challenges solved by our new Aptos Size Curve and Size Pack Recommender solutions,” said Nick Leeper, director, Product Management, Analytic Applications for Aptos. “Customers become frustrated if they cannot find their size, and each lost sale can then become a lost customer. With these two new analytic applications, retailers can improve inventory performance, increase sales and achieve higher gross margins – all while improving the customer experience and driving long-term shopper loyalty.”
One retailer leveraging Aptos technology for size curves is Destination XL Group, Inc. The company is the largest specialty retailer of big and tall men’s apparel sold online and through stores under several brands including DestinationXL and Casual Male. Speaking on a recent webinar, Debbie McCarthy, vice president of Merchandise Systems Support for Destination XL Group, Inc., said the retailer has some 50 million store size combinations, making size curves critical to its daily business.
“We carry 76 different dress shirt sizes and 66 sport coat and suit sizes, and our customers range from high school students to retirees – a tremendous amount of variation in sizing and customer needs,” said McCarthy. “The Aptos tool is easy to use and with it we can do size curve updates across the retail enterprise in days as opposed to the four-to-six weeks’ turnaround needed with our old tool.”
For more information on how Destination XL Group, Inc. is leveraging Aptos solutions to support its size curve strategy, watch the on demand webinar, Trouble with the Size Curve: How Retailers Can Overcome the Challenge of Localized Sizing.
With over 122,000 stores live on its singular commerce platform available in the cloud, more than 500 retail brands across the globe rely on cloud-ready Aptos solutions to generate over $523 billion in annual revenues.