Retailers report a 550% increase over last year in the use of social media for merchandise planning!

What a difference a year makes! We have seen a dramatic increase in the use of social media by merchandisers in the past year, as retailers look for innovative ways to enhance their merchandising decisions.

Just released this week, our 2014 Merchandise Planning and Allocation Benchmark Survey revealed that retailers are focused on expanding their use of social media and other technology solutions to deliver the products consumers want in a seamless shopping experience.

While the use of social media for merchandise is still a fairly new idea, BRP’s survey of top retailers uncovers considerable windows of opportunity for retailers to optimize business processes and leverage advanced technology to enhance the effectiveness of merchandise planning and allocation decisions.

Here are some of the key findings that demonstrate the achievements of retailers leveraging technology to improve their merchandise planning processes: MPA Survey Cover

  • Nearly 50% of retailers have integrated business processes and systems across channels
  • 31% of retailers utilize a single inventory across channels
  • 26% of retailers have real-time visibility of in-store/online inventory

Retailers are focused on those areas of improvement to enhance their assortments:

  • 33% of retailers utilize CRM data to feed their business intelligence tools
  • Nearly 40% of retailers use social media to facilitate planning within product development, a 550% increase over last year’s report

I encourage you to read the complete survey report for additional insights on how retailers are focused on improving their merchandise planning and allocation processes.

Download Now: 2014 Merchandise Planning and Allocation Benchmark Survey

As always, I welcome your thoughts and opinions. Please share your comments below.

Ken Morris

Ken was CEO and President of LakeWest Group and founder of CFT Consulting and CFT Systems, a retail software company. Earlier in his career, he held retail information technology executive positions at Lord & Taylor, Filene’s (Macy’s), Talbots, Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, and Sears. His experience is with strategy, selection development and deployment of retail management systems and processes.


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