Smart Merchandising

Maximize Footwear Sale; Plan, Allocate, & Replenish Accurately

India is the second largest footwear manufacturer, accounting for about 13% of footwear production globally. Due to its high population, 90% of the manufactured footwear caters to the domestic demand itself. Traditionally India has had brands like Bata and Liberty offering a wide variety of footwear to fulfill the needs of Indian consumers. As global brands like Puma, Nike, adidas, Asics, etc. establish their foothold in India, many Indian brands are also launching new designs and coming up strong.

A clear direction for planning for the upcoming season/year is needed since footwear production is a long-drawn process with heavy capital investment. It also needs to be distributed and replenished efficiently to avoid overstocking or understocking. Finally, they have to price optimally and discount accurately to keep customers coming back for more and for keeping the cash flowing.

Planning of footwear

Effective planning gives accurate direction for the entire year or season. To plan for footwear, brands need to understand what attributes or product elements are working in the market so the design team can address the trend accordingly. While Increff Merchandising Software, Pro uses up to 7 attributes to define each article, its Enterprise version drills deeper to analyze up to 70 attributes.

These attributes will support your product masters.

What should be in your product masters?

A lot of new brands are confused about what features of the product should form the attribute hierarchy. While doing planning, you need to understand what your brand is known for and create an article master accordingly.

If you are a sports shoe brand, the type of your soles and the material of your insoles can be the main components. While if you are a fashion footwear brand, you might want to analyze factors like heel height, uppers style, or embellishment. While doing planning, other than the main category and subcategory, it is ideal to stick to 2 to 3 core attributes. When you plan based on past data, going into too many attributes in granularity can only cause a headache.

Planning your size set?

Footwear and innerwear are categories where sizes cannot be tinkered with. Uncomfortable shoes may lead to physical ailment which is the last thing you want your customers to talk about.

Analysis of past sales gives insights into what pivotal sizes can be produced in larger quantities. Most footwear brands do not like to eliminate any sizes and keep an option open to clients. However, analytics will help determine the ratios at which they need to be produced. Ratios can be extrapolated to overall buy.

Selling online

The online shoe market is ever-growing. Globally, with a CAGR of 7.25%, it is predicted to leap up to US$ 543.90 billion by 2030. This helps the brand to reach tier 2 and tier 3 cities, and experiment with the market fit. Analyzing the conversion rate based on views and average ticket value helps automate digital marketing.

Another huge problem for online commerce is the unusually high return rates. Tracking the return reasons and taking calls on top returned styles can help bring this rate down. Ideally, the return rate should stay in the 5-10% range if you are selling online and 1-3% for offline stores.

Most footwear brands face return issues due to size mismatch or material discomfort. To combat size issues, producing half sizes in minimal quantities will give size flexibility to customers. Material quality can be upgraded in coalition with your manufacturer. If you are a brand that has an in-house production facility, allow your design team to do some material experiments.


The Indian footwear industry has moved from a sophisticated low-cost to a medium and world-class market supplier. Modern & State-of-the-art retail technologies are being adopted to suit the exact international requirements and standards. In collaboration with international online retailers like Amazon and Walmart, multiple private footwear brands have joined cross-border e-commerce and progressed on the path toward digital transformation. As the footwear market is expected to grow exponentially, accurate demand analysis and a check on the cost of production are needed to propel it.


Upgrading delivery experience – Going beyond warehouses/ distribution centers

Until recently people hailed 5-day delivery as quick. Nowadays, consumers expect delivery to take no longer than 24 – 48 hours. With speed and agility spearheading order fulfillment, the time between booking an order and receiving it is decreasing. Retailers with digital presence have felt the need for a better supply chain to manage customer expectations. 

Going by the statistics, an incompetent order fulfillment strategy can lead to business loss. Thus, it’s imperative for retailers and brands to bring their A-game.

E-commerce order fulfillment process: Examining the current situation

E-commerce order fulfillment was mostly carried out by centrally located warehouses or distribution centers far from customer locations. Since inventory allocation was solely based on rough estimates determined by past years’ sales patterns. Depending on where the fulfillment center is, shipping costs and delivery times would vary.

Let’s expand on them in detail.  

Loopholes in this strategy

When fragmented data from multiple distribution centers and warehouses is combined, managing the high volume without an ideal omnichannel order management strategy becomes a mammoth task.

The current system has the following problems:

1. Inefficient warehouse management: Warehouses are intricate ecosystems where multiple processes work simultaneously. An improperly managed warehouse leads to inaccurate inventory information, inefficient space utilization, and mismanaged picking procedures, all impacting business productivity and employee efficiency at various levels.

2. Mismanagement of peak sales: Incorrectly assigned inventory is a surefire way to stockouts – every retailer’s nightmare. Its inefficient tracking and management lead to stockouts that not only impact profitability and sales but also cause customer dissatisfaction and reduce loyalty.

3. Delayed delivery: Longer delivery times have now become the quickest way to lose customer trust. Especially if they have paid extra for expedited shipping, they expect delivery within the promised timeframe. Delayed order fulfillment is often due to inefficient warehouse operations, inventory mismanagement, and inaccurate demand analysis.

4. High fulfillment costs: In order to meet the strict delivery timelines, brands opt for faster shipping options. Items when shipped from a centralized location far from customers, take longer to reach and cost more. High shipping and logistics cost reduces profit margins and overall brand revenue.

5. Lost sales opportunities: Inaccurate demand assessment leads to improper inventory distribution, overstocking, and stockout scenarios. Without timely replacement or replenishment, brands lose sales and revenue. If styles are available in stores but not exposed to online sales channels, their visibility reduces thus impacting total turnaround time and increasing chances of markdowns. 

Using an omnichannel approach to enable faster order fulfillment

Growth in e-commerce and the need for instant gratification have met with unexpected challenges. Such bottlenecks in the supply chain prevent brands from reaching their full growth potential hence it’s critical to address them.

Increff omnichannel order management and merchandising solutions are designed to extend efficiency and visibility across all retail sales channels. 
Let’s see how they can up your delivery game:

1. Boosting warehousing efficiency – Increff WMS is a web-based multi-channel order management system that provides a single view of inventory across all marketplaces with real-time order inventory sync. Inventory serialization enables digitization and automation to achieve 100% First-Time-Right operations. Order priority-wise picklist generation and optimized pick paths ensure ~99.9% order fulfillment within the promise-to-ship time. 

2. Managing peak sales- Robust tech stack and real-time inventory order sync ensure complete synergy between the marketplace and warehouse. It prevents chances of excess order cancellations which lead to customer distrust. The auto-replenishment feature sends prompts when a fast-selling stock is getting exhausted so it can be reordered on time to avoid stockouts.

3. Enabling 24-48 hrs delivery – By conducting pin code level demand analysis with Increff Merchandising Software regional utilization module, brands can distribute inventory according to existing demand. This brings inventory closer to the customer and ensures faster order fulfillment from the nearest location. 
4. Lower fulfillment costs – With Increff Cloud Warehousing service, brands can outsource inventory and order management to experts to reduce CapEx and improve operational efficiency.

5. Enable Omnichannel retailing– Increff O2O (Offline to Online) allows brands to expose store inventory to online sales channels for better visibility and faster order fulfillment from stores. 

Omnichannel order fulfillment for the win 
Undoubtedly, an omnichannel fulfillment system can augment and enhance your sales and revenue. In this day and age, where time equals money, businesses need to optimize their processes to enhance productivity. Intrigued to know how our suite of retail tech solutions can empower your business? Head to our website

Business Smart Merchandising

Challenges in Kidswear Merchandising – Solve with Increff Merchandising Software

One of the fastest-growing retail categories in the last few years is Children and Baby Apparel. According to Fortune Business Insights, a global market research firm, the baby apparel market is projected to reach USD 82.54 billion by 2027. Hence, it becomes critical for brands catering to this segment, or looking to expand offerings, to logically access customer demands and stock accurately.

Using appropriate demand forecasting software and merchandising techniques can be an innovative and profitable experience. 

What merchandising fundamentals are required of you? What is the best way to display children’s clothing in your shop? How can you successfully implement this category? etc. This blog helps you address these questions effectively.

Determine your product and size range

Choose the right product line depending on the target market you wish to merchandise for. Is this your primary category, or an optional category that only impulsively interests your customers?

I. Define your categories and sub-categories.

As the primary step it is important to determine the category you wish to cater to, will it be apparel or non-apparel? If you choose apparel, you need to segment it into sub-categories further, for example, tops, bottoms, and sets, and then dive deep within sub-categories, adding new levels of attributes, for example, under tops: T-shirt, shirt.

II. Define the age group.

In children (Boys and Girls), there are 4 age groups generally.

New-born = 0-1 years, where the baby’s growth is rapid and multiple products might fit in here. Probable sizes: New-born, 0-3M, 3-6M, 6-9M, 9-12M (M=Months)

Babies = 1 – 3 years, decent baby growth, still multiple products might fit in. Probable sizes: 12-18M, 18-24M, 24-36M (M = Months)

Kids = 3-10 years can be explored with more fashionable products. Probable sizes: 3-4Y, 5-6Y, 7-8Y, 9-10Y (Y= Years)

Youth = 11-15 years old = Generic products Probable sizes: 11-12Y, 13-14Y, 15-16Y (Y= Years)

Seasonality is a consideration when establishing your clothesline for kids. If your products are seasonal, you’ll need to modify your product selection frequently, back-to-school and summer vacations are common examples.

In-store merchandising

To attract kids, it is essential to keep the visuals engaging and vibrant, as you want them to appeal to kids, entering the store, as much as you want them to appeal to their parents. Hence, communication between the buying department, space planners, and the in-store merchandising team is vital to success.

The collection must utilize the given space effectively to showcase the maximum product range. Based on each collection launched, Increff Merchandising Software provides an opportunity to give story-wise displays. It intakes your planogram as a constraint, and past performances while doing allocation so as to not exceed the space availability and intelligently allocate and replenish the desired styles. Regular replenishments and reordering must be done throughout the season to save the business from missing out on any potential sales opportunity.

Since for every new season advanced planning is necessary, retailers must become familiar with the appropriate purchase cycles. It helps brands streamline their supply chain and avoid logistical losses. Analytical decision-making tools such as Increff Merchandising Software can forecast appropriate buy numbers based on the available sale data and demand.

During the end of the season, the stock that has not received good sales can be moved out. You could advertise discounts to entice shoppers to buy. Discounting needs to be done judiciously to avoid the margins taking a huge hit.

Growth in Kidswear

To grow your business, you must not just look at the category, but also look a little deeper keeping the age group and gender as primary attributes.

New Born – Boys – Bottom –  Pants – Knitted Pants.

This top-bottom approach will give actual insights, that exactly which category, under which age group and gender is working well, and accordingly, you can plan to grow your business.