Top 5 Articles for Understanding the Key Takeaways of 2023

As we wave goodbye to 2023, let’s reflect on the year’s most-read and insightful articles that have shaped our understanding of the ever-evolving business landscape. Whether 2023 met your expectations or surprised you with unforeseen challenges, it undeniably unfolded as a narrative worth exploring. Throughout the year, our focus has been on sharing articles designed to guide retailers through the twists and turns of 2023, preparing them to navigate the complexities ahead. Let’s delve into the top five articles that offer indispensable insights and the key takeaways of 2023 for a successful future ahead.

Unleashing Innovation and Key Takeaways from Seamless Middle-East 2023

“In the ever-changing retail landscape, we wave goodbye to the era of stores as mere transactional spots. Now, they’re vibrant contributors to a bustling omnichannel ecosystem, having transformed profoundly. The lines are blurred across digital and physical realms, and now is the opportune moment to embrace this transformative shift.”

This seismic change took center stage at Seamless Middle-East 2023, where discussions revolved around the implementation of services like buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) and click-and-collect. These services empower customers to place orders online and conveniently pick them up at designated locations. The spotlight also shone on the importance of personalized recommendations, leveraging customer data and advanced analytics, as a crucial element in crafting innovative omnichannel strategies.

Furthermore, the integration of cutting-edge technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and interactive displays was emphasized. These technological marvels are not just tools; they are the bridge between the online and offline realms, engaging customers and providing unique experiences that transcend the limitations of online interactions.

We’re starting off this countdown with our first post on Seamless Middle-East 2023 takeaways. Read it to get some perspective on how much has changed and the things that have stayed the same!

Top 5 Warehouse Management Systems in India for Optimizing Your Supply Chain Efficiency

The wave of the eCommerce revolution continues, as Forrester predicts a staggering $2.3 trillion in sales by 2024. The digital arena is no longer a playground; it’s a battleground where businesses are arming themselves with innovative strategies and tools to stay ahead in the relentless race.

In this blog, we have delved into the realm of Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), exploring the top solutions poised to redefine logistics and supply chain efficiency. Discover how embracing cutting-edge WMS technology can be the game-changer your business needs to navigate the complexities of the modern market landscape. Don’t just keep up—surge ahead with the top WMS insights for 2024.

How to Transform your Fashion Merchandising Strategy for Maximum Customer Satisfaction?

In the ever-shifting realm of fashion, a robust merchandising strategy is not a luxury but a necessity. Understanding the pulse of your customers is the need of the hour; without it, satisfaction remains elusive. Challenges abound in deciphering rapidly changing trends, staying ahead of competition, and meeting diverse customer expectations.

Thoughtful planning ensures product relevance, strategic buying navigates the market dynamics, and efficient allocation prevents stockouts or excess inventory.

This article emphasizes the critical facets of planning, buying, and allocation within a merchandising strategy. The trio synchronizes to optimize resources, prevent overstock or stockouts, and elevate the customer experience.

Technology at The Heart of Fashion Retail – Embracing Sustainability

“Balancing the alignment of supply with current and future demand is a longstanding industry challenge. Overproduction frequently arises when traditional processes, operations, and mindsets hinder retailers from effectively utilizing technology and data.”

In 2023, US retailers faced a concerning scenario with approximately $1.43 in inventory for every $1 in sales, highlighting a potential issue of overstock or excess inventory.

The concept of “sustainability” has been a buzzword in the industry for years, but its significance reached unprecedented levels in 2023 as retailers found themselves overwhelmed by mountains of unsold stock. Addressing the challenges of overproduction and excess inventory, this article explores the pressing need for sustainability in the fashion retail industry.

Anshuman Agarwal, COO and Co-Founder of Increff emphasizes that leveraging digital technologies enables retailers to not only become more agile but also embed sustainable practices at the core of their operations.

How to Increase Retail Sales During Peak Season: 3 Ways a Retail Tech Partner Can Help

According to Forbes, in the year 2023, eCommerce sales brought in 6.31 billion dollars, with 20.8% of that during peak season. By investing in the right technology solutions, retailers can equip themselves to handle the surge in demand during peak season and avoid costly mistakes. Furthermore, technology partners can provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, enabling retailers to tailor their offerings for maximum impact and increase retail sales.

In this article, we will explore how the right peak-season technology partner helps you optimize your operations during peak-season sales, from inventory management to order fulfillment and more.

A few mentions of other top reads:

Best wishes for 2024!

In light of the numerous takeaways from 2023, a key resolution for many retailers in the new year is to embrace a fully data-driven approach. If you’re ready to take this leap, contact us to discover how Increff can assist you in becoming an agile, data-driven retailer and embed sustainability at the core of your operations. Here’s to a prosperous and insightful 2024.


How to put the customer at the center of everything you do to build great products, brands, and companies

Consumer science is the scientific method of forming hypotheses about customer behavior and then testing them. It is the best way to build a culture of customer obsession and to discover what delights customers in hard-to-copy, margin-enhancing ways.

In the current business environment, consumer science is essential for businesses to stay competitive and meet the ever-changing needs of their customers. By understanding what their customers want and need, businesses can develop products and services that are more likely to be successful.

How does consumer science empower the customer obsession mindset?

Customer obsession means a healthy preoccupation with customers’ unanticipated future needs. It is about using a mix of research techniques to put the customer in the center of everything you do so that you begin to see the product through their eyes.

Consumer science empowers the customer obsession mindset by providing businesses with a systematic way to learn about their customers. By using a variety of data collection and analysis methods, businesses can identify patterns in customer behavior and develop hypotheses about what customers want and need.

How does Netflix use consumer science?

Netflix is a company that is known for its customer obsession. The company uses consumer science extensively to improve its products and services.

For example, Netflix used consumer science to develop its recommendation algorithm. The company collected data on how customers watched movies and TV shows and used this data to develop an algorithm that could predict what customers would like to watch next. This algorithm has been one of the key factors in Netflix’s success.

Netflix also uses consumer science to improve its user interface. The company regularly conducts user tests to see how customers interact with its products and services. This feedback is used to make changes to the user interface that make it easier for customers to use.

How to start the revolution in your company?

If you are a product leader or engineering leader, you can start the revolution in your company by starting a discussion on the following questions:

  1. Does your company have well-defined matrices that help you in forming new hypotheses—and also educate your team about delights and margins?
  2. Do you have the ability to gather “sample data” from customers to build a trend line and identify mistakes quickly?
  3. Does your team meet and talk with customers to develop the “voice of the customer” within your organization?
  4. Do you have the ability to do A/B testing—and develop your product intuition?

There is just one more crucial requirement: Patience. Most companies struggle with this in the beginning, and becoming a great company takes about twenty years. Jeff Bezos says that Amazon followed three ideas for 18 years, and that’s what made them successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.

What are your thoughts on consumer science? How do you use consumer science in your company? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

You can read the original article written by Gibson Biddle.


Unleashing Innovation and Key Takeaways from Seamless Middle-East 2023

Event: Seamless Middle-East 2023
Location: Dubai
Date: May 23 – 24,2023

Our team was excited to be part of this year’s Seamless event, engaging with partners, prospects, and clients to discuss upcoming trends and initiatives. This blog summarizes the top four learnings from sessions, meetings, and conversations held during the event.

Four Key Takeaways and Learnings from Seamless Middle-East 2023

1. Transforming buying process with innovative omnichannel strategies

Reiner Lemmens, Group CEO of Geidea, emphasized the significant impact of adopting innovative omnichannel strategies to enhance the customer experience during the Seamless Middle-East 2023 event. His key takeaway resonated with retailers, highlighting the importance of seamlessly integrating online and offline channels to create tailored experiences for customers.

One of the key strategies discussed by Lemmens was the implementation of buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) services. This approach allows customers to conveniently browse and purchase products online and then pick them up at a physical store location of their choice. By offering this option, retailers can cater to customers’ preferences for speed and convenience, leveraging the advantages of both online and offline shopping.

Another strategy mentioned was click-and-collect, which enables customers to place orders online and collect them at a designated location. This method eliminates the need for traditional shipping and allows customers to retrieve their purchases at their convenience. Click-and-collect services provide customers with flexibility and control over their shopping experience, making it a valuable omnichannel strategy.

Personalized recommendations were also emphasized as a crucial aspect of innovative omnichannel strategies. By leveraging customer data and advanced analytics, retailers can offer personalized product suggestions based on individual preferences, previous purchases, and browsing behavior. This level of personalization enhances customer engagement and satisfaction, as customers feel understood and catered to by the retailer.

2. Advancing the purpose of physical retail

Kartik Bhatt, COO of Sharaf Retail, and Andrea Janjua, CEO of Metacom, highlighted the significance of transforming physical stores with creative concepts and smart technology. Their insights emphasized the need to create captivating in-store experiences that can effectively compete with the rising popularity of online shopping.

The discussion emphasized the use of technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and interactive displays to engage customers and provide unique experiences that cannot be replicated online. By incorporating these technologies, retailers can bring a sense of innovation and interactivity to the physical retail environment.

Augmented reality (AR) can be utilized to overlay digital information on real-world objects, enabling customers to visualize products in a more immersive and interactive way. This technology can enhance the shopping experience by providing additional product information, offering virtual try-on features, or creating interactive product demonstrations.

Virtual reality (VR) offers the opportunity to transport customers into virtual showrooms or simulated environments where they can explore products in a dynamic and immersive manner. By immersing customers in virtual experiences, retailers can create a sense of excitement and novelty that traditional shopping experiences may lack.

Interactive displays provide an avenue for customer engagement within the store. These displays can feature touchscreens, interactive product demonstrations, or personalized recommendations based on customer preferences. By encouraging customers to actively participate in the shopping process, retailers can enhance customer involvement and create memorable experiences.

3. Alleviating supply chain pain points

The Seamless Middle-East 2023 event recognized the significance of addressing supply chain challenges to streamline processes and enhance customer satisfaction.

Efficient logistics and delivery play a vital role in the success of retail and e-commerce businesses. The event shed light on innovative solutions for optimizing inventory management, order fulfillment, and last-mile delivery. Attendees gained valuable insights into strategies and technologies that can alleviate supply chain pain points.

One of the key focus areas was inventory management. By leveraging advanced inventory management systems and technologies, retailers can gain real-time visibility into their inventory levels, ensuring optimal stock availability while minimizing excess inventory or stockouts. These solutions enable accurate demand forecasting, automated replenishment, and effective inventory allocation across multiple channels.

Order fulfillment was another pain point addressed at the event. Attendees learned about innovative solutions that streamline the order fulfillment process, including warehouse automation, robotics, and efficient picking and packing techniques. By optimizing these processes, businesses can reduce errors, improve order accuracy, and expedite order processing times, leading to faster delivery and enhanced customer satisfaction.

The last-mile delivery, the final leg of the supply chain, was a crucial area of discussion. Increff showcased innovative strategies for optimizing last-mile logistics, such as route optimization, delivery tracking, and efficient delivery scheduling. By implementing these solutions, retailers can enhance delivery speed, provide accurate delivery updates to customers, and ensure a seamless end-to-end delivery experience.

Addressing supply chain pain points not only improves operational efficiency but also enhances customer satisfaction. By streamlining inventory management, order fulfillment, and last-mile delivery, retailers can reduce lead times, improve order accuracy, and provide timely and reliable delivery, ultimately leading to increased customer loyalty and positive brand experiences.

4. The impact of omnichannel on e-commerce sales

The impact of omnichannel strategies on e-commerce sales was a key topic of discussion at the Seamless Middle-East 2023 event. Arsh Kabir Singh, Senior Sales Director – MENA, APAC & ANZ at Increff, shed light on how adopting an omnichannel approach can significantly boost e-commerce sales.

The key takeaway was the importance of providing a seamless customer journey across multiple channels, such as mobile apps, websites, and physical stores. By delivering a consistent and cohesive experience, businesses can capture customer loyalty and drive sales growth. A seamless omnichannel approach allows customers to start their shopping journey on one channel and seamlessly transition to another without any disruption or loss of information.

The integration of data analytics and automation tools plays a vital role in optimizing the impact of omnichannel on e-commerce sales. By leveraging customer data and utilizing analytics tools, retailers can gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and shopping patterns. This enables businesses to personalize marketing efforts and offers, targeting customers with relevant promotions and recommendations that align with their preferences.

Automation tools further enhance the efficiency of omnichannel strategies. By automating processes such as inventory management, order processing, and customer support, retailers can ensure a smooth and seamless experience for customers. Automation minimizes errors, reduces operational costs, and allows businesses to focus on delivering exceptional customer service.

The impact of omnichannel strategies on e-commerce sales extends beyond customer experience and personalization. Retailers can capture a broader customer base and reach new markets by integrating multiple channels. This expansion of reach and accessibility increases the potential customer pool and can lead to higher sales conversions.

Final Thoughts

Seamless Middle-East 2023 in Dubai provided an enriching experience for attendees interested in the future of retail and e-commerce. The event emphasized the need for businesses to adapt to evolving customer expectations and leverage technology to create engaging experiences both online and in-store. By embracing these insights and implementing relevant strategies, retailers and e-commerce businesses can stay ahead in a competitive market and meet the ever-growing demands of modern consumers.


The Future of E-commerce: Top 5 Industry Forecasts

In the dynamic sphere of commerce, the only constant changes with the continuous reshaping of business landscapes driven by the relentless pulse of technology. This is particularly evident in eCommerce, where traditional trade paradigms are swiftly replaced by innovation, thereby setting the stage for a future we could barely envision just a few years ago.

The pandemic drastically impacted the retail industry when online shopping became the new normal due to lockdowns and social distancing. Regardless of the size or sector, companies had to embrace e-commerce— consequently, the need for a robust online presence became clearer. And now, even though the world has gone back to normal, the e-commerce industry continues to grow and evolve.

A eMarketer’s Worldwide eCommerce Forecast report indicates that in 2023, e-commerce sales will contribute 20.8% of the total retail sales at $6.31 trillion. And this fraction is expected to increase on a year-on-year basis to reach 24% by 2026.

This upward trend is fueled by technological advancements, changing customer behavior and preferences, and increasing borderless trade, signifying more than just a market trend. It is an indication of a profound shift in the way businesses operate worldwide. In this article, we will explore the seismic shifts in the e-Commerce industry in 2023 and offer perspectives on how things might evolve from here. 

Riding the wave of omnichannel retailing

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of having multiple sales channels. Companies with a strong online presence were able to continue operating despite lockdowns and social distancing measures. It pushed companies to embrace omnichannel retailing and cater to changing customer behavior.

The lines between online and offline retail are blurring everyday and brands that don’t still have an onmnichannl presence will fall behind. A report by Forrester predicts that by 2027, 70% of US retail sales will be influenced by digital touchpoints. This trend is driven by consumers’ desire for flexibility, convenience, and personalized experiences. They want the ability to shop anywhere, anytime, and through any medium—online, in-store, or mobile apps.

So, omnichannel retailing presents an extraordinary opportunity for businesses. By integrating multiple sales channels—physical stores, online platforms, social media, and mobile apps—we can provide customers with a unified, seamless shopping experience. This integrated approach helps in customer acquisition and retention and allows us to understand customer behavior across all channels, leading to more targeted marketing and enhanced personalization.

However, realizing an effective omnichannel strategy is no small feat. It requires a deep understanding of the customer’s journey across multiple touchpoints. We must strive to provide a consistent brand experience across all channels, ensuring that the transition from one channel to another is smooth and effortless.

Leveraging data is a crucial aspect of successful omnichannel retailing. With a unified view of customer data, we can create personalized shopping experiences, accurately predict future purchasing behaviors, and streamline inventory management. As we continue to navigate the evolving landscape of eCommerce, embracing omnichannel retailing is not just an option—it is a strategic imperative.

Navigating the evolution of supply chain and logistics

According to Allied Market Research, the global logistics market is projected to reach $12.975 trillion by 2027. As eCommerce continues its explosive growth, the demand for more efficient, transparent, and flexible logistics operations is intensifying. This stands even more true with the ecommerce industry growing at a staggering pace.

Supply chains are becoming more complex as companies expand their reach to cater to a global customer base. The need for real-time visibility, traceability, and predictive capabilities in supply chain management is more critical than ever. Technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, and AI are no longer optional add-ons but essential tools for enhancing operational efficiency, managing risks, and delivering the exceptional service that today’s consumers demand.

In particular, the importance of last-mile delivery in eCommerce logistics is becoming increasingly prominent. According to Business Wire, the global last-mile delivery market size is projected to grow by $143.75 billion between 2022-26

So, we need to consider strategies for optimizing last-mile delivery, such as investing in advanced routing technologies, crowd-sourcing delivery, or leveraging local brick-and-mortar stores as distribution hubs. The goal is to ensure speedy, cost-effective delivery while minimizing the environmental impact.

Yet, the most important realization we need to make is that supply chains and logistics operations are no longer mere back-end functions. They are crucial components of the customer experience, directly influencing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Late or inaccurate deliveries can quickly erode customer trust, underscoring the need for impeccable logistics operations.

The transformative power of AI and ML

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are enabling personalization at a scale that was inconceivable in the past. For instance, AI algorithms can analyze vast customer data and uncover hidden patterns, growth rates and insights about individual shopping behaviors, preferences, and habits.  

This granularity of understanding facilitates the delivery of highly personalized and contextual marketing to our customers, thereby enhancing their shopping experience and boosting customer loyalty. Furthermore, AI-powered predictive analytics is revolutionizing our forecasting and inventory management approach. 

By analyzing historical data, predicting trends, and identifying patterns, these tools allow us to anticipate customer demand with greater accuracy, reduce excess inventory, and optimize supply chain efficiency. This represents not just a leap in operational efficiency but also a significant cost saving, which can be redirected toward other growth-enabling activities.

Another area where AI is making its mark is in customer service. As AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants become increasingly sophisticated, we can automate routine interactions. This enables our human customer service representatives to focus their attention on more complex, value-adding tasks, thus improving overall customer satisfaction.

As we look ahead, the integration of AI and ML into the eCommerce market will only deepen. The potential applications are vast, from visual search and voice recognition to augmented reality shopping experiences. The challenge for us, as business leaders, lies not in merely adopting these technologies but in harnessing their potential in a way that aligns with our strategic objectives and enhances the value we deliver to our customers.

Harnessing the power of big data and analytics in eCommerce

The ever-growing capabilities of big data and analytics have irrefutably shaped how financial leaders view the eCommerce industry. The significance of data in today’s digital age extends beyond simple quantification. It has evolved into a robust tool capable of providing unique insights, predicting trends, and guiding strategic financial decisions.

According to a report from IDC, the global data sphere will grow to 175 zettabytes by 2025, and a significant fraction of this data is poised to come from eCommerce platforms. The complexity and volume of this data necessitate advanced analytics to understand the subtleties and make data-driven decisions.

Big data and analytics are fundamental to understanding consumer behavior. Through data analysis, we can uncover customer preferences and shopping habits patterns, allowing for more targeted marketing and better product recommendations. This increased level of personalization directly correlates with increased customer engagement and sales, thereby optimizing the return on our marketing spend.

From a financial perspective, the real power of big data lies in its ability to enhance decision-making. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies used big data analytics to predict shifts in consumer behavior and adapt their strategies accordingly, a move that helped mitigate the crisis’s financial impact.

However, with the power of data comes the responsibility to protect it. A 2022 study by IBM estimates the average cost of a data breach to be $4.35 million. Consequently, investing in robust data security systems and practices is an ethical and financial obligation. As financial stewards, we must balance the potential of big data with the necessity of ensuring data privacy and protection.

Big data and analytics provide the key to unlocking customer insights, driving financial decision-making, and, ultimately, fostering business growth. However, while exploiting the potential of data, we must remain ever-vigilant on the critical necessity of data security, maintaining the delicate equilibrium between exploration and protection.

Incorporating sustainability into this new business paradigm

With the tides of consumer sentiment shifting towards environmentally conscious and ethically responsible products, companies recognize that sustainability is no longer a mere add-on; it’s a key differentiator that can greatly influence business success. 

A study by NYU Stern’s Center for Sustainable Business reveals that 50% of the growth in consumer packaged goods (CPGs) from 2013 to 2018 came from sustainability-marketed products. Furthermore, according to a 2020 survey by IBM, nearly six in ten consumers surveyed are willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact.

But it’s not just about consumer preferences. Leaders have the responsibility to minimize the environmental footprint of business operations. Within eCommerce, it touches every aspect of the business—from sourcing and packaging to logistics and waste management. 

For instance, adopting sustainable packaging, optimizing logistics to reduce carbon emissions, and investing in circular economy models are ways we can reduce the environmental impact of our businesses.

Pursuing sustainability also makes financial sense. Energy-efficient operations, waste reduction, and streamlined supply chains reduce carbon footprint and can lead to substantial cost savings. Furthermore, companies that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability often attract socially conscious investors, enhancing their reputation and financial stability.

Yes, incorporating sustainability within the eCommerce framework presents its own challenges, such as managing costs and ensuring supply chain resilience. But the rewards—customer loyalty, operational efficiency, and long-term financial viability—far outweigh these roadblocks.

Steering eCommerce into the future

As we stand on the brink of this exciting new era in eCommerce, we are faced with an extraordinary challenge and opportunity. The challenge lies in navigating an increasingly complex landscape marked by rapidly evolving technologies, shifting consumer behaviors, and growing societal and environmental responsibilities. Conversely, the opportunity is in our ability to leverage these changes to drive business growth, innovation, and societal impact.

In the face of this change, the role of a leader is not merely to react but to anticipate, adapt, and innovate. Our responsibility extends beyond steering our organizations toward financial success; we must also contribute to shaping an eCommerce landscape that is efficient, sustainable, and customer-centric.


Increff’s Commitment to Data Security: Attains SOC2 Type2 Certification

Data security has always been a top priority for Increff, and today we are thrilled to announce another major milestone in our commitment to safeguarding our clients’ data. We are proud to share that Increff has successfully attained the System and Organization Controls SOC2 Type2 certification, underscoring our dedication to ensuring the highest standards of data protection. 

In today’s digital landscape, where data breaches and cyber threats are prevalent; implementing robust security measures is paramount. The SOC2 Type2 certification is a rigorous evaluation process that verifies the effectiveness of a company’s security controls and procedures over an extended period. For SaaS companies like Increff, this certification validates their dedication to data security and privacy.

By obtaining SOC2 Type2 certification, Increff has undergone a comprehensive assessment of our internal controls, policies, and procedures. The certification process involved an in-depth audit conducted by an independent third-party auditor, evaluating our systems and practices against the stringent criteria outlined by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). It signifies that our controls are not only designed to meet the required criteria but have also been effectively implemented over time.

This certification is a significant achievement for Increff in the US markets, where data security and privacy regulations are increasingly stringent. It demonstrates our proactive approach to data protection and positions us as a trusted partner for businesses operating in highly regulated industries, such as e-commerce, and more.

“By achieving SOC2 Type2 certification, we are reinforcing our position as a reliable and secure partner for businesses of all sizes. This certification demonstrates our dedication to providing a secure and reliable platform for our clients, empowering them to focus on their core business goals with the confidence that their data is in safe hands.”

-Ravisankar Velidi, Chief Culture Officer & VP Engineering at Increff.

The attainment of this prestigious certification would not have been possible without the relentless efforts of the dedicated Increff team. Their unwavering commitment to upholding the highest data security standards has been instrumental in achieving this milestone. Increff extends its heartfelt gratitude to each team member for their hard work and dedication.

Special recognition is also due to Dr. Harsha E Thennarasu, IT Security Advisor and Researcher, whose invaluable support and guidance played a crucial role in guiding Increff through the certification process. Dr. Thennarasu’s expertise and insights were instrumental in implementing the necessary measures to meet SOC2 Type2 standards.

According to Dr. Thennarasu, “Achieving SOC2 Type2 certification is a significant accomplishment for Increff, particularly as they expand into the US markets. This certification provides clients with the assurance that Increff takes data security seriously and has implemented stringent controls to protect their sensitive information. It has been a pleasure working with a team that is so deeply committed to maintaining the highest standards of data security.”

Obtaining SOC2 Type2 certification validates our unwavering commitment to data securityand provides us with a distinct competitive advantage in the marketplace. This certification is a testament to our dedication to safeguarding our clients’ data, instilling confidence in them, and assuring them that their valuable information is in trustworthy hands. By meeting the rigorous requirements of SOC2 Type2, we demonstrate our steadfast commitment to preserving data privacy, integrity, and availability, thereby fostering strong and enduring relationships with our esteemed customers.

In addition to SOC2 Type2 certification, Increff is proud to hold the ISO 27001:2013 certification and GDPR compliance, further solidifying our commitment to upholding an information security management system that aligns with international standards. These multiple certifications reflect our proactive approach to data security, reassuring clients they can place their utmost trust in our ability to protect their sensitive data effectively. Data security will remain at the core of our operations as we continue to drive innovation and growth. We eagerly anticipate the future and remain fully dedicated to serving our clients with the highest level of integrity and security they deserve.

About Increff

Increff is a retail SaaS company solving complex inventory management & supply chain challenges. Over 200+ global retail brands believe in our end-to-end merchandising and omnichannel inventory management solutions. We empower retailers to enable automated decision-making, bring accuracy to processes, drive sustainable retailing, and achieve incredible efficiency.


Losing out on peak season sales? Here are 3 ways a retail tech partner can help

The peak sales season is a make-or-break time for every retailer, offering a significant opportunity to boost revenue and increase profits. In fact, over the past decade, the average annual retail sales growth was 3.6%, but since 2019, there has been an incredible 30% growth in retail sales. However, managing the surge in demand and traffic during this period can pose significant challenges. To optimize operations during this critical period, relying on gut feeling alone can be risky for businesses, as it is subjective. This is where technology comes in.

Without the right technology in place during peak season sales, businesses risk encountering significant obstacles such as stock shortages, slow checkout lines, and suboptimal customer experiences. These challenges can lead to lost sales and revenue, as customers may choose competitors who can handle the increased demand better. Additionally, retailers may be forced to offer heavy discounts to move excess inventory post-season, reducing their profits.

By investing in the right technology solutions, retailers can equip themselves to handle the surge in demand during peak season and avoid costly mistakes. Furthermore, technology partners can provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, enabling retailers to tailor their offerings for maximum impact. 

In this article, we will explore how the right peak-season technology partner helps you optimize your operations during peak sales season, from inventory management to order fulfillment and more.

Here are a few reasons why the time to shop for a peak season partner is now.

Get Ahead of the Game

NRF forecasts that retail sales during 2023 will grow between 4% and 6% over 2022. The sales holiday shopping season is always busy, and this year is expected to be no different. In fact, with more people used to the concept of online shopping due to the pandemic, it’s likely to be even busier than usual. By starting your search for a solution partner now, you can get ahead of the game and avoid the rush. This will give you time to evaluate different options and find the partner that best meets your needs. Retailers are expecting inflation which will have an immense effect on both retailers and consumers. People will not buy as they usually do, and retailers will see a dip in profits. A solution partner will help you navigate through the tough time by reducing manpower, optimizing storage, inventory transparency, and more. 

Read more about peak seasons here.

Meeting Needs is Made Easy

The global e-commerce market is expected to total $6.3 trillion in 2023. Ensuring that the right products are in stock at the right time is crucial to meeting customer demand and maximizing sales revenue. Allocate your products wisely. Plan which products should go to which store based on consumer data like affinity, men-to-women shopper ratio, etc. The life of merchandisers will get easier if they know which stores require what items. By choosing a partner now, you can analyze historical sales data, forecast future demand, and establish appropriate inventory policies and procedures – which are important to meet the needs of the shoppers.

Ensure Smooth Operations

You do not want to deliver late orders and lose customers. Inventory management, processing orders, ensuring on-time delivery – a good partner can help ensure that everything runs smoothly. Optimize warehouse operations to handle huge order surges during the peak season and avoid hiring an extra workforce to handle such surges by means of a peak season partner. Order routing and splitting can ease the burden on your warehouses, leading to faster order fulfillment. You can also get stores into the picture for faster fulfillment of orders via the store fulfillment model. By choosing a partner now, you’ll have time to integrate their services into your operations and ensure everything works properly before the busy season starts.

To learn more about it, read here.

In conclusion, maximizing peak season sales is critical for retailers to achieve sustainable growth and profits. With the rapid increase in retail sales, it’s more important than ever to leverage technology to optimize operations during this critical period. Based on the mistakes made in the last season, dilute the inventory by sales like End of Season Sale. Use the Dynamic Markdown technology to find the right percentage of discount to be given on each product.  By partnering with the right technology solution provider, retailers can equip themselves with the necessary tools and insights to meet customer demand, manage inventory effectively, and provide a seamless customer experience. As the sales holiday shopping season approaches, it’s essential to act fast and secure a reliable technology partner to avoid costly mistakes and lost sales. 

The time to act is now, so don’t hesitate to start your search and get ahead of the game. 

Remember, the right technology partner can help you achieve your peak season goals and pave the way for long-term success.


Debunking Myths About Omnichannel Retailing – 4 Misconceptions Explained

Incepted in the early 2000s, omnichannel retailing is no longer a fantasy. Several brands have created an environment where offline, online, and m-commerce work together to create the most seamless shopping experience for their customers.

An omnichannel approach to retailing is a win-win situation for both brands and consumers. About 89% of consumers expressed that brands should work harder to create a more cohesive customer experience.
Brands who have implemented it successfully are reporting a hike of 9.5% in annual revenue with omnichannel benefits like fulfillment from store etc.

Despite the effectiveness of this method, many retailers and brands are hesitant to adopt omnichannel retailing because of the misconceptions surrounding it.

Let’s take a look at the biggest myths clouding people’s perceptions: 

#Myth 1: Omnichannel and multichannel are the same thing

Although they might sound the same, the difference between these two approaches is night and day.

While a multichannel approach necessitates a team and a system working in silos, customer experience is not included. The omnichannel approach, on the other hand, integrates all communication contact points to create a seamless experience.

It is the more engaging, personalized experience that centralized customer data adds to omnichannel retailing that makes all the difference. With this approach, brands get to offer both better customer service and faster issue resolution. 

The bottom line is, consumers expect the best customer support even when juggling between sales channels. In omnichannel retailing the communication between them works in silos, equipping the customer support to provide them with the best service. 

#Myth 2: Managing Omnichannel is tedious

The benefit of implementing omnichannel retailing is that it is not necessary to execute all features of omnichannel retailing all at once.

You can begin by analyzing what is working for you and gradually adding new channels. It’s not required to change the infrastructure of your physical store or invest in some hefty technology to start with omnichannel retailing. Since it is completely based on retail technology, you can integrate procedures as you need. As a result, there is no need to restructure your entire process to go to omnichannel retailing. 

#Myth 3: Omnichannel platforms don’t work

As already established, companies that do not utilize omnichannel platforms are losing out on its benefits. With an omnichannel approach, customers get to curate their own experience – whether offline or offline. 

Customers can browse online and walk into physical stores, or they can order the same product online after trying it on in the store – the possibilities are endless. This unified experience ensures that sales are not lost while navigating various platforms.

Furthermore, many omnichannel adopters find that making the switch has helped them improve store inventory accuracy to the point where they have been able to launch additional initiatives that rely on it, such as reserve online and collect in-store.

Myth 4: Omnichannel retailing is an expensive affair

Any business must invest in the appropriate tools and technology to grow. While retail technology may appear to be an investment at first, the return on investment is justified.

Omnichannel retailing has been shown to increase order frequency, store traffic, customer retention, and brand identification. In fact, it is reported that the opportunity cost of not being omnichannel is 10% in terms of lost revenue.

As a result, even though the transition to omnichannel retailing requires an initial investment, it increases sales multifold, making it a sound business investment.

Concluding: What Does the Future Look Like With Omnichannel Retailing 

The day when omnichannel retailing becomes a standard retail practice is not very far. Businesses that transition to omnichannel practices early will greatly benefit from the new opportunities created by it. Only 11% of businesses have claimed to successfully implement omnichannel retailing, and others who join the rank will surely reap the benefits.

The core idea of omnichannel expansion is simple; it enables the brand and retailers to become visible across all sales channels their customers are using. Being omnipresent everywhere the shopper goes gives them a competitive advantage.  

In a digital-first world, going the extra mile to keep up with customer demands and trends will help you in keeping ahead of the competition. With the truths behind the myths revealed brands and retailers should use omnichannel retailing to make their business future-ready. 

If you want to enquire more about what retail tech solutions can help you adopt omnichannel retailing, contact us today!

Business Smart Merchandising

Technology at The Heart of Fashion Retail – Embracing Sustainability

Have you ever wondered about the environmental impacts of building your wardrobe? Yes, apart from your daily commutes and lifestyle choices, how your beloved fashion pieces reach your wardrobe also impacts your overall carbon footprint. 

The fashion and retail industry is one of the largest consumers of natural resources like water, fossil fuels, fertilizers, etc. It’s also a major contributor to air, land, and soil pollution. As consumer awareness about sustainability is increasing, 67% of consumers report being more cautious of resource utilization owing to their scarcity. This has caused brands and retailers to step up to fulfill the ethical and societal obligations of their business practices.

Shifting to business strategies and practices that help brands and retailers meet the current demand while safeguarding and nurturing natural resources for the future is the need of the hour. 

Sustainability in Fashion: A Road Less Travelled

The predicament of the fashion industry is unique: Maintaining a delicate balance between supplying customers with the latest in fashion and reducing the environmental impacts of the clothing’s lifecycle. 

The retail system is inefficient due to overproduction and wastage of existing inventory. Matching supply with present and future demand is a complex task that is dependent on large volumes of legacy data.

In addition to sustainable sourcing, alternative materials, and selling to secondary markets, innovative use of technology can also have a significant impact. Retail tech is drastically improving how existing inventory is adequately utilized in the system.

A lot of these core problems can be solved during the buying and merchandising phase. Till now, the traditional methods have been unsuccessful leading to overbuying and overstocking. This creates a vicious cycle of abundant inventory getting sold at highly discounted prices before getting dumped in landfills or burnt on a large scale.

Retail Tech: Light at the End of the Tunnel

Retail tech is one of the most effective ways to build agility and sustainability into every aspect of their business. Particularly considering that this transformation combines online and offline channels.

Let’s take a look at how this gets done:

1. Sending the right inventory to the right warehouse: The guesswork of sending inventory to the right locations is eliminated by utilizing regional distribution. 

It’s common knowledge that warehouses function with limited capacity. Once inventory reaches the warehouse, its efficient storage and redistribution become of utmost importance. Retail tech has made regional utilization a reality using which retailers and brands can optimally allocate inventory in proportion to the regional demand. In addition to reducing shipment time, this contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle by reducing fuel consumption and carbon footprints.

Increased visibility of in-stock inventory leads to higher conversion rates on marketplaces, faster deliveries, and a lower return rate for retailers and brands.

2. Simultaneous exposure of inventory both offline and online: Beyond the warehouse, how do you utilize inventory you have designated for online channels? Often times sales don’t go as predicted and retailers and brands are left with large quantities of unsold inventory. New-age retail tech solutions make it possible to expose offline inventory to online sales channels, thus allowing greater exposure and ensuring no inventory is left behind.

With Increff O2O (Online to Offline) or the store fulfillment solution exposes store inventory online and enables an omnichannel fulfillment ecosystem, thus preparing the stores for the future of retail. It allows automatic order routing and splitting to the closest store location, and enables manual store hopping in case the order is not available at the designated store. This ensures fulfillment from the nearest possible location in the most optimum way. 

3. Move the right mix of products to the right store: Even with accurate pre-season demand forecasting, retailers and brands may experience situations where certain products are in demand in one location but are available in another during the in-season. No worries, retail technology can help you with this too.

Inter-store transfer feature helps prevent major inventories from going into liquidation. It is a part of merchandising where inventory is transferred between different store locations that belong to the same retailer for better exposure of inventory and subsequent improvement of sales. Through advancements in retail tech, it becomes a breeze to conduct analysis on a store style level, and inventory transfer is done from low-performance to high-performance stores. 

4. Appropriate discounting before liquidation: Every retailer and brand knows the pain of liquidating the inventory left behind in the warehouse after the season ends. It is not only a waste of their money, but it also contributes to pollution – by rotting in landfills.

By using a markdown optimization tool, retailers and brands can offer appropriate discounts at the right time, keeping sales high. It uses an advanced, data-driven algorithm to analyze high-volume data to calculate a product’s optimal discount price which maximizes sell-through and minimizes sales loss due to pricing.

The Bottom Line 

In the fast-moving world of fashion, sustainability, and technology are quickly becoming mutually inclusive. Retail tech will greatly help brands and retailers to data-driven decisions to avoid the overuse of resources and adopt more sustainable practices. 

At the heart of Increff’s operations, lies the responsibility of simplifying the complexities in supply chain operations and inventory management. Contact us to learn more about our suite of intelligent, tech-driven retail solutions.   

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.

Business Technology

5 sure shot techniques to reduce costs in the retail supply chain

Creating a highly competitive retail supply chain depends on how well you’re able to control/reduce your costs. Incurring unnecessary costs can mean that your processes aren’t efficient enough, your funds are blocked in too many fixed assets, or your supply chain isn’t performing at an optimum level. These factors could pile up costs, impact margins, affect your competitiveness, and eventually make your business falter. 

Keeping costs under control is therefore one of the most essential aspects of supply chain management. Let’s look at 5 sure shot techniques that can help you reduce your costs:

  1. Localize fulfillment

Transportation accounts for about 40 to 50 percent of logistics costs, and 4 to 10 percent of the selling price of final products. Reducing the distance between your warehouse and customer clusters is, therefore, necessary to control overall costs. The closer your warehouse, or fulfillment center, is located to your customer cluster, the quicker fulfillment will be, which also means a significant reduction in fuel consumption. Regional Utilisation (RU), the idea of fulfilling maximum orders locally, is one of the topmost solutions for cost management in supply chains today. 

RU becomes even more effective when coupled with new-age merchandising solutions. Powered by data insights, this enables brands to conduct Pincode level analysis to place the right products at the right warehouse, or store, as per demand in a particular market. Shelving the right styles and size combinations can boost regional sales significantly while saving costs on logistics.

  1. Rethink warehousing!

As a brand expands, operating from a centralized warehouse can raise distribution costs and impact business quite significantly. In fact, as per Logistics Bureau, up to 12 percent of companies are unprofitable after distribution costs are taken into account.

This can be tackled with Distributed Warehousing which enables brands to expand into other regions, and support efforts toward regional fulfillment. Fulfillment of orders from various local and widely distributed warehouses is quick and cost-effective. 

Technology solutions like Increff Cloud warehousing allow brands to rent out spaces based on regional requirements. This means investment in warehouse infrastructure is not required and brands are able to convert CAPEX into OPEX thus controlling their overhead costs. In recent times, this has been further augmented with the rapid rise of 3PL players with whom brands can partner for renting warehousing spaces and adding value to the supply chain. 

  1.  Manage manpower costs

Costs incurred due to human labor is another significant portion of your expenditures. These include their wages, training and development costs, costs incurred in hiring additional/ad hoc labor during peak season sales, and adjusting manual errors committed by the workforce. 

With new-age WMS and merchandising solutions, brands can successfully avoid a lot of unnecessary labor costs and reduce errors in decision-making. Simple UX/ UI facilitates easy training which is extremely useful during crunch times when the technically skilled workforce is scarce or expensive. The ease of use increases the fungibility of staff and maximizes the use of the available workforce.

Automated solutions ensure continuous, seamless workflow with minimum decision-making errors. Digitizing inventory through serialization allows easy scanning of individual pieces of inventory for efficient tracking and reduces training time to 5-10 mins. This minimizes efforts and costs related to elaborate training and development of the human resource operating the system.

  1. Make data-backed decisions

Holding on to obsolete inventory can add up to 25 to 30 percent more to the unit cost of your products. Besides, the capital tied up with this inventory could account for about 15 percent of opportunity costs. Obsolete inventory is mostly a result of the inability to forecast demand accurately.

However, new-age merchandising solutions backed by relevant data enable brands to create product assortments with the right styles and sizes. This helps them meet the customer demand perfectly, without causing problems of overstocking or under-stocking, both of which impact costs, the former causing wastage and the latter calling for in-season redistribution. 

New-age solutions facilitate analysis of future demand over a time horizon of the next season or business year. Analyzing past sales data helps create a favorable estimate of the upcoming season stock requirements so the right quantity can be placed in the right location. Manufacturing the right quantity as per demand avoids overproduction, unnecessary expenditure, and resource wastage. 

  1. Use multiple channels for order fulfillment

Last mile connectivity is known to be the costliest part of the supply chain and accounts for about 53 percent of the total shipping costs. This calls for transforming order fulfillment through omnichannel retail, which is a fluid vision of fulfillment that allows customers to receive their orders in the faster possible time. 

Fulfillment options like Buy-Online-PickupIn-Store (BOPIC), store fulfillment, curbside pickup, home delivery, etc. are getting popular. Conversely, a customer visiting a store who is unable to find the desired product can make use of the ‘endless aisle’ online option to purchase it and get it delivered at home or the nearest store. This doesn’t just offer immense customer ease, but also allows brands to resort to the most cost-effective fulfillment option.

Cost control is the first step towards business process efficiency and with the above-given tips, brands can simply rule the roost among their competitors. Effective cost control has great benefits for not just the business stakeholders, but also the environment and society at large.