Retail tech company IWD produces planogram and visual merchandising software solutions that help brands manage their merchandising cycle through collaborative tools. Generally, when it comes time to rearrange the items in a store to refresh its appearance, either seasonally or on a set cycle, the retail store’s associates and employees are given a planogram which displays the new merchandise arrangement. Vans’ visual merchandising team would historically undertake the floorset design process manually, using photoshop to layer images of stores with no products. This comparatively laborious process would take around two weeks before the document could be sent to the field and the store floorsets activated.
After integrating IWD software into its visual merchandising team’s workflow, Vans was able to create new floorsets in just three days, a drastic improvement from the previous run-time of two weeks. Because new floorsets are created on a near-monthly basis, Vans was able to realize turnaround time efficiencies of up to 70%, improving workflow across both the company’s HQ and its retail field locations. The flexibility of the software platform allowed the Vans team to maintain greater consistency through the variety of directives they were sending out to the frontline staff, tightening the retailer’s visual brand identity dramatically across its North American stores.
Through the IWD planograms easy-to-read 3D renderings, Vans store staff across its national locations were able to implement floorsets with less friction, leading to an improved merchandising experience and allowing for more complex merchandising displays and decisions to be scaled effortlessly across locations. By being better able to execute the in-store vision, both employee and customer experience was improved.
Using novel software platforms and next-gen tech solutions to create consistency across retailer communications, and rapidly provide detailed information to frontline employees is just one of the ways retailers are leveraging innovative technologies to optimize their operations. The PSFK labs team has been following several trends related to the ways retailers are utilizing operational enhancements to remove friction and maximize customer experience and satisfaction.
Operational enhancements like mobile dashboards, streamlined order picking, and intelligent inventory management systems allow for greater frontline staff agility and flexibility, while providing retailers with strategies to remove friction from the shopping experience and maximize customer satisfaction.
This article originally appeared in the PSFK report, Technology Innovations Fueling Intelligent Store Operations.