In the face of COVID-19, retail businesses have had to rely heavily, if not completely, on their online channels. If a product is not visible and available, particularly online, it cannot be sold. Is this the type of inventory problem you have? According to the latest Think with Google Data, over 55% of customers now research a product online before they transact (before COVID-19 this has significantly shifted recently). Good inventory management can be your business’s competitive advantage and the key to recovery. Strong inventory management improves reporting accuracy and facilitates data-driven decision making. Good inventory processes support a dynamic business that needs to pivot and adjust as quickly as their customers and the retail climate. Looking beyond the current pandemic crisis affecting the retail industry at large, we expect the new retail landscape will need to be: more data-driven, more dynamic, and substantially leaner. Successful retailers are agile and can pivot to meet the changing face of their market. Businesses that exercise good inventory control practices have accurate data which allows forecasting of net sales and future demand. If you can react to your customer’s purchasing behaviour quickly and with the right level of accuracy, you will be able to keep up with the demand for desired products whilst taking steps to exit another. Good inventory management: showcases product to sell, across all channels, and allows the business the maximise their potential revenue; gives you clean data to work with, which means decision making is data-driven – made faster and with confidence; and supports mindful and more accurate purchasing behaviours with less waste and better stock turn. Gone are the days of oversupply to capture any sale, with an exit strategy that relies on deep discounting. According to Natalie Berg of Forbes, the retail landscape is evolving quickly and [the future is conscious consumerism]– a behaviour that must be reciprocated by businesses, particularly those that need to recover and recoup by trimming costs and increasing their online presence. How has your business fared in the face of the current pandemic crisis? What lessons can be learnt from your reality? Whether the business is booming, or you are in hibernation, the 6R team can help your business to adjust, adapt, recover and thrive.