How to Optimize Your Product Assortment

May 3, 2016
Jannie Cahill
Written By
Jannie Cahill

En Francais

In today’s hyper-competitive retail environment, assessing what products you need to carry in your range and at what price point, is fundamental to success.

But how do you track how much product overlap exists between your assortment and that of your competitors, and where the opportunities lie to maximize sales?

Profitero’s new Assortment Analytics module helps retailers answer critical questions about which products to stock by helping you:

  • Understand the overlap in your assortment versus the competition, identifying products that competitors may carry exclusively and that you should consider carrying in your assortment
  • Analyze the architecture within a category from a pricing perspective so you can see how your own range compares to competitors at difference price bands, shedding light on opportunities to carry products at higher or lower prices

Assortment overlap: identifying new opportunities

As an example, assume that we are the leading UK online grocer Tesco. All of the comparisons below illustrate how Tesco compares to competitors Asda, Waitrose, Ocado, and Sainsbury’s in terms of product range.

Looking at my assortment overlap by category, I can see:

  • The percentage of products that I carry exclusively versus my competitors
  • The percentage of products that overlap between me and my competitors
  • The percentage of products that are sold exclusively by my competitors

This very simple visual identifies at a glance the number or the percentage of products that I carry exclusively versus this group of four competitors.

 

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I can then drill down even further and analyze a specific category in more depth – retailer by retailer. In this view I’m able to see that Sainsbury’s carries about half of the same products that I stock. Ocado is approximately the same, Waitrose stocks about 40%, and Asda carries just below 20% of my product range. I can also determine that Asda stocks 56% of the products which I don’t currently have in my range.

If I find a product that I know is not in my assortment but looks interesting, the product title in our interface is a hyperlink which directly takes me to the product’s page at that retailer. Here I can see exactly what product is on offer; if I think it’s interesting enough to carry on my own, I now have all the information that I need to go approach that supplier and start the conversation about adding it to my range.

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Price distribution: how does your range compare on price?

It’s critical for retailers to understand the price distribution at a competitor, so that they can compare the price distribution differences and identify price gaps where they may have opportunities.

This analysis is typically done for a single category, although our analytics enables you to do it at a higher level.

The example below looks at the Health and and Beauty category comparing Tesco, Asda and Ocado.

I can see at a glance that in my own range, almost two-thirds of products are priced under £4.99 with about a quarter priced between £5.00 and £9.99. When I compare price distribution at my competitors, I see that the Asda range skews even more heavily to the zero to £4.99 range.

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Getting started with Profitero 

It takes us a matter of weeks to get a new customer up and running. When you engage us, we simply need to know which competitors you’d like to monitor and how you’d like us to input your own range for comparison purposes.

Most customers have a reference list of products that they provide in an Excel or CSV file. As soon as we have that list, most of the heavy-lifting is done and we then work with you to establish any matching rules, particularly for private-label products.

Within a month, we deliver the initial account access with a walk-through and training session, showing you exactly how to access this data through the Profitero interface. 

To find out more about Profitero’s solutions for retailers, including our new Assortment Intelligence module, email sales@profitero.com.

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