Kishore Rajgopal, Founder & CEO, Mayank Shende, Co-founder and Data Scientist
The millennial shoppers today have an attitude of ‘get me what I want, when I want and where I want’. In the highly competitive marketplace, consumers have a lot of options of both retailers and products to reach up to, making it crucial for the retailers to focus on enhancing customer satisfaction and boosting their sales while maintaining margins to improve profitability. “The key factor that binds a consumer to a retailer or the product is customer loyalty,” says Kishore Rajgopal, Founder and CEO, NextOrbit. However, retailers often fail to meet the growing demand of their consumers due to poor logistic management that can result in either over stocking or lost sales due to stock outs. “Over the past decade, Out-of-Stock remains at 8 percent, causing a direct sales loss to the retailers, therefore the gap between the demand and supply of products must be matched for improving sales while maintaining the optimal level of inventory,” notes Rajgopal. Incepted out of the need to mitigate Out-of-Stock, NextOrbit helps retailers to improve the availability of products on the shelves thereby generating a sales lift of 3-4 percent.
Out-of-Stock situation not only reduces the revenue by losing out on customers, but also causes a loss in future revenue by losing the entire basket and leads to reduced store and brand loyalty. “We deliver a platform that uses prescriptive data sciences to generate store orders / allocations and shelf replenishment alerts, and gives a better customer experience which leads to improved customer loyalty and sales,” explains Rajgopal. NextOrbit is all about catering to the moment of truth using predictive analytics and data sciences. The platform uses a variety of ‘predictors’ to predict customer demand at a fine grained level – size, color, style, fit while also forecasting when an item will go Out-of-Stock and why. “We look at each SKU that can affect top and bottom line results and reduce the Out-of-Stock by at least 25 percent, which can lead to a 2-4 percent sales increase,” says Rajgopal.
We deliver a platform that uses prescriptive data sciences to generate store orders / allocations and shelf replenishment alerts, and gives a better customer experience
According to Rajgopal, though most retailers are currently functioning on legacy systems and expensive technologies like Computer Assisted Ordering (CAO), these solutions while being capital-intensive and time-consuming to implement, are also expensive to maintain. However, a cloud-based subscription model is relatively inexpensive, can be used almost immediately, has no hassles for maintenance, or heavy contractual compulsions making it a very good option for retailers of all sizes. “Our subscription model gives clients ample flexibility to try and test the product category wise and store wise, without having to commit huge resources to it,” extols Rajgopal. The NextOrbit platform can further co-exist as well as replace existing CAO systems depending upon the requirement of the retailer.
Aiming to improve retail sales and customer experience, the firm also delivers its clients with Out-of-Stock alerts that can predict shelf-out situations and inform store staff so that action is taken before an item in demand runs out on the shelves. “Our Out-of-Stock alerts inform store staff about exception sale conditions – such as ‘apparels selling at twice the number in the last 2 hours’ or ‘garments that normally sells at 12/hour has not being sold for the last 3 hours,” says Rajgopal. These alerts can be composited, aggregated and escalated appropriately to make them more actionable.
“We see ourselves becoming the nervous system for retailers. To achieve this goal, we are helping our customers to make better and enhanced decisions about what to send to each store, how to move to the shelves, and how to use the store space,” concludes Rajgopal.