Portrait of author Joscelyn Comstive
Joscelyn Comstive

Product Marketing Executive

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Peak launches Product Explorer for merchandisers

By Joscelyn Comstive on September 8, 2021 - 5 Minute Read

At Peak I’m part of our Product Marketing team, but like many people, I actually started out my career in a completely different field. For me that was merchandising, as a Merchandise Assistant (MA) at one of the big retailers. 

As an MA, the most important part of my week was Monday morning – this was when we held our trade meetings. Getting ready for Monday trade started on a Friday, so I’d be frantically scheduling all of the reports to run and checking the printers for paper just before I left for the weekend.

On Monday at 07:00, I’d find myself sifting through a wedge of muddled up printed reports (I could never find a way to print them off in order – believe me, I tried all the tricks!) 

Usually one of the reports wouldn’t have run…so then I’d most likely end up re-running reports. And re-running them again. And again… 

Next, I would get in line at my favorite and most reliable printer to photocopy and organize the pack into the multitude of different orders and formats that each manager wanted.

Once the paper reports were out of the way, I would get on with the emailed reports for the Buying and Merchandising teams. These were mainly different top ten best performing products, which all needed images manually added from the website (this made for a very messy desktop, packed full of screenshots.)

The analytical side of me enjoyed the role, and it was a crash course in Excel like no other (I’ve used the formulas I learnt in every role since!) But some of the manual and repetitive parts felt very frustrating. One report in particular took me so long to get all the data together and complete, that I hardly had any time to spend on actions or improvements.  

Trade just got easier…

The four words every merchandiser wants to hear.

We’ve launched our new dashboard Product Explorer, a merchandiser knowledge center that displays key product metrics. It looks like Excel but has all the important information you need at your fingertips. 

I can confidently say that Product Explorer would have made my Monday mornings (and Sunday nights) a lot easier and less stressful. 

For starters, there would have been no keeping my fingers crossed that the printer worked, photocopying page after page, after page of reports.

(And, if you were really unlucky, the dreaded realization just before trade that some of the reports didn’t run correctly…) 

Peak’s Product Explorer makes your life easier. It gives you a consolidated view of how your stock is performing, so you know what will stock out and what will stockpile each week.

It was built by working closely alongside our retail customers’ merchandising teams. We spent time understanding their ways of working, challenges and opportunities to offer something familiar enough to mirror their current ways of working, but offer significant benefits in speed, stability and ease of use.

We’re switching it up

Excel is great; the satisfaction when I finally nailed a v-lookup felt life-changing. But imagine something that combines everything you love about Excel and everything you wish Excel could be. That’s Product Explorer. 

The dashboard is accessed through the internet. This might sound simple, but it gives you seamless and speedy functionality, so you no longer have the headache of Excel crashing and your laptop sounding like a jet engine. 

Is there anything worse than going into a spreadsheet you’ve painstakingly perfected and realizing someone’s broken it? We’ve removed the typical spreadsheet formula risks, like cells accidentally being overwritten or deleted, that can result in those ever-so-costly mistakes. Our engineers work with your data and display the published results to you in the dashboard – so you can have full confidence in the data.

No rulers needed here. Instead, get a quick overview of how many products have been flagged for attention. And no more searching for images! Product Explorer includes images of all your products, bringing the SKU to life at the click of a button.

Short term gain. Long term gain.

When you partner with Peak, Product Explorer is a first step to swiftly get you started on your Decision Intelligence journey. All we need is your data and you’re good to go. 

From our experience working with retailers like Nike, boohoo and Superdry we know that time to value is a top priority. Product Explorer provides significantly faster time to value than traditional AI projects. 

It gives you something to get your hands on and start driving value from, while our teams work with you to tailor the dashboard to your business’ needs, and start to enrich it with AI solutions. 

Here’s what that journey could look like:

  • Product Explorer – import all of your product data, explore your entire product range and surface more opportunities to find value, all without having to wait for AI models to be built. 
  • Pricing and Markdown – Peak introduces AI-driven pricing and markdown suggestions that allow you to maximize your sellthrough and still maintain margin. We use the same data provided by you for the Explorer, and now enrich it with AI. 
  • Allocation and Replenishment – Optimize initial allocation, replenishment and assortment planning to efficiently meet demand – while minimizing stock-piling in the wrong location. 
  • Buying and Rebuying – With AI-driven range planning and rebuying, ensure you have the right products to meet demand, avoid stock-outs and reduce over-stocking. Drive more sales while reducing the need for margin-busting sale periods.

Merchandising processes are long overdue an upgrade. There’s too much time spent on data crunching and analysis, and not enough on insights and value driver activities.

We want to simplify things for you, with technology that highlights the important data so you don’t need to go searching for it. Product Explorer helps free up time spent trawling through spreadsheets, so you can look beyond the top and bottom 20% and spot the bigger wins. 

Like the sound of this?

If you’re interested in how Peak can help you transform decision making in your merchandising team, drop us a line.

Decision Intelligence | Retail

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