2021 retail strategy checklist
Portrait of author Tom Summerfield
Tom Summerfield

Customer Development Director (Global)

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Retail strategy: the metrics that matter for 2021

By Tom Summerfield on January 6, 2021

As we enter a new year and leave 2020 behind us, those working in the world of retail will be focusing on their 2021 retail strategy, gearing up for a calendar year clouded by uncertainty as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt everyday lives and business processes.

We’ve seen a number of new trends emerge in recent months, and this will continue to be the case as shoppers adapt and customer behavior continues to change.

You’re no doubt back at your desk (sorry – your kitchen table!) after the Christmas period, and your attention will now be on preparing for what’s to come over the next twelve months, from hitting the ground running to planning those all-important Black Friday campaigns (yes, it’s time to start thinking about those already!)

Everyone needs a day or two to get back into the swing of things after the festive holidays, so as a starter for ten, we’ve outlined the ultimate list for those working in the retail sector: the metrics that matter for your 2021 retail strategy. So, whether you work in sales and marketing, merchandising and buying, or supply chain and fulfillment, take a look at the below – if you can win in these areas in 2021, you’ll have the edge on your competitors and be in the best place possible to navigate through another difficult year.

Retail strategy 2021: marketing metrics

Fundamentals: Day-to-day metrics

  • Lower your bounce rate
  • Increase views of pages per session
  • Drive higher revenue-per-click
  • Lower your unsubscribe rates
  • Increase click-through-rates
  • More items added to baskets

Key indicators: Mid-level metrics

  • Control your trading ability
  • Increase purchase frequency
  • Increase average order values
  • Increase customer lifetime value
  • Reduce customer acquisition costs

Strategic: High-level management metrics

  • An effective channel-mix strategy
  • Converting one-time users into returning users
  • Cost savings

Merchandising metrics that matter in 2021

Fundamentals: Day-to-day metrics

  • Rate of sale
  • Weeks of cover
  • GP%
  • Gross profit variance

Key indicators: Mid-level metrics

  • EBIT contribution by line
  • GPV vs GP%
  • Markdown cycle
  • Net margin/profit
  • Average Transaction Value (ATV)
  • Range planning/space planning
  • Pounds per square metre/foot
  • Sell-through

Strategic: High-level management metrics

  • Time saving
  • Working capital employed (ROCE/GMROI)
  • Regional web sales vs store locations
  • Promotions to ease working capital

Supply chain: key metrics for your retail strategy

Fundamentals: Day-to-day metrics

  • Average daily pack wait time
  • Cost-per-minute and daily pack wait time cost
  • Average wave closure time
  • Cost-per-minute of wave
  • Average pick time and number of picks of hour
  • Average sort time
  • Average time between picks
  • Put-away time
  • Throughput per item

Key indicators: Mid-level metrics

  • Picks per person, per hour
  • Wave planning
  • Pick and pack efficiency
  • Pick face optimization
  • Distribution resource planning
  • Put-away strategy
  • Zone planning
  • Workforce planning
  • Truckload utilization
  • Transport planning
  • Pick-route planning
  • Mis-service
  • Adherence to customer SLAs and service upgrades
  • Capacity and utilization planning
  • Cost per wave
  • Operational downtime
  • Returns planning and reverse logistics
  • Time to receiving and pick location

Strategic: High-level management metrics

  • Cost per item
  • Item throughput
  • Total order numbers
  • Expedited service
  • Cost of mis-service and unfilled orders
  • Increased return on capital employed (ROCE)

Hopefully the majority of these metrics will already be on your business’ radar for the year to come, but this list should act as a handy checklist for you and your colleagues as we all navigate our way through the coming months.

If you think we’ve missed any important ones, or would like to chat through some of the ways we’re helping the likes of ASOS, boohoo and PrettyLittleThing win big with these metrics, we’d love to hear from you!

Let's nail that 2021 retail strategy! ?

Get in touch with the Peak retail team to learn how Decision Intelligence can help you win in these metrics.



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