3 Ways Digital Applications Reduce Retail Waste

With more shoppers and communities becoming ethically conscious, many retailers are working to decrease their environmental footprint. Reducing waste not only improves brand perception and builds trust with customers, but it also saves retailers unnecessary costs.

One of the best ways retailers can become more sustainable and environmentally conscious is simply to prevent waste from the start. However, this is not so simple of a task. Because each store has unique physical traits, many retailers lack the ability to track and measure stores accurately, and therefore cannot ensure all stores are executed precisely or consistently. This imprecise execution leads to discarded materials, unused product, and unnecessary packaging.

A digital application can simplify the process with a paperless system that is not only more accurate, efficient and up to date, but also much less wasteful.

Adopting a digital application to optimize store execution could fix this frustrating challenge. Here are three ways a good digital application can keep retail waste out of the landfills.

#1 Update the Process

Many retailers still depend on a manual, paper-dependent process. This requires inputting a vast amount of data into spreadsheets that get printed, and adding complex directions into large wasteful binders that are sent to stores. The excess materials are often error-prone, cumbersome, and costly. They become quickly out-of-date and are eventually thrown out.

A digital application can simplify the process with a paperless system that is not only more accurate, efficient and up to date, but also much less wasteful. A digital application helps streamline the process so there is less printing and paper waste overall.

#2 Get the Right Fit

Every store is different, and retailers don’t always know the unique attributes of each store such as space allocation, fixture size, and store layout. This means store teams don’t get what they need. They receive incorrect production quantities and merchandising setups that don’t properly fit, so they are forced to make decisions. Consequently, stores are not executed as planned and materials are wasted.

A digital application keeps an accurate model of each store and calculates correct production quantities resulting in fewer unused materials, eliminating waste in both production and shipment to stores.

#3 Keep It Local

Unfortunately, with many current merchandising systems, retailers can’t recognize individual store’s customer demographics or neighborhood culture. This means stores are regularly stuck with an excess of irrelevant products and campaigns that don’t address local needs.

With a digital application, retailers can keep track of what products are selling in each store, reorder items and track the shipment. A digital application helps deliver an accurate, localized product and promotional mix to each retail location, cutting the waste and expenses of printing and shipping.

Today’s smart shoppers are becoming more mindful about what they purchase. They are becoming ethically and environmentally conscious and expect their favorite brands to follow suit.

Retailers can address customers’ needs by adopting new technologies. A digital cloud-based application can streamline the process to reduce printing and paper waste, and calculate accurate production quantities resulting in fewer materials and lower costs.
However, optimizing retail execution to develop a more sustainable merchandising process is just one of the top outcomes achieved from a digital application.

Retailers can ultimately create a superior retail experience that connects customers to the brand without wasting or sacrificing time, efforts, and costs.