As Ecommerce grows, brands are encountering a new set of complex operational challenges.
February 28, 2023 - With margins tightening and consumer demands becoming more volatile in the face of inflation, many of our brand partners are examining every level of their business to ensure processes are efficient and effective. As a result, operational processes addressing supply chain, chargebacks, and shortages have become a major focus.
To remain competitive in this rapidly evolving Ecommerce market, brands are recognizing that they need to ensure they have a reliable supply of goods and services, are managing costs associated with chargebacks, and minimizing interruptions due to shortages.
However, these operational business elements are becoming increasingly complex and time consuming for brands to manage. For example, retailers require vendors to identify and provide proof of shortages; meaning every time a shortage occurs, vendors must submit and manage disputes, or else run the risk of not getting paid. Depending on the processor and other factors, this can require those vendors to provide evidence such as shipping records and digital product receipts in order to win a shortage dispute. Assembling this documentation and organizing a submission can take considerable time and effort when done manually — time that would otherwise be spent on more productive tasks.
Our market research shows that brands are currently managing these challenges in one of four ways:
1. Building losses into their profit margins - Some brands have simply accepted that there are deficiencies associated with compliance and plan for this when forecasting their profit margin.
2. Hire, train, and maintain internal teams - Brands are investing in sourcing and building teams internally to own and execute supply chain management and operational needs.
3. Extend current team member responsibility - In some cases, brands are expanding the remit for some of their team members to include new operational responsibilities. Due to time and bandwidth constraints, these individuals generally only focus on the operational elements with the largest monetary impacts.
4. Outsource to agencies or specialists - Brands will also partner with agencies or outsource to specialists. However, by relinquishing control over these operational procedures, this leads to lack of transparency into performance, especially optimization opportunities.
Regardless of which route the brand takes, many leaders are still left with lingering questions, like:
Why am I still losing the Buy Box?
Will my upcoming promotion have enough inventory for the demand?
How can I improve my Annual Vendor Negotiation (AVN)?
Ultimately, between loss of dollars and lack of visibility, all these options are unacceptable when efficiency is the key to staying profitable in the current economic climate. Stackline recognized an opportunity to help our brand partners improve their operational performance significantly. We are uniquely positioned to combine our extensive industry expertise, our accurate and comprehensive data, and our advanced automation capabilities tools, to implement and optimize a complete digital strategy for each partner.
Stackline's full-funnel data set offers complete visibility into market dynamics to help brand leaders end-to-end supply chain optimization. By providing clarity into SEO, pricing, in-stock rates, and market share, our proprietary neural network enables users to see and understand marketplaces in new, more interconnective ways, ultimately helping brands:
Our Professional Services team owns dispute execution for shortages and investigated root cause attribution of every chargeback. We've also added new, enhanced features to Stackline Beacon - these are accessible to our brand partners, but our expert team also uses their market understanding and these automation tools to perform root cause attribution modeling to hold 3PL accountable for compliance defects. In 2022, this automation and root cause attribution fueled significant results, including 100% shortage dispute submissions and 50% recouped chargebacks.
We're dedicated to eliminating out-of-stocks for our brand partners. Our Operations team proactively monitors Retailer inventory levels and acts to effectively manage inventory position, ensure sales don't suffer and vendors don't endure expensive overstock fees.
With granular data into every SKU – covering SEO, pricing, in-stock rate, and market share – we provide data into the drivers of sales volatility impacting performance. Our advanced forecast modeling provides insight into forecasts, inventory ramp, and even backup offers for key promotional events. With the added intelligence from our Operations team, we help brand leaders analyze, forecast, and flawlessly execute their promotional events.
Stackline recognizes that every brand has different needs and goals, so we've tailored our operational engagement model to meet the needs of each partner. To ensure our functional experts can implement and evolve operation strategies that cater to your unique brand needs, we start with a comprehensive operational assessment and perpetuate a continuous, open feedback loop with our partners.
Interested in learning more about our Operational offerings? Connect with us today.
On a mission to fuel the future of commerce by bringing brands and customers closer together, Stackline is the first full-funnel connected commerce platform for the world's most innovative brands. Business leaders, product innovators, performance marketers, and financial firms trust Stackline as the single source of commerce truth. Fueled by proprietary neural networks and deep learning systems, Stackline's market insights, revenue metrics, behavioral data, and autonomous functionality, create the actions that determine success or failure.
Founded in 2014 in Seattle, Stackline employs over 250 connected commerce professionals creating value for 7,000 global brands.
For additional information visit www.stackline.com
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