Recently I read an article on National Retail Federation's "Halloween Headquarters" that 1 out of 6 millennials will dress up their animal for Halloween versus 13% of adults. With the rise in cat lovers and hipsters, I wasn’t surprised. I’m not going to lie, I once had a Pomeranian named Armani (yep, and a toy poodle named Gucci) and they both were known to be quite well-appointed furry friends.
Every year, I tried to dress my dog in a costume but he just wouldn’t have it. It was around the Paris Hilton era and all I wanted was for this little fur ball to sit in my purse and wear boots. *sigh*
How does this apply to retail? Well, does your assortment planning take into account opportunities for millennials and their costume-wearing pets?? I assure you, pet owners with those inclinations might deliver some hefty margins. And with that one factor signaling a shift among generations, it can show how knowing the age of the customers walking in to your locations and/or surfing your websites can be important for localization. Unless you are a one-location mom-and-pop shop, a historical volume based clustering approach falls flat. Only an analytics-driven localization approach can help you cluster locations based upon product selling and local demographic information. With analytics, you gain key insights into what really is driving their purchasing decisions and how best to target this audience.
Ensuring this key data element is a part of the assortment planning process is crucial to guaranteeing your millennials can find their pet costumes, and that you're diverting your pet costume inventory away from locations where they're just not going to move as well. This concept doesn’t just impact Halloween - it can have year-round benefits, and it needs to be far more sophisticated than knowing not to ship snow shovels to your Florida stores.
The analytics help you see the patterns that are not as obvious but can have a big impact, especially when you are dealing with high-margin goods and subtleties that can change from store to store. Analytics can help you provide a better customer experience for any customer at any location - that's always the goal, right?
Think about all of the different categories that differ largely by age. Dorm accessories, school supplies, clothing choices, and so much more. This will decrease missed opportunities and excess inventory as well as improving the customers’ experience. There are already 10,835 pictures on Instagram tagged #PetCostume. Where’s yours? Check out how SAS analytics can help you localize your assortments! Let's chat about your localization strategy - whenever you like. Or if you're going to the National Retail Federation's "Big Show" in New York this January we can talk live there.
Either way, I look forward to hearing from you!