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Retain Customers in the Apparel Industry

2/11/2013 12:17:45 PM Posted by Erin Carrather

How to Successfully Retain Customers in the Apparel & Footwear Industry

It’s no doubt that this is a pretty challenging economic climate, regardless of what industry you’re in. But for Apparel & Footwear companies, you want to make sure you can satisfy your customer base during these growing times. Your customers are the ones you count on to stay profitable, after all. This profitability is directly related to what Enterprise Resource System (ERP) you use. When most growing Apparel & Footwear companies look for an ERP system, they often think a solution like SAP is too complex and as a result choose a solution that is inadequate for their business, leading to inefficient process. The truth is - the more inefficient the processes, the harder it is to retain customers.

You know how important it is to create unique buying experiences that satisfy customers’ purchase requirements, thus convincing them to keep coming back. The challenge you will face, though, is the fact that in the Apparel & Footwear industry it can complex to manage a business with both retailers and individual requirements. You’ll often have to process large, high volume of order with unique specificities like color & style combinations. With SAP Business One and Third Wave Business Systems, you have the right ERP tools to satisfy customers’ purchase requirements and encourage them to keep coming back. Spend less time on the order-to-fulfillment process and more time on expanding your brand.

Ultimately, SAP Business One and Third Wave will enable you to create customer loyalty and drive your profits, while eliminating manual processes and keeping your staffing levels consistent. Here are a few strategies you can use to satisfy your customers in the Apparel & Footwear industry:

Anticipate What Your Customers Will Need & Want Before They Do: This is the best way you can engage your customer base. Business One enables you to analyze the buying patterns & behaviors of your customers who make routine purchases. In turn, you will be more proactive at driving sales while preventing those same customers from shopping around with your competitors. Additionally, anticipating what your customers may need & want can also help predict what their future requirements may be, based on the timing and frequency of their purchases. In the end, you can then offer them recommendations based on marketing profiles and target groups.

How Do You Know Which Customers Are Most Profitable?: It’s crucial to your company’s success that you can analyze when purchases were made, the frequency of orders, and the revenue generated from those orders. That way, you can segment your customers according to their value. Of course, this doesn’t mean that only high-revenue customers are valuable. A customer who buys less but requires no additional support may be just as profitable and valuable to you. By understanding the means of your profitability, you can cultivate positive relationships and use predictive modeling in SAP Business One to segment and cluster customers based on what behaviors you anticipate seeing.

Deliver Superior Support: Without the ability to make and meet your promises for goods and services in a timely manner, you’ll most likely never be able to deliver superior customer support. When a customer places an order, salespeople should be able to quickly analyze the product requirements and make accurate promises regarding the order quantities they can fulfill/promise. Since SAP Business One will integrate with your inventory and supply chain applications, you can easily create and manage customer orders, generate quotes and proposals, check product availability, and track orders through the fulfillment process. With this supply chain visibility comes the ability to avoid missed promise dates and product misallocation while reducing stock outs. By knowing what is available to sell and what inventory you can promise to your customers, you’re able to meet your delivery commitments.

Maximize Your Customer Lifetime Value: By using SAP Business One, you can be strategic and enhance the value that each customer can deliver over the course of your business relationship. Isolate issues that drive up support costs by analyzing your customers’ interactions, giving you more insight into what processes need adjustments and eliminating the need for additional support.

Instantly improve customer profitability while increasing your revenue. The overall benefits SAP Business One has for the Apparel & Footwear industry is insurmountable. By easily scaling up sales, maintaining a constant level of staffing, and being educated on what quantities of stock you can sell/promise, you will improve your overall margins.

**Third Wave will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday, March 13th 2013 on our Apparel & Footwear Services. This event is definitely beneficial if you are a growing company in the Apparel & Footwear industry. To register, please click HERE. Contact Third Wave today & make superior support a reality!