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How to improve on-shelf availability and increase sales in a simple way


In our post called ‘Is there a ‘silver bullet’ to solve the problem of Out of Stock in retail?’ we wrote about the size of the out of stock (OOS) problem in retail, the difference between store OOS and shelf OOS and the six key areas for OOS solution. Read it https://www.sumatus.eu/post/is-there-a-silver-bullet-to-solve-the-problem-of-out-of-stock-in-retail.

Now, we would like briefly to talk about the simple way of improving on-shelf availability (OSA).


Below is a list of the most common in-store operating issues which negatively affect OSA:

  • Phantom inventory. Accounting system includes products which are not in the store. It is a major contributor to store OOS due to inaccurate store ordering.

  • Products not appropriate for sale. Timely not written off damaged and expired products which are in the store and accounting system.

  • Product in store, but not on shelf. Products are still in the backroom after receipt, or shelf replenishment is late during the day.

  • Shoppers don’t see the product. Products are hidden under other products, or products in small quantities are hidden on the back shelves.

  • Price mismatch. One price on the price tag, but the other on cash register’s check, or missing price tag on the shelf.

  • Promo late start. Missing promo products or missing promo price tag at start promo.

These six in-store execution issues are root causes of about 50% all shelf OOS events.



How are retailers dealing with these issues now?


Until now, most retailers use traditional methods of managing OSA:

  • Number crunching using BI tools.

  • Store walks (audits).


Both methods are out of date:

  • Accuracy of OOS event identification is low.

  • OOS event identification and reaction are late.

  • Not measured lost sales due to OOS.

  • Analysts and store personnel sound involvement make the process sensitive to human error, expensive and difficult to scale.


What are today’s solutions uncovering opportunities to sell more?


OSA management solutions could be split into 2 types:

  • Tools developed by using Image Recognition (IR) technology.

  • Advanced analytics tools developed by using Machine Learning technology.

Both solutions provide timely and accurate insights around in-store execution issues about every SKU in the stores, however, IR solution implementation is much more expensive and takes much more time. IR solutions require significant capital investments into image recognition equipment and their integration; therefore, investment payback is at high risk.


We developed AI powered advanced analytics tool SUMATUS on-shelf availability to track sales and inventory balances, which enable brick-and-mortar retailers identify and fix in-store operational issues, improve on-shelf availability and visibility, and restore sales.


Why to choose SUMATUS on-shelf availability solution:

  • Loyal shoppers. The solution ‘attacks’ nearly all in-store execution issues affecting shelf OOS. Higher on-shelf availability leads to higher sales.

  • Happy employee. Store personnel daily receive prioritized alerts to act on specific list of problematic items having highest effect to sales.

  • Accurate orders. Stock balances are rectified in the system. Perfect add-on application to automatic ordering tools.

  • Fast Integration. Integration with retailer’s systems is quick and easy – up to 1 week. Solution payback is observed immediately.

  • Low price. Monthly price per store starts from 10 euro.

Each 2% improvement of on-shelf availability increases sales about 1%.


Request a pilot free of charge: info@sumatus.eu or +370 686 55047.


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