If you are a Walmart vendor, you have access to a wealth of data via Retail Link. As a service provider, we work with a lot of Wal-Mart vendors, helping them to analyze the point of sale data made available by Walmart through Retail Link. Sometimes a vendor will ask us “If I have Retail Link, why do I need to hire someone to help me analyze POS data?”
Retail Link provides a method for getting POS data, but as the vendor, you will be responsible for transforming the data and you will need a database to store the data. Both of these are critical to provide for comp week and comp year comparisons which are the basis for accurate and insightful POS analysis. The complexity of building a database to store Retail Link data is more than most vendors want to bite off since it requires hardware, software, and IT skills to accomplish.
What can you do with Retail Link data if you have it stored in a database?
· Analyze SKU/store level sales
· Analyze SKU/store level on hand
· Analyze average unit selling price by SKU/store
· Analyze planogram compliance by verifying on hand and selling at traited and valid stores
· Identify out of stock stores, and even forecast demand based on prior sales
· Create SCRIPT forecasts for your buyer indicating where inventory is needed to maximize sales and avoid out of stocks.
· Group stores into A, B, C categories based on SKU level sales volume.
Walmart buyers expect vendors to use Retail Link data to analyze and manage their SKU activity. If you are not already using the data, of if you are not using it as well as you could be, then you are missing sales opportunities. Don’t wait for your buyer to call you and ask a question you can’t address – start working with the data today.