Benefits of EDI in the Retail Industry

Gain the upper hand in the retail sector with electronic data interchange.

By Molly Goad

November is here, and the signs of the holidays are emerging all around us: Halloween decorations in the neighborhoods are being replaced with those for Thanksgiving and Christmas; online sales and promotions are in full swing, encouraging early shopping this year due to the pandemic; and retail stores are now stocked with the likes of wreaths, ornaments, trees, and more. 

During this tough economic climate, it’s critical for retailers to be at the top of their game. Consumers have many options these days, so you don’t want a shopper to turn elsewhere if items in your store are out of stock. Let’s take a look at how EDI ensures a retailer won’t miss out. 

EDI — electronic data interchange — is the transmission of documents in a common electronic format between two business partners. (Read our EDI primer for the low down on how it all works.) All of the industries using EDI enjoy an improved workflow with less errors and significant cost savings. But there are several advantages specific to retail worth a closer look. 

Automatically Replenish Low Inventory 

EDI allows retailers to replenish low-inventory item stock with an automatic supply system. A sporting goods store can ensure it never runs out of basketballs because its EDI system will know when the stock begins to dip and an order will be placed with a supplier automatically. Therefore, the store won’t miss a sale due to no inventory. 

Find the Right Suppliers 

The transparency EDI offers means retailers can easily see which suppliers are delivering the goods quickly, and which ones are asleep at the wheel. They will be able to identify the companies delivering orders on time and correctly. Retailers can make a change if certain suppliers just aren’t cutting it. This type of insight would take months to discover without an EDI system in place. 

Insight into Boom & Bust Trends

Retailers receive visibility into their product trends that can be quite empowering. EDI allows quick access to data such as what items are selling like hot cakes in which locations. A “boom” item in Arizona could be a “bust” in Missouri, so retailers can adjust inventory supplies accordingly. 

To be fair, this data is available without an EDI system, but the time it would take to analyze is time the shelves might be sitting empty, forcing a shopper to move on. Also, this is the time when a hot item may cool off and opportunities are missed. Would you rather fix inventory issues in a few hours with EDI, or weeks to months without an EDI system in place? 

Increase Sales with Drop-Shipping

Drop-shipping is an extremely efficient means for online retailers to achieve success. An EDI system in place allows a retailer to “stock” items from suppliers with these capabilities, without having to physically house the product. If a retailer uses drop-ship suppliers, its online store inventory will correlate with the supplier inventory. Consumers place orders with the retailer yet the supplier ships it directly to the consumer; the retailer never has to touch the product. EDI makes all of this possible. 

It’s Easy to Implement

If this feels too daunting to try, or if you’re unhappy with your current EDI system yet don’t know how to execute a switch, rest assured: BOLD VAN makes it simple. You’ll be in good hands as we implement our system quickly and seamlessly.  

To find out how to get started, contact BOLD VAN by calling 844-265-3777 or emailing info@boldvan.com

Recommended Posts