Are you carrying the products your customers want?

Savino Lobo, Assistant Vice President, Ugam,

Assortment Intelligence, Assortment decisions,category intelligenceYou need to carry the products your customers want. But are you certain which products those are and do you know how you compare to competitors? Here I look at Bluetooth headsets, identify what customers want, and then review four top electronics retailers to see who is meeting consumer demand and who is losing sales to their competitors by not meeting that demand.

The top 10 trending Bluetooth headsets were recently identified using Ugam’s Democratic Demand Index (DDI). The DDI is a proprietary model which consumes and synthesizes a wide variety of democratic data and then reports which are the top trending products. Ugam define democratic data as freely available big data including product reviews, online searches, ratings, and social signals.

Below are the top 10 Bluetooth headsets reported by Ugam’s DDI and an assortment comparison by retailer:

Assortment Intelligence, Assortment decisions,category intelligence

Amazon and NewEgg fare very well as they carry all top 10 trending products.  However, Best Buy is missing three of the top 10 products and Staples is  missing five. These are critical assortment gaps they should consider filling to respond to customer demand and marketplace competition.

The report also revealed that Amazon, NewEgg and BestBuy carry some of these trending products on their own site and the remaining via their marketplace. I recommend that for the trending items merchants should carry the products on their own rather than via marketplace vendors. This lets them better control the factors that impact conversion (pricing, promotion, content and marketing). Amazon does this well, bringing in-house the products that are trending upwards on their marketplace.

For categories that consist of private label products, merchants need to focus on their assortment composition by attribute and find the overlap with trending attributes. For example, in headsets I know from the DDI that the following attributes are important to shoppers:

Assortment Intelligence, Assortment decisions,category intelligence

Retailers may also try to uncover affinity relationships between products. Here’s some analysis I did for a private label product.

By deploying consumer e-demand signals Retailers now have an opportunity to truly know which products are trending, how they compare to their competition, and what assortment gaps need to be reviewed.

The Author:
Savino Lobo is an AVP at Ugam and is part of its retail analytics solutions team and oversees the assortment intelligence solution. He is passionate about leveraging democratic data to help retailers make better assortment decisions. Savino has over 12 years of experience developing research and analytics solutions. Outside of work, Savino enjoys traveling and trying cuisines from around the world besides spending time with his twin 3 year old boys.


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