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The grocery business by all accounts happens to be one of the largest businesses out there. And, it has evolved as a business by catering to the emerging needs of the consumer. This process of evolution would not have been possible without effective supply chain management. 

Even into the future, consumer demands are going to dictate how retail supply chains operate and adapt in accordance with market conditions. Presently, the grocery food business is closely aligned to cost-conscious aspirations of the consumer. This is primarily influenced by the greater access to information, the ability to compare prices among retailers and promotional offers. This compels grocery retailers to operate supply chains in a manner that allows keeping costs low yet delivering high value for money.

Consumers today look for innovation and features in products as well as a fulfilling shopping experience. The expectation is that shopping has to be easier, faster and possibly interesting.

Your Retail Coach (YRC) comes with the necessary expertise and experience for helping clients adapt to the future needs of the grocery business with the right dose of technology to make all such businesses future-ready.

Emerging Supply Chain Technologies to Fulfil Consumer Demands

In the last part, we have spelt out that consumer demands are evolving. This means supermarket brands that will catch up quick and align themselves to the consumer needs and requirements are likely to be preferred. Let’s look at emerging technologies that are likely to play a part:

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID):

It permits products to be incorporated with tags that contain a simple circuit and an antenna. An RFID reader can then be used to identify products through electromagnetic radio waves without the need to be in the line of sight. This technology has grown enough to be accommodated into a low-priced goods’ environment.

Internet of Things (IoT):

This refers to the system of interconnected and interrelated objects and devices that are able to connect and transfer data over a wireless network without human intervention. This is an evolving technology that would be especially useful in reducing the dependence on human involvement in areas like warehousing.

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS):

These are integrations of computation, networking and physical processes. This involves advanced connectivity that allows real-time acquisition of data from the physical world and information feedback from cyberspace. This gives rise to feedback loops wherein physical processes affect computations and vice versa.

Big Data Analytics:

The term ‘Big Data’ pertains to large sets of data where the usual data processing applications are rendered ineffective. It mainly refers to extracting value from data through predictive and behavioural analytics and is mainly used in strategic and tactical decision-making.

Machine Learning:

This technology enables computers to learn without being explicitly programmed. It allows automated or assisted decisions making based data collected by sensors. It can be used for large scale decision-making like resource allocation.

Grocery Retail Supply Chain Planning

Grocery retail planning encompasses different stages and largely consists of flow of goods through – Procurement, Warehousing, Distribution and Sales. These planning stages can be again grouped into long, mid and short term tasks.

  • Long-term Planning: Follows the overall configuration of the infrastructure such as procurement logistics, warehouse design, distribution and outlet planning.
  • Mid-term Planning: This will have a time span of 6-12 months and mainly consists of product segmentation, distribution and in-store planning for sales.
  • Short-term Planning: These are mainly activities before execution like planning and scheduling for order, transport and in-store fulfilment on a daily or weekly basis.<

Specific Stages of Grocery Retail Supply Chain Planning

Here the focus is about explaining the effect of technology in planning of particular activities within each stage of grocery retail namely:


  • Technology will impact sourcing strategy and it will easier to keep a track on a supplier based on their performance on parameters such as cost, quality, availability, innovativeness, and environmental impact.
  • Big data analytics will play a vital role in selecting a supplier based on past and expected performance coupled with market information.
  • Product segmentation and allocation according to order patterns will be more effective. The gist being – the right product in the correct amount will be at the right location at the correct time.
  • Technology will allow suppliers to have access to information on Point of Sale (POS) data and inventory status allowing better promotion planning.


  • The number, location, type and function of warehouses will be affected by increased decision support offered by technologies.
  • At the operational level IoT, CPS, AR and RFID will provide visualization of indoor positioning all products, machines and humans. For instance, mobile robots and humans will receive ideal routes and other instructions for inbound and outbound order picking to improve product handling.
  • Capacity planning can be improved by accurately planning requirements for personnel and machines and even shifts based on utilization and efficiency data.


  • Technology will remodel the distribution structure by optimizing the frequency of deliveries, route plans, and the amount to be delivered.
  • Quality of perishables during distribution would be monitored by a combination of RFID and wireless sensor networks that would involve temperature control.
  • The pressure on inbound logistics will be lessened due to the automation of inbound logistics which will allow seamless information flow about incoming goods.


  • By combining CPS, IoT and RFID at retail stores, there is scope for automated shelf management and the possibility for unmanned stores that will function with minimal human intervention.
  • Manual stock counting practices could be eliminated to be replaced by IoT based architecture allowing precise status of on-shelf availability.
  • A combination of historical sales data along with market-related information would be analyzed by big data analytics with different metrics and machine learning to enable effective assortment and promotion planning.
  • Technologies mentioned in the write-up will allow profiling of consumers based on their demand patterns to be targeted with personalized advertisements and promotions.
  • At the strategic level, location of stores can be planned according to customer profiles, aggregated sales data and advanced forecasting.


The grocery business is changing mainly on account of evolving consumer preferences and demands. Supply chain the critical component in the grocery business is seen as the domain with massive scope for technology intervention. Fortunately, technology is keeping pace with the emerging demands of the consumer.

Technologies like IoT, RFID, CPS, Big data Analytics and Machine Learning all are getting integrated into the supply chain strategy governing the grocery business. It is bringing about optimization, automation, reduced wastage, monitoring possibilities and transparency. Such technologies have the potential to enhance decision support and provide more automated decision making.

At Your Retail Coach (YRC), we come with the necessary experience in conceptualizing, strategizing, and implementing both physical and online grocery stores. Our consulting and advisory services have helped many business owners and brands in improving their retail offline & online services. We also have been instrumental in setting grocery stores (physical stores & dark stores) from scratch helping owners with the necessary inputs and resources.



The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.


No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

Photography includes the following steps:

  • Cataloguing your products
  • Cataloguing your images
  • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
  • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)


Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.


Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.


  • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
  • Where should your Warehouse be located?
  • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
  • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
  • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
  • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
  • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
  • How much space do I require for warehouse?
  • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.


At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.


This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

Part 2: UX Designing:

“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

Part 3: UI Designing:

UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!


This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.


Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

  • In-house Design Team
  • Freelance Designers
  • Outsourced Design Team
  • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.


Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

It is an integral part to attract the target audience.


Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.


Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.


Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.


Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.