Business Intelligence for Retail – Next Level Merchandise Planning

Business Intelligence (BI) for the retail industry offers a wide range of possibilities in planning, reporting and analysis. The transformation of the retail industry towards omnichannel platforms with increasingly sophisticated product ranges means that retailers must rethink and further develop their sales and merchandising planning processes.

The aim of efficient retail merchandising planning is to optimise sales potential, reduce inventory challenges and improve margins. A business intelligence solution can become the central instrument in this process: It enables the relevant data from all sub-areas to be included in planning. This data-driven planning should be based on a clearly defined planning strategy.

Some references

How does optimised merchandise planning with a powerful Business Intelligence solution work in practice?

Learn in our Success Story, how our long-standing customer Zalando has sustainably improved its category planning.

360 degree planning solution by bdg: From strategic planning to merchandise financial planning and assortment planning to in-season planning.

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Strategic planning

  • Planning of key factors and investments
  • Uniform starting point for the entire planning
  • Testing of scenarios
  • Comments functions

Merchandise Financial Planning

  • Product group planning
  • Sales and margin planning at product group level – WSSI and Line Plans
  • Advance payment and discount planning
  • Target stock planning
  • Open to Buy
  • Action planning and tracking

Assortment Planning

  • Category Management
  • Store Clustering
  • Capacity planning
  • Delivery curve planning
  • Assortement planning with Shops

In-Season Management

  • Forecasting
  • Sales Reporting
  • Markdown Management
  • In-Season Open to Buy

Reporting and Dashboarding

  • Plan reporting
  • Management cockpits and dashboards
  • Report folders
  • Visualisation of deviations


  • SAP for Retail
  • TXT
  • Exasol
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • Alexa ERP
  • Godesys
  • Various PLM systems and other data sources

Learn about our products and services in an online demonstration

  • High degree of prefabrication for  rapid success

  • Relevant information and simulations with the press of a button

  • Improved control over projects, lines of business and channels

  • Impulses for drill-down analytics

  • Improved quality through interactive collaboration

  • Relevant, timely reports and dashboards: groundwork for intelligent, databased decisions

360 degree planning solution by bdg: From strategic planning to merchandise financial planning and assortment planning to in-season planning.

An Overview, literally.


The starting point of the 360-degree solution from bdg is strategic corporate planning: Merchandise planning begins with the determination of the key factors and investments which are decisive for the success of the company.

BI-supported planning makes it possible to view future growth opportunities from every angle, according to merchandise groups, brands or channels, individually or in any combination.

Retailers can test assumptions on an aggregated level, which can be automatically distributed to the granular levels using intelligent calculation modules.

Jedox Dashboard bdg Suite Retail

Clustering & Product planning


Ein Ansatz kann auch die Clusterung nach möglichst homogenen Gruppen sein, um die Planung nicht unnötig aufzublähen. Business Intelligence unterstützt dabei, indem Aggregationen mühelos möglich sind, ebenso wie ein Drill-Down bis ins letzte Detail-Level.

Another approach could be clustering data in fairly homogenous groups to avoid unnecessary planning complexity. Business intelligence helps as top-level data aggregation is made just as easy as a ‘drill-down’ check into detail.

Merchandise planning is a particularly dynamic process, which is why adjustments during a current season (in-season management) are essential for increasing sales.

The comparison of actual performance with forecast performance enables rapid intervention and corrective adjustments to be made if necessary.

bdg | better decisions group / Jedox Partner
Jedox Dashboard bdg Suite Retail 2

Merchandise & Assortment Planning


The specifications of the strategic planning form the basis for the next steps, which focus on the close networking of financial planning (Merchandise Financial Planning) with assortment planning. The financial framework is set by Merchandise Financial Planning, which is then filled with content by Assortment Planning.

It is important to clearly define interfaces so that the top-down planning of financial targets can be compared with the bottom-up planning of assortment targets: At what level does the transition from financial planning to assortment planning take place?

Planning by product groups has proven to be a successful approach, as constant demand patterns can be derived at this level. Nevertheless, this is an individual decision for each company, so that the respective business needs are taken into account.

bdg | Retail Suite

Business Intelligence im Retail: Empowerment Software.


The business intelligence solution from bdg can radically optimise work processes for retailers.

Instead of wasting valuable time gathering relevant information from different systems and databases, a BI solution offers all relevant key figures from sales, margins and stock levels to open-to-buy at a glance.

Problems can thus be recognised promptly and solved quickly by taking appropriate measures. Yet another advantage: pre-existing systems can be integrated into one BI application for a holistic overview.

The benefit of business intelligence software for retail.

Business Intelligence Reporting Haken

Integration of all systems in one BI application for a holistic overview.

Business Intelligence Reporting Haken

Process optimisation through the elimination of lengthy data collection and aggregation.

Business Intelligence Reporting Haken

Use of historical data for effective planning.

Business Intelligence Reporting Haken

Testing scenarios for the development of optimal strategies.