The Top 5 Tools for Retail Planners and Buyers in 2024

In the dynamic field of planning and buying for retail, leveraging the right tools can make a significant difference in achieving efficiency and accuracy. Here are five key tools for retail planners and buyers in 2024.

The Top 5 Tools for Retail Planners and Buyers in 2024

In the past, the planners and buyers behind all the items a shoppers sees in-store used a quill, a piece of papyrus, and gauged fashion trends by sitting in a park watching the upper crust throw breadcrumbs at birds. At least, that’s how we like to imagine the past. Today’s retailers have many more tools at their disposal, though the jury’s out on whether they still feed ducks during their lunch breaks.

In fact, it’s safe to say that retail planners and buyers are the backbone of the retail industry, responsible for selecting products that will be sold in stores and online. Their roles involve forecasting trends, planning inventory levels, negotiating with suppliers, and ensuring that the right products are available at the right time, and at the right price.

Retail planners focus on the strategic allocation of inventory to meet sales goals, whereas buyers concentrate on selecting and purchasing the merchandise that matches consumer demand. Both must navigate a ton of data and ever-evolving trends, making decisions that directly affect the profitability and success of their retail brands. In such a dynamic field, leveraging the right tools can make a significant difference in achieving efficiency and accuracy. Here are five key tools for retail planners and buyers in 2024.


Apparelmagic is a comprehensive tool tailored specifically for the fashion industry, offering robust features for today’s modern retailers. Its capabilities span product lifecycle management, inventory control, and customer relationship management, providing a unified platform to manage the end-to-end process of fashion retailing. Retail buyers can use Apparelmagic to keep track of trends, manage supplier relationships, and place orders with precision, ensuring that the latest styles are available to meet consumer demand. The software's detailed reporting and analytics features also allow for the monitoring of sales performance, helping planners optimize inventory levels and distribution strategies.

For retail planners, Apparelmagic's planning and forecasting tools are invaluable. They can accurately predict demand for different product lines, adjust buying strategies accordingly, and manage budgets to maximize profitability. The platform's real-time inventory management system ensures that stock levels are maintained efficiently, reducing the risk of overstocking or stockouts. This level of control and visibility over the product life cycle enables retailers to react quickly to market changes, aligning their strategies with consumer preferences and seasonal trends.


NetSuite stands out as a powerful (and popular) ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution that offers comprehensive functionality for retail planners and buyers, agnostic of sector. Its cloud-based platform integrates business processes across finance, CRM, and ecommerce, providing real-time visibility into operations. For retail buyers, NetSuite's procurement and supply chain management modules streamline the purchasing process, from order to payment. It offers tools for vendor management, purchase order management, and inventory tracking, making it easier to manage relationships with suppliers and ensure timely delivery of merchandise.

Retail planners benefit from NetSuite's sophisticated planning and budgeting capabilities, which allow for accurate sales forecasting and inventory optimization. The platform's analytics and reporting tools offer deep insights into sales trends, inventory turnover, and customer preferences, enabling planners to make informed decisions about product assortments and pricing strategies. By integrating financial and operational data, NetSuite helps retailers maintain a balance between demand and supply, improving overall business efficiency and profitability.


Autone is an innovative AI-driven tool tailored for retail planners and buyers seeking to refine their forecasting and trend analysis processes. The platform uses machine learning and predictive analytics to help buyers make strategic decisions about their product assortments, ensuring they align with emerging consumer demands. Autone aggregates data from multiple sources, analyzing historical sales patterns, market trends, and customer behaviors to deliver highly accurate predictions. These insights allow buyers to select merchandise that resonates with future market trends, ensuring they secure the right inventory mix to meet customer expectations effectively.

For retail planners, Autone offers comprehensive tools for inventory optimization and demand forecasting. Its analytics engine provides planners with actionable insights that allow for strategic adjustments in stock levels, reducing both overstock and stockouts. By anticipating consumer demands with remarkable precision, planners can ensure that their merchandising strategies align perfectly with upcoming trends. With Autone's predictive capabilities, retail planners and buyers can gain a competitive edge by creating data-driven strategies that respond dynamically to changing market conditions, ultimately driving higher sales and profitability. is a versatile project management tool that streamlines collaboration and workflow management for retail teams. For retail planners and buyers, it provides a flexible platform to manage everything from product development and purchasing to inventory planning and sales analysis. By centralizing communication and task management, ensures that all team members are aligned and can track the progress of various projects in real-time. This collaborative approach helps in identifying bottlenecks early, ensuring that critical deadlines are met, and goals are achieved efficiently.

The tool's customizable dashboards and reporting features allow retail planners to monitor key performance indicators, track budget allocations, and assess the impact of their strategies on sales and profitability. For buyers, facilitates the management of supplier relationships and purchase orders, providing a clear overview of timelines and deliverables. This level of organization and transparency is crucial for navigating the complexities of retail planning and buying, enabling teams to adapt quickly to changes and maintain operational agility.

42 Technologies

42 Technologies is a powerful retail analytics platform that democratizes data analysis for both retail planners and buyers. By aggregating sales, inventory, and customer data into a user-friendly interface, it provides actionable insights that can drive strategic decision-making. Retail buyers can use 42 to identify best-selling products, track sell-through and returns on the SKU level, and provide insights to help tailor their buying strategies to capitalize on market trends. The platform's advanced analytics capabilities enable detailed segmentation and analysis, helping buyers understand consumer preferences at a granular level.

For retail planners, 42 offers tools for inventory optimization and demand forecasting. By analyzing sales data and market trends, planners can ensure that inventory levels are aligned with consumer demand, reducing the risk of overstock and stockouts. And best of all, 42 helps planners “cherry pick” various attributes across their ecommerce platform, POS, and ERP. While each of these tools individually provides some attribution, 42 can pull from all these systems at once and create a custom and consistent product hierarchy so planners can view their business in a very specific way that fits their own purpose.

The role of retail planners and buyers is increasingly complex and data-driven in 2024, but the tools highlighted here can provide powerful solutions that will help professionals achieve the highest ROI. They can optimize strategies, respond dynamically to market changes, and ultimately contribute to the success and growth of their retail operations. As the retail landscape continues to evolve, embracing these technologies will be key to staying competitive and meeting the ever-changing demands of consumers.