A Retail Vendor Portal Built on Trust
Retail Vendor Portal

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If you visualize the future, chances are you don’t see it as a triangle. But look again. Think of the three sides as the weight of the past, the push of the present, and the pull of the future — all in constant tension. This is the Futures Triangle, an analytical tool for charting plausible outcomes based on trends.

SKYPAD, Retail Vendor Portal is about much more than data. Breaking down barriers to transparent communication lays the groundwork for new levels of trust. Trust between retailers and brands, and finally the end consumer. We are doing our part to define one truth, translating disjointed data into quality information that untethers the future of the industry from the shackles of the past.

So, in terms of today’s retail industry, consider the triangle as an uneasy balance with AI dominating the present moving retail toward its inevitable future while the weight of legacy systems keeps retail firmly stuck in the past. Now in context of this mess, the SKYPAD retail vendor portal is an operating system where integrated data, collected, and collated from disconnected inputs and propels retail from the present to the future.

How are you going to manage this? It’s an epic challenge: Most of retail’s fragmented data systems tether the industry to the past with little hope for emerging intact, anticipating the future, rather than catching up to it.

How Did We Get Here?

Let’s take a step back. As the world raced ahead with blinders on into the digital marketplace, retailers were soon drowning in disaggregated data. Demand for next-generation tools designed to harness and organize the endless tranches of stored data became a magnet for innovation. Enter the tech startups inspired by entrepreneurs who saw the problem through a different lens, recognizing it as nothing less than an opportunity.

But retailers weren’t moving as fast. Their dilemma was to build or buy solutions. At first, many retailers boldly tried to develop their own information management systems. Many eventually turned to consultants or technology partners for help. But as the data streams became more complex and analyzing the output into intelligence became increasingly opaque, systems failure was the norm.


Let’s simplify the data nightmare as a use case from the perspective of retail-vendor management. One of the most critical assets of any partnership is trust. Both sharing data and providing partners with full transparency about their brands are based on trust. This trust feeds into the greater insight of knowing that you are not alone in making sense of the cascades of data that confront you daily. From the perspective of the retailer-vendor relationship, knowing exactly where your merchandise is located and what’s selling, then applying that information to run a more profitable business, while also enhancing the customer experience, is priceless.

Yet, the biggest tech pain points for retailers and brands are systems that do not talk to each other, apps that don’t present a holistic view, and solutions that aren’t based on real-time needs. The answer to a better way forward may seem self-evident – on the surface. But if you look more deeply, unpacking the massive headaches tech-based reporting has created needs a different filter.

Emerging from the Glacial Age of Data Management

To add perspective, think of the number of retailer portals designed to accept vendor data uploads into their proprietary platforms. Then add the legions of established internal information protocols and processing teams required to systematize and organize that incoming data. So, in the interest of protecting proprietary information and systems, each retailer develops a distinct methodology for disparate data synthesis while ironically leaving their vendor data and retail intelligence vulnerable. Think about how spreadsheets and insider intelligence can regularly fall into the wrong hands as documents and data are sent via email or other insecure transmission methods.

Mastering the power of tech tools ultimately falls back on people, not systems. Internal tech teams and buyers have struggled to translate incompatible, fragmented data into their existing systems. Without a central hub designed to interpret all this data, retail vendor portal projects have been a disaster. Many have been abandoned.

SKYPAD noticed the problems and how the inefficiencies of this scattershot approach manifested and metastasized. Looking at the situation logically, our engineers designed a solution that not only collects and organizes inventory and sales data on a granular level, but one that standardizes, secures, and right-sizes the data for distribution between brand and retail partners across the industry. Our goal is to establish a tool that allows relevant parties to access the same data at the same time, defining one truth based on consistent data. You could say that our SaaS solution is the Rosetta Stone essential to a new level of understanding, a singular truth that changes retail from a reactive culture to a proactive one. And our relationships are based on trust. With clean, coherent, dynamic data as a scaffold, analysis, inventory, localization, distribution, and AI strategies can emerge.

Anticipating the Future

So much technology is just another element in a sprawling technology stack. We start from another vantage point: We do not underestimate the power of foresight principles, examining the long-term impact of business, and exploring implications for multi-brand department store and ecommerce retailers, brand clients, consumers, and even the planet. It is critical intelligence culled from disconnected threads of data. This intelligence transforms the Futures Triangle making the weight of the past diminished, and shapeshifting to the pull of the future.

Imagine how multi-brand department stores or ecommerce retailers can be relieved from complicated layers of organizational workflow, reducing risk, increasing productivity, supporting pricing optimization, and stemming costs. Imagine a painless data distribution platform that can be leveraged and applied to popular and emerging sales channels including marketplace, resale, and AI-fueled models. And then imagine bridging the data divide between your organization and the brands you work with. It distills into a simple truth: solving the issue of fragmented data facilitates growth.

And who benefits the most from an integrated reporting system? The consumer.

Refined data accommodates ideal pricing enabling more full-price sales. On the face of it, customers in the habit of shopping markdowns may not love full-price sales. But honestly, how can any customer trust a retailer that races to the bottom with price promotions? How can you trust a price-slashing merchant that undervalues its merchandise? What is anything really worth? If a brand can save a consumer time, establish an informed definition of value, and gain trust, it can unlock the ultimate brand opportunity, a loyal relationship.

The Planet

When we mention the planet, SKYPAD thinks on a higher level by providing a better plan for the environment and thus humanity. When business intelligence allows partners to operate more efficiently with a platform that enables better decision-making in product development, distribution, and new initiatives, it results in fewer returns, overstocks, and waste. Retail and apparel‘s negative impact on the planet has been well documented. We believe that the best way to support a more livable world is through considered design and small, yet focused collective efforts.

In sum, SKYPAD is about much more than data. Breaking down barriers to transparent communication lays the groundwork for new levels of trust. Trust between retailers and brands, and finally the end consumer. We are doing our part to define one truth, translating disjointed data into quality insightful information that untethers the future of the industry from the shackles of the past.

Note: SKYPAD is a Robin Report Innovator. For more information on our Vendor Retail Portal and other breakthrough reporting solutions.



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