Assortment refers to a collection of products that are distributed from one store to another. It is defined at the global level, and can be composed of channels from multiple legal entities. Each assortment has its own set of products and categories, and a product must be released into a channel before it can be sold. For example, two stores in different legal entities may share an assortment of books, candy bars, action figures, and photos.
Assortment planning is the process of creating different assortments for targeted customer groups. It may also perform other functions, such as determining quantities of inventory to distribute to stores and hold back for direct sales. However, the most appropriate Synonym for ASSORTMENT is “assortment planning.”
Assortment planning should reflect this product hierarchy. A perfect state of assortment planning would allow for specific targeting of products to individual customers. This isn’t possible through brick-and-mortar channels, but it is possible in digital channels. Because the same products may be purchased by many shoppers, the assortment planning should reflect these multiple paths of purchase. Assortment planning is a multi-step process, a product’s CDT will vary across customers.