Retailing in general involves a flat, straightforward item coding system also known as stock keeping unit (SKU). When it comes to the Fashion industry (clothing, footwear, accessories, etc) this item coding structure should cater to a more complex set of attributes even though the core product is similar. This is commonly referred as the matrix item structure as is commonly used fashion industry. It involves creating a product hierarchy based on different product attributes, such as style,  color, size, style, and also fit. Additional attributes such as material can also be included. Each attribute is assigned a unique code or identifier, and products are then categorised based on their combination of attribute codes.

For example, a T-shirt may have multiple variations based on style, color, size and fit. Using the matrix item structure, each variation would be assigned a unique code based on its combination of attributes. The style code can be ‘SP01’ for Polo neck, the color code might be ‘CB01’ for blue, and the size code might be "SM02" for medium, and the fit code might be "FC01" for a classic fit. The unique code for the Polo neck, blue, medium T-shirt would be a combination of the three codes, such as ‘SP01-CB01-SM01.’

iOM’s Retailigence is one of the few and early adopters of this matrix structure in their Distribution Solution (Inventory, Sales Order Processing, Purchase Management and Point-of-sale). This matrix structure allows for easier inventory management and tracking, as well as providing customers with more options and variations to choose from. It also allows retailers to easily analyse sales data by product attributes, helping them make better decisions about which products to carry and how to allocate inventory.

One of the other key advantages as well as differentiators of this solution is the incorporations of Loyalty and Promotions modules that can take advantage of the attribute analysis and provide custom incentive/promotional schemes to drastically increase Sales.  

Since most of the tier 1 providers cater to general systems and not niche areas such as this, iOM has been integrating it’s Matrix-based POS/Distribution solution with leading ERP systems throughout Asia and the Middle-East.