Velocity: the speed at which a product moves from a manufacturer’s inventory to a distributor’s inventory, or from a retailer’s shelf to a consumer.

In other words, how quickly you can get your product to the shelf and how quickly it flies off the shelf and into the shopper’s basket.

You’ll also hear “sales velocity” and “shelf velocity” for this, but in the Walmart vocabulary, just “velocity” will do.

Obviously, the faster the better.

Analyzing average sales per week can give you an idea of your shelf velocity, but don’t miss the chance to compare sales at the store level. This will allow you to identify stores that aren’t performing as well.

If you find stores with no sales and no inventory, you’ve identified out of stocks, and you will be able to calculate the sales you’ve missed while the store was out of stock.

If you find stores with inventory on hand and no sales, you might have found stores with lost or damaged inventory. Those items won’t sell and they also may not be replaced. Not only does this lose you sales, but it also can give a false impression of your item’s velocity.