Retailers’ top four omnichannel investments in 2017
Through a special arrangement, what follows is a summary of an article from Retail Paradox, RSR Research’s weekly analysis on emerging issues facing retailers, presented here for discussion.
Our annual benchmark on retailers’ omnichannel strategies shows that core omnichannel technologies added over the last decade are getting a little long in the tooth. What omnichannel means to retailers has changed enough that it is time to re-evaluate whether technology investments are still hitting the mark.
Unfortunately, many retailers are finding their existing systems need to change. The top four places for planned omnichannel technology investments are:
Distributed Order Management:
(46 percent planning a change, 14 percent with net-new budgeted projects)
DOM has evolved significantly over the last few years, especially if you include store capabilities that drive ship-from-store and other cross-channel save-the-sale activities. If existing DOMs can’t take advantage of these new capabilities, retailers can’t afford to lose that much control over their inventory.
Enterprise Wide Inventory Visibility:
(37 percent planning a change, 19 percent with net-new budgeted projects)
Ship-from-store and other cross-channel modes are demonstrating glaring inefficiencies in inventory tracking. I’ve come to suspect that retailers are so bad about inventory visibility in part because they don’t have a strong definition of the term — visibility means something different to a merchandiser than to a store employee. Internal organizations need to home in on what they really need, how “real-time” they need it, or how often they need it.
Enterprise Content Management:
(42 percent planning a change, 17 percent with net-new budgeted projects)
Content management systems have evolved significantly to incorporate both product and marketing needs, and may yet evolve again to include capabilities like managing user-generated content that is posted on social media channels.
Enterprise Cross-Channel Analytics:
(32 percent planning a change, 25 percent with budgeted projects)
Many retailers that use enterprise analytics to look across channels are looking at siloes only and maybe aggregating only financial data, if anything. The most frustrating gap we found was retailers’ inability to tie digital insights to larger business decisions. If they can’t figure that out, how are they going to succeed with omnichannel shoppers?
- Retailers’ Top Three Omni-Channel Investments In 2017 – RSR Research
- Retailers’ Omni-Channel Blind Spot: Digital – RSR Research
Discussion questions: In what areas should retailers focus their omnichannel investments in the year ahead? Do you see 2017 as a year when retailers will make major tech investments or more of a sit-and-wait year?