Many retailers are looking to make omni-channel technology investments next year, according to new research from RSR. The annual benchmark on omni-channel strategies found that while the term “omni-channel” has applied to the retail industry for less than 10 years, many of the solutions that help retailers present a unified face to customers are becoming outdated. In addition, the way retailers define omni-channel and what it means for their business is evolving.
In 2017, the top three omni-channel areas retailers plan to invest in are:
- Enterprise-Wide Inventory Visibility: 37% of retailers endeavor to make a change to their system and/or process, 19% of which are planning net-new projects. RSR believes retailers have some ways to go to maintain inventory visibility – due, in part, to ship-from-store and other cross-channel efforts to save the sale at any cost. The article suggests retailers take a step back and evaluate what inventory visibility actually means to them considering that key internal stakeholders – merchandisers and store employees, for example – often have their own interpretation. In addition, the term “enterprise-wide” does little to describe what level of visibility is actually needed, how “real-time” it needs to be, or how frequent as this can vary from company to company.
- Distributed Order Management: 46% of retailers say they are planning a change to their system and/or process, 14% of which are embarking on net-new projects. Retailers may hesitate to engage in a distributed order management overhaul as the often-lengthy and complicated implementation can shine a spotlight on major process issues. However, retailers that bite the bullet and let the implementation play out as it should will be best-positioned to take advantage of newer distributed order management advancements, especially if store capabilities that drive ship-from-store and other cross-channel save-the-sale activities are included.
- Enterprise Content Management: 42% of retailers are planning to make a change to their system and/or process; 17% of which have budgeted for net-new projects. This area within the omni-channel sphere is the most digital in nature. Today’s content management systems incorporate both product and marketing needs and may continue to evolve to include capabilities like managing user-generated content.
Aside from these three omni-channel areas, retailers will also be looking to improve their Enterprise Cross-Channel Analytics. Thirty-two percent indicate they are planning a change to their current system and/or process – the majority of which at 25% have budged for net-new projects. RSR predicts this boils down to purchasing enterprise analytics that provide cross-channel visibility. The ability to tie digital insights to larger business decisions is key to succeeding with omni-channel shoppers.
Read RSR’s full omni-channel retailing analysis here, and contact us today to learn how JustEnough Software’s fully integrated suite of planning solutions help leading retailers compete in today’s ever-more complex omni-channel environment.