Create Holistic Customer Experiences through Seamless Channel Integration

This is the second article in our series based on a research report JustEnough recently sponsored with Boston Retail Partners into the current state of the industry around Merchandise Planning which uncovered strategies that retailers can focus on to enable effective planning in today’s omni-channel world.

We will now begin to look into the elements the survey found that retailers can focus on to enable effective planning in an omni-channel world. Please contact us, if you would like to learn more about how JustEnough solutions are helping leading retailers to successfully plan for their omni-channel operations. 

Seamless channel integration 

One of retailers’ key concerns is the integration of people, processes and technology across channels to enable a seamless omni-channel experience. Despite progress, there are still many retailers that plan channels individually and maintain separate assortments and inventories for different channels. Brickand-mortar teams largely operate independently from e-commerce teams and vice versa. There are still opportunities for better integration across channels – and the people, processes and technology to support them – to enable the expected holistic customer experience.

Planning 

To keep up with the competition, most organizations are working towards planning across channels. Some progress has been made, although 60% of retailers still plan for brick and mortar separately from other channels (Exhibit 4)

Exhibit 4: Current channel planning

Current-channel-planning

Assortments

Currently, less than a quarter of the respondents offer the same assortment across channels and the majority of retailers still need to eliminate the separate silos within the merchandising organization (Exhibit 5). 

Exhibit 5: Separate channel assortments

Formal -planning processes

Inventory 

Inventory management across channels has made progress – this year 49% of the respondents vs. 69% last year maintain separate inventory across channels and this year 37% vs. last year’s 31% had no separation of inventory across channels (Exhibit 6). 

Exhibit 6: Inventory management across channels


 


Some progress is being made in the integration of people, processes and technology; however, many retailers have more work to do to fully integrate the organizational aspects of the planning process. 

You can read the complete BRP 2015 Annual Merchandising Planning Report here.