Customers will come in through any channel and expect seamless service—from social connections through logistics—the right inventory, at the right place, including home. The interesting moves and counter moves are heating up between the key technology and service providers for the retail market in response to the consumers’ demands for omni-channel demand. This is keeping these solution providers on their toes, placing huge bets in development investments and buying or merging with other technology companies.
The rising emphasis on omni-channel has reached a pitched crescendo this year, with no signs of abating. One of the reasons it is “taking so long” is there are so many dimensions to really doing omni-channel well. It touches everything. Even though e-commerce has been around for well over a decade, we are really just getting started on the journey of putting in place the various dimensions of the foundation for widespread true omni-channel integration. In reality there are currently centers of gravity—unifying the front-end (the shopper experience) vs. unifying the back-end (fulfillment). For now that is probably the enterprise’s best approach, since, especially the front-end mobile game is just discovering itself.
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Keywords: retail supply chain, omnitailing, multichannel merchandising, merged-channel retail