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Retailers that do not fully grasp that retail is at a crucial crossroads and adjust their strategies will disappear, and the ones who do step up will see substantial value creation.
Near the dangerous intersection of business as usual and success going forward sits retail strategy and supply chain strategy. Several tipping points have been reached that are forcing organizations to take a fresh view of their supply chains' role in delivering retail strategy to the marketplace.
The customer is now in the driver's seat, and Amazon is leading the pack whether all retailers realize it or not. With online sales, omnichannel, multichannel, social media, technology and customer sophistication booming, retail finds itself at a critical crossroads. Between now and holiday season 2013, major decisions will be reached by both in-store and online retailers that will result in a flood of retailer bankruptcies not seen since the dotcom bubble burst of 2000.
Each retailer will have to forge a unique retail strategy by providing a distinctive mix of price, selection, convenience and experience to offer a compelling reason for customers to shop with them.
To realize this unique retail strategy, organizations must implement the right supply chain strategy and technology to bring customers real benefits and value. They will also have to be great not only in each channel in which they participate, but also in providing a consistent omichannel view of how they can exceed customer expectations any way, anytime and anywhere the customer desires.
Succeeding in all channels requires retailers to achieve multichannel operations excellence (MOE). This process begins with the development of the supply chain strategy for the multiple channels. It then adds the right fulfillment plan, processes, organization, technology and process of continuous innovation. The right supply chain technology will depend on whether retailers substantially enhance their distributed order management system and orchestration system, as well as employ a true demand-driven supply chain system. This technology will position the retailer to achieve multichannel and omnichannel excellence.
In 2013, there will continue to be substantial growth in online shopping and expanded innovation of the in-store experience. In-store retailers will learn how to leverage their stores for customer satisfaction while adding additional channels to attract new customers and increase sales. And supply chains will address increasing levels of customer-centricity and globalism, along with multichannel and omnichannel excellence.
Keywords: retail supply chain, customer-centricity, customer service levels, retail customer satisfaction
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