Supply chains are becoming more complex in order to support the increasingly diverse levels sizes and needs of new suppliers and customers. There are so many variables that can go into a single sale, like selling across multiple channels, delivering products directly versus delivering through drop shipments, and selling items with one-time charges as well as recurring fees. This transformation is having a tremendous impact on organizations of all shapes and sizes. As supply chain complexity builds, it's important that companies aren't spending more time entering and managing data rather than focusing on growing their business. They should have a well-integrated, audited and secure system that can be precisely reported on at every level.
It's no secret that the apparel, accessory and lifestyle world has long led the way in driving digital innovation across the retail frontier. Considering early initiatives around the convergence of in-store and online channels, several apparel pioneers come to mind – Macy's, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Gap.
The technology-driven shift to omnichannel shopping is the most transformative change to hit retail in decades. Yet in a global survey of CEOs conducted by PwC, only 22 percent felt this monumental shift would impact their organizations. Are these retail CEOs missing the boat?
Specialty retailer Bed Bath and Beyond spent $68m in its recently completed first quarter, primarily for IT enhancements. "While we continue to review and prioritize our capital needs, we remain committed to making the required investments in our company to help position us for our long-term success," said CEO Steven Temares.
The customer expects shoe retailer DSW to be able to gather the shoes she wants, regardless of how she's shopping and regardless of where the shoe is located in the retailer's system. So it's good news that DSW reports it has made significant progress on its omnichannel initiative.
Analyst Insight: Retailers in 2012 will continue to implement analytic engines. The last two years have seen retailers and CPG companies streamline and rethink their multichannel and merchandising strategies. Improved performance is a reflection of this analytics focus. In 2012, retailers will learn through direct customer engagement through mobile, social and web (omni-channel information) to create products, and market to customers based on shopper insights. - Ann Grackin, CEO, ChainLink Research