Many Retailers are Switching Over to an Omni-Channel Approach that Features Fully Stocked Inventory
Many in the retail industry remember when The Gap, (and it's sub-brands Banana Republic and Old Navy); and JC Penney were brands that were on top. Though these brands are still household names, they are struggling to gain marketplace footing in 2015. Both The Gap and JC Penney have used analytics to decide which approach to take to revive their brands.
In a recent article in Point of Sale News, VP of Applications for CGS, Jason Roth discussed the changes retailers will need to make in the coming years.
Forrester Research predicts that, "60% of all retail sales will involve the web by 2017."
Most retailers have to acknowledge that consumers shop differently. Millennials and Generation Z'ers have never lived in a world without computers and connected devices. In addition, many members of Generation X, the Baby Boomers and even senior citizens now enjoy shopping online and through apps.
Yet retailers still have to:
Attract new customers,
Maintain current customer satisfaction, and
Ensure they're delivering quality products
In order to accomplish these goals, many retailers are switching to an omni-channel approach.
Instead of just having a simple online representation of their business, they launch fully stocked online stores and shopping apps, that they then strive to integrate seamlessly with their brick and mortar stores.
However, though most retailers realize they must launch ecommerce stores and shopping apps to compete in 2015 and beyond, they also realize that the Internet marketplace is expansive and that it's challenging for any online store to maintain visibility and attract shoppers. In fact, the retail industry is perhaps more competitive online than it is in the real world.
Before switching over to an omni-channel approach, Roth advises retailers to:
Identify their goals, and
Choose a, "robust, flexible and scalable," solution that's able to, "manage key components of any supply chain from end-to-end, including merchandise planning, forecasting, brand management and inventory controls."
Roth also acknowledges that retailers must maintain a, "comprehensive view of demand and inventory," so they can make the right buying, marketing and pricing decisions throughout all of their sales channels.