retailers.jpgRetailers are failing to channel their energies in omni-channel, despite the obvious benefits.  

According to a study of digital industry strategies by Forrester Consulting, commissioned by Software AG, although 56% of retailers consider increasing revenue from sales channels to be of high or critical importance, only 28% consider themselves able to deliver on this.

The omni-channel mantra — giving customers a connected, integrated, consistent experience across all channels — is well known. But if retailers are having trouble achieving omni-channel with existing channels, such as in store and online, how will they cope with the new channels that are popping up every day? As I said in a previous article, retailers are already exploring “conversational commerce” with channels such as Amazon Echo, or Bots in Facebook Messenger.

In order to capitalize on the benefits of new channels, retailers have to quickly adapt and connect to them. Most importantly, retailers must be able orchestrate across systems in order to be able to fulfil the customer promise made through the new channel. Their current systems are simply not designed for this.

Supply chain strategies must be adopted accordingly. “The pressing need to handle omni-channel fulfillment profitably is reshaping retailers' supply chain strategies,” said to CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly.

But, even though 48% of retailers consider supply chain efficiency to be of high or critical importance, only 22% are optimized in their ability to manage this well.                       

Omni-channel supply chain management is vastly different from single channel supply chain and retailers need to achieve these three things:

  1. Visibility inventory across systems
  2. Visibility of processes
  3. Visibility of order status across systems

Otherwise the likes of Amazon will win every time.

Digitalization, and all of the moving parts involved, is a complex task for retailers and many are simply not ready. To find out how fit your organization is for digital transformation, Software AG offer a digital fitness assessment here. It takes about 10 minutes and once complete provides clear insight into priorities to maximize chances of success with Digitalization of your business along with a free copy of the Forrester study: “Energize Your Digital Transformation; Seven Disciplines to Support a Successful Digital Strategy.”          


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