Special Report: Retailers With Superior ‘Store Experiences’ Likely to Win the Multi-Channel Race, Says Manthan Systems

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Increased pressure from online competitors is motivating retail stores to devise out-of-the-box strategies to attract and engage cross-channel shoppers

Manthan Systems

Manthan Systems

It’s up to retailers to play it up and think of new and innovative ways to keep their stores viable, profitable and transform these into superior customer service hubs

Manthan Systems, a leading player in the Retail Business Intelligence space, today released a special report on the future of stores in a multichannel retail environment. The report underlines the need for retailers to react quickly with superior customer experiences, advanced distribution mechanisms and personalized support to survive the blitzkrieg from online channels.

Manthan’s report highlights that shoppers, today, are willing to buy online a range of products that include books, consumer electronics, grocery, music and toys. “Large format retailers with heavy investments in huge floor space and extensive inventory in such categories have to think on their toes how to make their store investments profitable. They have to devise ways to retain customers who are migrating to online shopping,” says Atul Jalan, CEO, Manthan.

Recent research from the Harvard Business School, Retailing Department, highlights the decline in retail store asset productivity since the start of the recession in 2007. The study points to the steady fall in store sales during the economic downturn, while sales on the Internet shot up to $165 billion in 2010 from just $28 billion in 2000. At current rates, online purchases are likely to exceed $250 billion by 2015.

However, retailers can take heart from the fact that despite these figures, online sales still account for only about 5 percent of the overall retail market. Gartner validates this in recent studies indicating that more than 91% of retail revenue came from stores in 2009.

Manthan’s report offers critical pointers to multichannel retailers on how they can leverage their stores as a key differentiator in the cross channel shopping process. It highlights steps that retailers can take to offer unique customer experiences that other channels will find impossible to match.

Report Highlights :

  •     Stores are devising ways to optimize retail space usage, cut inventory and increase efficiency of store level assets.
  •     Interactive kiosks in stores offer customers complete assortments without maintaining extensive stocks in-store. Mobile technologies delivered on hand-held devices like iPads and tablets are empowering store staff to easily pull out information on stocks, prices and offers without having to leave their customers’ side.
  •     Advanced fulfilment techniques such as Distributed Order Management (DOM) and Endless Aisle systems help retailers leverage the best logic to fulfil each order in the smartest and most cost-effective way.
  •     Retailers are opting for new store designs and layout with well-designed aisles, ‘drive-through’ facilities for picking up products ordered online and effective digital signage to make the store experience convenient and hassle-free for cross-channel customers.

“As long as customers seek the ‘touch and feel’ experience of products, personal interaction with store staff and greater understanding on product use, stores have a vital role. It’s up to retailers to play it up and think of new and innovative ways to keep their stores viable, profitable and transform these into superior customer service hubs,” says Jalan.

For additional information on ground breaking changes in retail store operations, read the full report at http://thoughts.manthansystems.com/2011/11/04/store-operations-and-distribution-in-multichannel-customer-service/

About Manthan Systems
Manthan Systems produces cutting edge analytic solutions for global retail and CPG organizations. Manthan's award winning products, under the brand name ARC, span a wide range of retail segments and formats, and are deployed at some of the biggest names in retail. For more information, visit http://www.manthansystems.com.

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Ajith Nayar
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