Retailers Must Focus on In-Store Piece of Cross-Channel Experience, New Study Finds

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RSR Research, an analyst firm providing market intelligence on retail technology trends, announces the results of its latest research report, "Omni-Channel Fulfillment and the Future of Retail Supply Chain,” sponsored by Manhattan Associates and RedPrairie. The research finds that while retailers are placing a high priority on improving cross-channel fulfillment (for example, buy online/pick-up in store), they often don’t know where to start.

Retailers don't want to provide in-store visibility because they're worried about inventory accuracy.

RSR Research's latest report, “Omni-Channel Fulfillment and the Future of Retail Supply Chain” benchmarks retailers on their progress towards enabling “buy anywhere, get anywhere” scenarios for consumers. The research finds that while retailers place a high priority on these types of initiatives, they often don’t know where to begin in order to address their supply chain challenges.

These findings are based on a survey of 76 retailers in the winter of 2010-11. The report can be downloaded at retailsystemsresearch.com/_document/summary/1256. The report is sponsored by Manhattan Associates and RedPrairie.

"One clear finding that emerged right away was that Retail Winners – those that outperform their peers in overall sales – are focusing on connecting demand collected through digital channels into the store," said Brian Kilcourse, Managing Partner at RSR Research and co-author of the report. "Given that some 95% of retail sales is still transacted in stores, retailers need to get that aspect of their business connected to the online space as quickly as possible – whether that is through in-store pickup or true in-store fulfillment, where they are pulling inventory off the shelves to meet customer demand.”

"We found that many retailers are getting hung up on the tactics,” adds Nikki Baird, the report’s co-author. "They don’t want to provide online visibility into in-store inventory, for example, because they’re worried about inventory accuracy. Or they’re trying to untangle their distribution network without having full visibility into where demand is coming from where the inventory needs to come from in order to meet that demand. In a lot of cases, they’re better off diving in first, and learning how customers really want to use these capabilities, before making big decisions about how these processes ought to be structured.”

”Omni-Channel Fulfillment and the Future of Retail Supply Chain” contains analysis of the business drivers, opportunities, and organizational constraints surrounding cross-channel supply chain initiatives, as well as recommendations for creating successful cross-channel fulfillment capabilities. The report is part of RSR Research's ongoing efforts to provide market intelligence on retail technology trends, and can be downloaded here: retailsystemsresearch.com/_document/summary/1256

About RSR Research:
Retail Systems Research (“RSR”) is the only research company run by retailers for the retail industry. RSR provides insight into business and technology challenges facing the extended retail industry, and thought leadership and advice on navigating these challenges for specific companies and the industry at large. RSR’s services include benchmark reports covering the state of retailer technology adoption for topics ranging from merchandising and supply chain, store operations and workforce management, to customer-facing and multi-channel technologies. Custom research reports provide more in-depth views into topics of industry interest, and advisory services help retailers and technology vendors make the most of the insights RSR provides. To learn more about RSR, visit http://www.retailsystemsresearch.com.

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