Why Some Retailers Do Much Better Across Channels Than Others

Incremental Change Is Not Working Out

Retail Systems Research has just released its findings from its 2017 Benchmark Report, Omni-Channel Retailing: Retail’s Existential Challenge. The report, based on a survey of 96 retailers, found that if they are to succeed, retailers must move faster, spend more on tech and employees, and at the same time, get out of the Amazon price war. The research is available for free download (registration required). An eBook version of the report is also available, and is also free after simple registration.

“The way people shop has changed drastically in recent years,” reports Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at RSR Research and co-author of the report. “But unfortunately for retailers, incrementally chipping away at old processes and the systems that supported old ways of shopping just is not working out.”

Key Findings of the research:

  •     With consumers returning products at 3x and 4x what they were just a few years ago, retailers are now facing one of the largest and most difficult EXTERNAL challenges they have ever faced. However, the best-performing retailers are making serious inroads here from which everyone can learn.
  •     Outperformers are also looking to turn the heat up on competition and attack the inefficiencies associated with shipping direct to consumers. What do they most heavily favor? Customer-direct shipping from distribution centers.
  •     What do they de-emphasize? Ship-from-store as a fulfillment option; they know that picking and shipping from the store can lead to uncontrolled costs that destroy per-order profitability.
  •     And underinvestment in enabling technologies is seriously damaging retailers’ ability to execute omnichannel activities profitably. We examine what…

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