For some time now, the retail paradigm has been shifting toward an e-commerce mode, leaving the traditional sales methodologies behind. Businesses are seeing more of their revenue generated from the Web as opposed to the storefront. Consulting firm Boston Retail Partners, said 75 percent of all retail inventory is available for all channels, but just 22 percent have silos that are broken between online teams and those in the stores.
Adapting To Survive
Boston Retail Partners surveyed 500 top North American retailers and discovered that 93 percent of respondents said they are actively unifying operations to serve their client base either online, by mobile device or in stores. However, none of the retailers have consolidated completely and only 22 percent said they have actually combined their teams to date. Data collection and storage is also a concern of those considering unification
Companies Shouldn't Ignore Industry Changes
Retailers can't afford to ignore the signs of the buying model shift. Thirty-two percent of those surveyed by Boston Retail Partners expect most of their growth to come from the Web, but 21 percent countered with estimating their growth will come from stores. That marks a huge change from last year when 52 percent of those surveyed believed their major growth would come from the store level. A full 80 percent said they are expanding more of their operations to the Web during the course of the year because they are realizing that online sales is not just a trend. Keeping up with the changing buyer models is what will keep a business thriving, according to Internet Retailer.
The "2014 Annual Supply Chain Benchmark Survey: showed that the companies queried are somewhat confused about where to focus their resources going into next year.
"None of the organizations surveyed are completely satisfied with the organizational changes made thus far to deliver a more seamless shopping experience," the authors of the survey wrote. "While the long-term benefits to bottom-line profits and customer satisfaction are significant, implementing a unified commerce model is a big task for retailers and it will not be achieved overnight."
Another interesting tidbit garnered from the survey is that 40 percent of the retailers let customers know more about their inventory than staff on hand. Only 18 percent of the retailers surveyed said staffers now what inventory is in the store while 27 percent were sure customers knew before the internal staff.