Retailer Capabilities
The retailing industry is making an extreme strategy change from that of even a few years ago. Due to the boom of mobile technology retailers have learned the hard way that they can no longer satisfy shoppers with the one single retail strategy or even multiple that are not working together. With the change in structure we are currently seeing in the retail industry it is difficult for many companies to truly achieve a successful omni channel retail strategy because of the limitations of their current technologies.

Just one example of these limitations is reporting. Sixty two percent of retailers are only capable of basic reporting and analytics with their current technology. Effective metric collection and reporting is an integral task in omni channel retailing as retailers need to track where customer traffic is coming from, what channels they are using to complete purchases and determine what is the most optimal set up for their particular retail strategy. Implementing a tool such as a warehouse management system with robust reporting and analytic features will assist in this process if it is integrated throughout all retail channels and all inventory handling levels.

Another barrier to successfully implementing a true omni channel retail strategy is inventory visibility across all channels. There is a very obvious gap between those who see this as a top priority and those who have begun making these changes. Only twenty percent of retailers are currently sharing inventory and inventory information between retail channels, but almost double that – forty four percent say it is a top priority in 2014. Sharing inventory across channels is the main aspect of omni channel retailing and added profit will be seen once companies begin to implement and practice this strategy. On average, twenty one percent more profit is seen when shoppers are engaged across multiple channels. A profit increase of this size could equate to upwards of multi-millions for some larger retailers.

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