A virtual retail luck roadmap for shops
In 2016, retailers are clearly focused on growing their digital channels and rethinking the role of the store to align with their e-commerce initiatives.
Our recent industry benchmark survey conducted with Retail Systems Research (RSR) highlighted this trend, with 75 percent of retailers listing e-commerce growth as their top priority.
How should retailers think about advancing their e-commerce initiatives this year? Many of our retail customers are using a five-step approach to align their organizations with the needs of today’s digital consumers:
- Assortment expansion. Retailers must rapidly grow their assortments to provide a more complete-basket experience. This requires a systematic process for discovering and qualifying vendors that have the right products and have the ability to fulfill orders directly to the end consumer (i.e. drop shipping). To achieve this, retailers need the ability to tap into a sizable community of pre-qualified vendors, instantly.
- Item data management. Because retailers are aggressively expanding their product mix, they must manage exponentially more complex product content. Retailers need an industry-preferred platform to help vendors collect and validate product data in an efficient way, eliminating the friction of having to conform to each retailer’s item data requirements. Using a standard platform to exchange item data with vendors cuts the time to set up new products from weeks to days. Plus, providing complete item data boosts online conversion rates, driving higher sales for both retailers and vendors.
- E-commerce fulfillment. E-commerce fulfillment models, such as drop shipping and BOPIS (buy online pick up in-store), are top-of-mind for many retailers. Retailers must work with their vendors to enable rapid fulfillment to the end consumer and maintain the integrity of their brand – while carefully managing the cost of these increasingly popular fulfillment methods.
- Supply chain visibility. Actionable insights into supply chain performance are critical. With this visibility, retailers can ensure that vendors are fulfilling orders based on their requirements, satisfy consumer expectations and build brand loyalty.
- Product performance analytics. By collaborating with vendors using sales and inventory data, retailers can empower vendors to provide strategic suggestions about improving margins and sell-through. Plus, it reduces the burden on buyers to stay on top of every product’s performance and every sales trend and makes sure they don’t lose out on a sales opportunity. This helps both the retailer and their suppliers drive higher sales by improving inventory turns and reducing the risk of out-of-stocks and markdowns.
For more details about how other executives are thinking about digital retailing approaches for 2016, download the full RSR report. And for more information on how to source new products, streamline product-content information exchange, enable reliable fulfillment, manage vendor performance and collaborate on product performance, contact the EDI Here team.