Retail Moves Beyond Omnichannel [Research]

by | Jan 16, 2017 | Omnichannel, TeamSPS

By Peter Zaballos, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer and
Jim Frome, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Five years is a long time in retail. We’ve see omnichannel retail evolve from a relatively unknown term into what is simply the new norm for everyone in the industry. This year’s research shows that retail is moving beyond omnichannel, seeing it not as a strategy but what shoppers expect.

Since 2011, SPS Commerce has teamed with Retail Systems Research (RSR) to annually survey hundreds of retailers, suppliers, distributors and logistics firms to understand their outlook and strategic focus for the coming year.

The results of our annual survey are available at the SPS Commerce booth (#337) during NRF 2017: The Big Show this week in New York City or can be downloaded from our website.

Your peers weighed in on 2017

While many called 2016 the year of the consumer, our research confirms the industry shows no signs of changing its focus in 2017 with more than 75 percent of respondents citing consumer demands as the top factor shaping their business over the next five years. In 2017, omnichannel capabilities are expected, digital’s influence continues to rise and speed is a necessity.

Here are a few findings from the new Retail Insight report:

  • Omnichannel execution is on track for more than 35 percent of retailers, a nearly 200 percent increase year-over-year;
  • Order fulfillment execution continues to be difficult due to dramatically increasing order volume and complexity, with 53 percent of respondents expecting increased online orders, 43 percent expecting increased item attribute sets, 55 percent expecting assortment expansion and 40 percent planning to increase drop-ship vendors;
  • Legacy systems are the top factor hindering omnichannel execution, with 29 percent of companies naming legacy systems as their top obstacle.

What winners do differently

The 2017 report highlights the strategies of “retail winners” which are companies growing 4.5 percent or more annually. These companies demonstrate an increased focus on collaborating with supply chain partners, building a strong internal culture and expanding their brand awareness across all channels – which enable them to satisfy consumer demand for personalization through broader assortments and accurate, faster shipping options.

“In the fifth year of publishing this benchmark study, we’ve identified the key practices of retail winners, which are growing nearly 50 percent faster than the rest of the market,” said Nikki Baird, managing partner at Retail Systems Research. “In 2017, these companies will continue to advance their lead by forging closer collaboration with their trading community to deliver the speed and consistency across channels that consumers want and expect.”

Download the complimentary research report to see how your 2017 plans compare with your peers. And, if you’re looking to move quickly on your 2017 initiatives, contact SPS Commerce to help.

SPS Commerce Blog Team