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Study: Retailers grow omnichannel in response to consumer demand


The omnichannel evolution has begun — and more retailers are adopting the business strategy to better meet shoppers’ needs.


That’s according to “Retail Insight: Moving Beyond Omnichannel,” a report from SPS Commerce and conducted by Retail Systems Research. The study, which is based on responses from more than 500 retailers, suppliers and logistics firms worldwide, said that more than 35% of retailers are on track with their omnichannel execution, up nearly 200% year-over-year.


Delving deeper into the actions of retail winners (defined as companies growing 4.5% or more annually), this group continues to advance their lead in omnichannel “by forging closer collaboration with their trading community to deliver the speed and consistency across channels that consumers want and expect,” said Nikki Baird, managing partner at Retail Systems Research.


Consumers are definitely calling the shots in this increasingly omnichannel market. In fact, more than 75% of respondents cited consumer demands as the top factor shaping their business over the next five years. 


“Shopper demands for a personalized and seamless experience across all channels are outpacing the retail industry’s ability to keep pace,” said Peter Zaballos, senior VP and chief marketing officer at SPS Commerce. “The findings from this year’s industry benchmark report demonstrate the urgency of streamlining order fulfillment, the importance of real-time inventory visibility and the critical role accurate item information plays in delivering an engaging consumer shopping experience.”


Of course, there are still challenges to overcome. For example, order fulfillment execution continues to be difficult due to dramatically increasing order volume and complexity. Specifically, legacy systems are the top factor hindering omnichannel execution among 29% of companies, data revealed.


It is a factor that needs to be solved with 53% of respondents expecting increased online orders; 43% expecting increased item attribute sets; 55% expecting assortment expansion, and 40% planning to increase drop ship vendors, the study said.

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