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RSR Announces Its 2024 Research Topics

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It’s that time of year again, when the partners here at RSR announce what topics we’ll be studying in 2024. We started internal discussion back in August, and have spent past few months querying many of the finest retail minds we know to seek confirmation – and to find out what we’re missing.

How did we do? And are there topics you’d want to see here? As always, we’re open to suggestions, and look forward to feedback.

Store: The store has seen a resurgence, but in the context of consumers’ digital-first shopping experiences.  This has profound implications on how employees work and how consumers shop. We will conduct a survey to understand those implications.

Survey Launch: November 2023

Report Release: January 2024

Supply Chain: Supply chains are still in a state of incredible flux, and are now having to deal with new issues relating to sustainability and resiliency. Retailers are investing heavily in the ability to achieve real time visibility into their supply networks in order to monitor and respond to exception conditions as they occur. This report aims to uncover their spending plans, as well as their challenges along the way.

Survey Launch: December 2023

Report Release Date: March 2024

Analytics: Three dynamics are triggering big changes in how data analytics are used in the retail industry. First, there’s an explosion of non-transactional data sourced from both within the enterprise and from the outside world that can alert retailers in real-time changing conditions in the supply chain, the marketplace, and in internal operations. The second is the infusion of insights derived from those data and advanced analytics to help operators respond quickly and effectively to changing conditions. The third is the automation of operational decision making as a response to changing conditions. Retailers are just learning how important the new insights that advanced analytics can deliver are.

Survey Launch: January 2023

Report Release: April 2024

Marketing:  Marketing’s rise to ascendancy in the past decade has been remarkable. While media-based mass marketing is on its way out, hyper personalized marketing is a hot topic. How are retailers managing this shift? How does this intersect with customer loyalty programs, shopper journeys, and the trend towards localized product assortments? We intend to find out.

Survey Launch: February 2024

Report Release: May 2024

Customer Experience: The shopping experience is being completely driven by consumer adoption of new technologies, which happens faster than retailers’ ability to absorb the outcomes of those new technologies. What does the new user interface look like, and how are business users aligning the underlying infrastructure to guarantee each customers receive the same level of service regardless of the UI. We will query retailers to find out how they are preparing for this reality – and how they are investing for it.

Survey Launch: April 2024

Report Release: July 2024

Commerce: Consumers shop however they want throughout the selling environment, and retailers are still organized along selling channels. As a result, there are still countless integration problems that add to cost and complexity that must be overcome. This report will take a hard look at how they are addressing this challenge, which shows little signs of subsiding despite consumers’ progress.

Survey Launch: May 2024

Report Release: August 2024

Returns: The post-pandemic rise in digital-first shopping experiences (D2C or buy-online/pickup-in-store) has created a negative reflection: the volume of returns has increased dramatically. While most retailers have quickly cobbled together systems to accept these returns, the time to enact more formal and efficient returns systems is well at-hand. This report seeks to identify what retailers are doing, what their greatest challenges are, and how they are investing in order to streamline and improve their returns processes.

Survey Launch: June 2024

Report Release: September 2024

Workforce Management: This report is a continuation in our ongoing study into the enormous shift in the current retail workforce, and what is expected of the people who still pursue jobs in retail. We will also examine the challenges retailers face in a workforce conditioned to utilize consumer-grade technologies for seemingly every task in store.

Survey Launch: July 2024

Report Release: October 2024

The 2024 Holiday Report: Each year holiday season becomes less about specific events (Black Friday, Cyber Monday) and more about a competitive stance for the entire Q4. We want to examine how Retail Winners aren’t just winning on big event days – but are actually winning the season.

Survey Launch: August 2024

Report Release: November 2024

We’ve also reserved 2 spots (one in February, one in December) in order to take on custom research projects. We’ve got a few on deck, but if you’ve got a topic you’d like to see covered, we’re all ears. And if any/all of these topics seem interesting, we will also be hosting our annual research agenda walkthrough webinar, and invite one and all to join. We’ll be sharing some of our biggest findings from 2023, and also explaining why we’re choosing to study the above topics, what those projects will look like, and what we hope to find out.

Please join us on December 7th at 2pm EST for this very special event. It will, of course, be made available to watch on demand after-the-fact to anyone who registers to attend.

Newsletter Articles November 10, 2023
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