The Candid Voice in Retail Technology: Objective Insights, Pragmatic Advice

Sneak Peek At Our Newest eCommerce Research

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We’re getting ready to publish our latest eCommerce Benchmark later this month. What can we expect to learn? Well, for starters, retailers are getting over the panic that giant eCommerce players like Amazon (and Alibaba) will completely destroy their brands. That’s good news.

But what’s fascinating is exactly how retailers identify their own obstacles. Consider this: when it comes to roadblocks to success, retailers know that for far too long their internal organizations have remained siloed – the result of a structural system that once made good business sense, but due to a changing world, no longer does. And while Winners are even more cognizant of the problem (figure, below), that doesn’t mean they have yet figured out how to modernize their operations across selling channels. It just means they aren’t averting their eyes from an inconvenient truth any longer.

Figure:The Past Comes Back To Haunt


Source: RSR Research, July 2018

Winners are also more inclined to cite a dated technology stack that is preventing them from moving forward, an eCommerce platform that cannot be updated quickly enough to match changing needs, and a marketing department that doesn’t necessarily understand the strategies required to win online. Each of these challenges stems from the same place as their top-rated inhibitor: they simply went too long with legacy technologies and practices, constantly hoping to eek out one more year. This resistance to change and investment has come back to haunt them with very real consequences: those who cannot (or will not) adapt right now will be hard pressed to survive.

However, when asked to identify their own best way out, retailers have an interesting view point of what needs to happen next. For the best performers, the store plays a critical role (figure below).

Figure:For Winners, Part Of The eCommerce Key Is… Stores


Source: RSR Research, July 2018

More than half of Retail Winners say that a more coordinated strategy tying digital channels and physical stores into closer alignment is the best thing they can do right the ship. We completely agree, and this sentiment can be found within RSR research as BOOTStrap Recommendations dating back to our earliest days in 2007.

However, it is worth nothing that Winners also place more emphasis on investing in a new, more streamlined technology platform AND establishing a single executive who is tasked with owning the customer relationship across all channels. It should come as no surprise that RSR has also been touting the importance both of these concepts for what feels like eons, as well. For as imperative as it is that retailers stop the delayed purchase of new tech to keep up with consumers, it is equally important to manage that technology – across ALL channels – to guarantee the customer has just as good an experience online as they do in stores. It is heartening to see these concepts taking root with Retail Winners.

Average and lagging retailers, however, are still willing to focus elsewhere. A decision which will only exacerbate their current problems.

We’ll be certain to let you know when the full report is available!

 


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Articles & Opinions July 10, 2018
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