RSR Research Agenda
Retail eCommerce In Context
After years of steady eCommerce growth, we have seen an unprecedented acceleration of the shift from physical stores to online shopping over the past eighteen months.
Our goal in this study was to understand how well retailers have been able to pivot to a digital-first world, the challenges they face, the opportunities nascent in the marketplace, and how their technology portfolios are able to support these shifts profitably.
- Survey Release: Apr-2021
- Report Release: Jul-2021 View Report
Creating Business Advantage With Location Intelligence
The world has changed. To be successful, retailers must have deeper knowledge of their local areas, so they can react quickly to continued changes yet to come that will affect business outcomes.
RSR’s 2020 study on the state of Location Intelligence sought learn about the ecosystem: “How does the industry run operations in the midst of a pandemic that can flare up in unexpected places, die down, and then flare up again?”
As the pandemic winds down, we find new uncertainties and new changes: how far has the retail ecosystem progressed in its efforts to infuse operations with location intelligence? Can Location Intelligence provide the answer to seemingly intractable questions? Which technologies has the industry settled on to make that happen, and what stands in the way? Which operational processes have the most to gain from geo-location awareness? And finally, is location intelligence creating a new competitive wedge for winners?
Read the report to find out!
Paula & Brian
- Survey Release: Aug-2021 Active
- Report Release: Oct-2021
The Retail Supply Chain – Achieving Agility Without Sacrificing Efficiency
The COVID-19 pandemic uncovered some significant failings in the retail supply chain. It became obvious that the operational efficiencies retailers have achieved over the past thirty years have not helped make that same supply chain more agile. The challenges highlighted by the pandemic are not new: now they are just more urgent.
Retailers’ supply chains have long-sacrificed flexibility for efficiency. While this may have worked in the past, it does not work right now. RSR’s 2020 study on the imperative to use new data analysis technologies in the supply chain revealed that over-performing retailers were exploring using predictive modeling to anticipate supply chain disruptions and to be able to recommend cost-optimized corrective actions. But it was also clear that AI-enabled predictive models for such things as labor and transportation costs across the supply chain – or finding optimal DC-to-customer locations to lower costs while still satisfying customer needs – were not yet seen as must have technologies.
The 2020 report pointed out that, “Winners have a tremendous head start when it comes to leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning… the time to move is absolutely now… those who invest in making their business run smarter in these times will stand a much better chance of not only surviving – but in making up some ground.”
This begs the question: what’s the current state of enabling a more agile supply chain in 2021? What technologies have retailers settled on to enable modernization of the supply chain, and can they balance the need to enable an agile supply chain with maintaining or even improving on hard-won efficiencies?
- Survey Release: Sep-2021
- Report Release: Dec-2021 View Report
The Agile Merchandising Lifecycle In The Age Of Disruption
With the exception of fast fashion, the merchandising lifecycle has been less than agile for many years.
Now, in the pandemic, consumers expect more sustainability, the pandemic has changed requirements. It’s time to push the “go faster” button. But it begs the question: go faster in which direction?
The answers are not so simple. We have pre-pandemic data and pandemic era data – but really don’t know what will stick and what won’t. Retailers and their merchandise vendors must find ways to create a more iterative and faster design, produce, allocate, ship cycle.
What are they thinking? Is near-sourcing an option? What technologies do they believe can support them? And….how will they implement those technologies with a predominantly home-based workforce?
This report uncovers retailers’ attitudes about what exactly agility in merchandising means and the challenges they perceive in getting there.
The Future Of Pricing
In an era of inflation and scarcity, with consumers more price conscious than ever, where does the role of pricing go from here? To find out. we need your help.
Please take our survey here.
- Survey Release: Jan-2022
- Report Release: Feb-2022
Are Retailers And Consumers In Sync On Social Responsibility?
In the middle of a global pandemic, one would think that sustainability and environmental and social responsibility would take a back seat and fall off the front pages of the news.
It turns out just the opposite occurred. The impact of climate change brought once-in-a-lifetime wildfires in California and Australia, a massive number of tropical storms in the Atlantic, recognition of the oceanic problems caused by single-use plastics caused many governments to ban them, and inhumane practices in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region led to calls for a boycott.
Of course, retail store and distribution center employees achieved “front-line worker” status and consumers took note of who rewarded those workers and who did not.
While some believe that concerns about sustainability and sourcing are limited to those with enough money to care, others believe that environmental concerns are here to stay and represent yet another hallmark of the generational shift we have been talking about for several years.
The purpose of this research is to find out if retailers and consumers are in sync on this issue. Is it simply a “luxury” that the wealthy care about, or is it reaching into the very core of consumer consciousness? And, do retailers get it?