Announcing the Dinner


Thought Leadership Dinner On Customer-Centric Merchandising and Category Management


In the wake of latest industry events including Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods and its impact on retail, the Research division of Ensemble IQ is hosting an exclusive thought leadership dinner for a select group of executives

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Is Digital Transformation working in the Path-To-Purchase Journey? – Part 1


It is a well known fact that the emergence of online shopping has drastically changed the way we shop and besides brick and mortal stores, online shopping plays a very important role for every brand…..

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Point of View


Lamps Plus : A Case Study-Led Approach to PLM Success


This report entails some key insights from the conversation between EKN’s principal analyst & CFO of a leading lighting retailer operating in US……

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2016 Wrap-Up & 2017 Retail Industry Outlook


While 2016 was a pretty good year for US retail, for most retailers a repeat of 2016 growth will be not be easy replicate in 2017. After all, it is a transition year and as new economic and fiscal policies get activated….

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Point of View


The changing role of the store: Is your workforce ready?


Due to rapidly changing role of store on account of advent of disruptive digital technologies, retailers are contemplating or implementing store transformations and finding themselves in a tough spot….

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LATEST RESEARCH

Competing in the Age of Amazon – Profitable Category Diversification & Expansion Leveraging Customer Insight

A closer look at the category management process of Amazon reveals the customer-centric approach they have adopted while efficiently planning the category development process. This ebook discusses how retailers and suppliers have the opportunity to tap into this category development and optimization opportunity window and emerge as the leaders in their respective categories and markets. Download Full...

Strategies for agile, profitable and secure omnichannel execution

The surge in omnichannel commerce has redefined the way retailers interact with customers. In the pursuit to remain competitive and increase the customer base, retailers have mostly focused on front-end strategies to grab customer attention.However, of late, they have also realized the importance of an integrated order fulfillment and secure back-end process for seamless omnichannel execution.This report entails the various strategies that aid them to do so. Download Full...

Trends in e-commerce & digital fraud: Mitigating the risks

E-commerce, online, web-connected device (i.e. Internet of Things) related fraud is witnessing an upward trend, with merchants experiencing revenue loss as a result of fraudulent transactions. This ebook entails how fraud affects e-commerce business and the various methods and trends in this scenario. It also discusses how retailers are tackling online or e-commerce fraud issues along with providing recommendations for them to prevent fraud. Download Full...

Digital Transformation: Optimized User Experience and Application Performance

Integrating digital convergence along with network optimization and seamless connectivity is the key ingredient for effective business performance. Hence, it is vital for an organization to revisit, consider and plan the usage of the existing capacity before investing in additional capacity to ensure seamless operations and business performance. This infographic covers key digital transformation trends across Retail, Manufacturing, Banking & Finance. It also focuses on major business challenges in executing digital transformation programs and key steps to tackle these challenges across industries. Download...

Fashion and Apparel – Achieving a Frictionless Shopper Experience and Streamlined Operations

This ebook provides insights about the various changes and consumer demands that have affected the fashion and retail industry along with trends that are shaping and modifying it. It also discusses the continual increase in omnichannel sales that has forced retailers to take an active interest to create frictionless, omnichannel shopping experiences for customers. Download Full...

Lamps Plus : A Case Study-Led Approach to PLM Success

This report entails some key insights from the conversation between EKN’s principal analyst & CFO of a leading lighting retailer operating in US. They discussed various issues related to PLM and how software solutions are helping to overcome the challenges faced by them. It also discusses key pillars of the solution implemented and the ROI achieved from it. Download Full...

FROM OUR BLOG

The Evolution of Retailtainment: The Face of Retail Real Estate is Changing

With hundreds of stores and malls putting down their shutters, 2017 is certainly a bit of a setback. Whether it’s big names like JC Penney, Macy’s and Sears announcing store closures and numerous other like Payless and Rue 21 filing for bankruptcy, this situation is being coined as the great retail apocalypse of 2017. Retail may be having a meltdown at the moment but at the same time, this does not mean that retailers are going to shy away from brick and mortar. According to EKN’s research on The Changing Role of the Store – Is Your Workforce Ready, by 2020, traditional sales processes will reduce in importance in terms of what retailers expect from stores. At the top will be theme-based stores, fulfilment centers and pop-ups. With disruptive changes occurring in the retail industry, retailers and its workforce need to prepare for and embrace evolving retail formats and technologies to offer customers a unique and frictionless shopping experience. FTI Consulting’s 2016 Retail Outlook Report, shows that 63% of shoppers still prefer to touch and experience the product. Thus, a vast number of shoppers still prefer shopping in stores and online shopping cannot replace the allure of the shopping mall. So, what are retailers and developers doing to attract more shoppers to malls? Retailtainment is the answer. Retailtainment is the concept of adding entertainment and experiences to the retail mix. This trend started a while ago since malls started adding typical forms of entertainment and leisure activities, like gaming arcades, bowling alleys, and movie theatres to that attract consumers. Today, entertainment concepts have evolved beyond the movie theater and...

A New Buying Journey, Future of Retail and Digital Workforce

Why be wary of online when you can create a differentiated experience in the store with a high focus on personalization through technology and human intervention? Creating a personalized customer experience is not a function of implementing a new retail concept, multi-segment marketing or technology or workforce improvement alone. It requires retailers to adopt a differentiated customer experience strategy especially in their stores. In many instances, retailers don’t have the luxury of time or resources to focus on upgrading the complete end-to-end customer experience and related workforce-led assistance in the stores for infusing personalization at a customer-level. This is when technology becomes even more powerful and meaningful in the retail industry. Several retailers who are willing to experiment and innovate are experiencing the power of artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality and the Internet of Things (IoT) as these tools have emerged as a stepping stones for personalizing each step in the buying journey. Consequently, these technologies cannot operate in isolation. The role of workforce has become more important in making this journey successful. ‘The demise of the store obituary’ notwithstanding, forward looking retail stores are now moving to a highly progressive digital mode. The retail store itself is being re-imagined for today’s digital consumer. New store concepts must function as an immersive experiential center and will be a venue for collaboration and experiences that cannot be provided online. According to EKN’s research on The Changing Role of the Store – Is Your Workforce Ready, by 2020, traditional sales processes will reduce in importance in terms of what retailers expect from stores. At the top will be theme-based stores,...

Is Digital Transformation working in the Path-To-Purchase Journey? – Part 2

In our previous blog post, we spoke about the digital disruption of the path-to-purchase journey and how technology is affecting the way in which retailers operate, allowing customers to interact online, in-store, in-app, on-phone, in the cloud and via social media. However, the surprising fact is that in spite of the omni-channel retail experience being the strategic focus for many retailers, a large percentage of shoppers – particularly women and millennials still want an in-store experience. This is because women view shopping as a leisure activity for the purpose of entertainment and fulfillment besides need and utility, while millennial consumers want a touch-and-feel experience while they shop along with an equal affinity towards digital. EKN data shows that 75% millennials shop online and two-thirds shop in-store at least once per month. This shows that both digital and in-store affinity is prevalent among millennials. EKN’s Framework for Omni-channel Personalization data shows that 86 percent of consumers will pay up to 25 percent more for a better customer experience. But are retailers adopting the right measures to enrich the shopping experience for customers? Fortunately, the amalgamation of retail and technology has been an effective and positive one, and retailers are integrating innovative digital experiences at their physical outlets with the presence of digitized kiosks, touch screen navigation panels, interactive digital displays and other digital tools to ensure an engaging in-store experience. According to a survey carried out by Samsung, 94 percent of retailers believe the customer of the future will be driven by technology and 41 percent are already using it to implement a strategy to enhance the customer experience to...

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ABOUT EKN

EKN is a boutique research and advisory firm focused on business-technology insights in the consumer industries of retail, consumer goods, travel and hospitality. Our goal is to fill a gap in the industry by offering prescriptive insights on topics of greatest importance to our audience, and to assist business and technology executives in discovering disruptive technologies and vendors.