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

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...

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 to balance additional challenges associated with it. Such challenges get mitigated to a large extent with a dynamic and trained workforce. But, do retailers have a pool of such a workforce? This report takes an in-depth look at the changing role of stores and workforce and the difference that an empowered workforce can create. Download...

Retail Headquarters & Stores Collaboration: Looking Forward to Building Next Gen Retail Workforce

To balance an ever-increasing in-store activity, retailers are faced with the multiple challenges. One of the critical challenges which does not always find prominence is lack of collaboration between headquarters and stores which, often, makes the process of retailing even more complex. This point of view identifies the challenges faced by retailers and analyzes it from both the store and headquarters’ perspective. It also provides a prescriptive set of actions that retailers might focus on to address such challenges. Download Full...

El Corte Ingles: A Case Study-Led Approach to Supply Chain Success

This document entails some key insights from the conversation between EKN’s principal analyst & General Manager of a leading department store operating in Europe. They discussed various issues related to private label sourcing and how software solutions are helping to overcome the challenges faced by them. This reports also discusses some key KPIs which are vital in the sourcing process. Download Full...

A New Store Excellence Scorecard

To stay ahead, every detail of customer behavior and operations must be regularly monitored in real-time. While retailers say they are striving to improve store performance, the question remains, if they are evaluating themselves on the right set of parameters. This report will help retailers discover some new and upcoming KPIs and performance management strategies, which will help retailers address traffic volatility, increase inventory visibility, improve customer engagement, understand the path-to-purchase, reduce shrink, and better the employee engagement, assortment localization and overall operational performance. 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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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.

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