Beyond Digital – Why retailers must do more than pay lip service to transformation to avoid the Digital Death-Trap

The mandate to retailers is clear – Redefine your business strategy, not your “digital strategy”. Shed the old channel-centric organization culture by focusing on the growth and profitability of your customer relationships, not your channels. Aggressively assess (and adjust) your business model. Focus on those aspects of your customer experience that matter to your customers. Invest in capabilities that drive superior execution. Embed “digital thinking” across the organization, not in an isolated team. Download this prescriptive guide to help retailers in beginning or fine-tuning the efforts in existing transformation initiatives by assessing the impact of digital in their business strategy. Download Full...

Merchandising 3.0 – Why Retailers Need to Find the Perfect Blend of Art + Science to Be Relevant to Shoppers Again

To truly achieve the vision of a frictionless, personalized, channel-agnostic customer-experience, retailers will need to evolve the merchandising function to be unified across the merchandising process chain and channels rather than just optimized. Download this EKN point-of-view that lays out the roadmap for retailers to improve their merchandising maturity and the key building blocks of a customer-centric merchandising strategy. Download Full...

Empowered and Engaged Employees are Central to Improving Customer Experience

The retailers that will separate themselves from the rest in terms of in-store experience will be those who, in addition to strategic technology adoption and business process change, will focus on empowering and engaging their employees. Download this point-of-view to understand how empowered and engaged employees are central to improving customer experience and learn how you can improve in-store employee empowerment and engagement. Download Full...

The Greatest Impact on Customer Experience is by Building a Key Operational Capability

Retailers must focus their business transformation efforts and limited IT budgets on strengthening operational capabilities which in turn would have a great impact on their customer experience strategy. Some of the must-dos include point-to-point fulfillment, inventory visibility and unified order management. The #1 omnichannel operational challenge that retailers have to overcome is to address the customer’s need for shipping-speed and velocity of orders. Same-day and next-day shipping is where most of the operational innovation will take place for these companies. This is especially true when it comes to the increased need for a robust order management and fulfillment infrastructure that enables ship from DC, supplier direct drop shipment, click and collect, smart locker shipment and ship from store. The relationships such as of a supplier, 3rd party fulfillment partners and on-demand fulfillment services partner are also going to be crucial for first-time right orders and on-time order delivery. Legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP), point-of-service (POS) and warehouse management systems (WMS) cause significant delays in upgrading unified distributed order management visibility, accuracy and execution. While retailers will have to continue to invest in upgrading their omnichannel supply chain for order visibility and agility such as integrated DCs, cross-dock, split order and other related processes, the role played by stores will become even more critical in months and years to come. EKN’s 3rd Annual Stores Benchmark report indicates that 8 in 10 retailers anticipate an increase in fulfillment of online orders from store. Additionally, 32% of retailers are going to offer same-day shipping in the next 12 months, totaling close to 75% by the end of 2016. Stores need to be spruced up...