Customer-Centricity: The Holy Grail of Omni-Channel Merchandising

While retailers are making great strides with customer-centricity in marketing and customer service, merchandising has not made the same progress. The move toward customer-centricity will require not just higher levels of coordination but for many retail organizations dramatic cultural change. Download this benchmark report to learn about priority initiatives, challenges and technology trends in 2015 & beyond related to building customer-centric merchandising/assortments and discover areas related to business processes, technology and strategies where best-in-class retailers focus. Download Full...

Global Product and Sourcing Collaboration Strategies

Download this Point of View to understand the main trends, challenges and business process-technology essentials that help bridge the Omni-channel product management or merchandise gaps for increased revenue, operating margin and sell-through of merchandise in a growing Omni-channel retail economy. Download Full...

Retail Innovation & Technology- Viewpoint on Merchandise Innovation

Product innovation in retail is taking center-stage. Three major trends characterize how retailers are responding to the immediate market and customer need for a differentiated merchandise or product strategy. First, there is a product infusion trend taking place in North American retail this year. 6 out of 10 retailers surveyed indicate adding at least 100 SKUs (stock keeping units) and an astounding half of those will add over 1000 SKUs. This will very likely change current assortment sets, and lead to volume expansion and range complexity within softlines, hardlines and grocery/food retail. EKN surveyed 91 retailers to better understand their merchandise innovation and new product development initiatives. Key findings from EKN’s survey indicate: Close to 60% of retailers indicated partial or no integration between their merchandise planning and execution at the process and systems-level. For close to half (47%) of the retailers, continued growth in multi-site, multi-tier, multi-country upstream merchandise product collaboration needs is a constant pressure for merchandising, product development and supply chain teams. More than one-third of retailers will improve supplier compliance, reduce environmental impact and introduce more ethical sourcing in the next 12 months horizon. Maximum growth opportunity lies in assortment or product-mix localization, integrating product design/development data, with 33% retailers planning to do this in the next 12 months. On average, half of the retailers surveyed indicate an increase in product development and management challenges from long lead times and threat of global and local competition. This report lays out findings and analysis from the survey and presents prescriptive recommendations on how retailers can increase merchandise or product innovation across channels and markets – in global and local conditions. Download Full...