January 2013 Integrated Solutions For Retailers
By Matt Pillar, editor in chief
In its recent report, The Multi-Channel Retailer’s Reality in a Post- Amazon World: Benchmark Report 2012, Retail Systems Research (RSR) found that 58% of retailers strongly agreed that the future of online commerce lies with cross-channel or merged-channel capabilities. That’s up from only 37% strong agreement in 2011. The omni-channel tide is certainly rising, and its implications on the way you engage customers, manage inventory, and transact will be of biblical proportions.
RSR’s research found that good retailers have a significant head start on their omnichannel platform development. With apologies to God and Moses, we present the Ten Commandments of the omni-channel retailer, and we hold these words to be true not because they were prophesied by an ERP vendor or software provider, but because RSR’s research tells us that leading retailers have proven them so.
Much like the original Ten Commandments, these are easier to agree with than they are to live. And much like the originals, the consequences of ignoring them are grave. We’ll conclude with a powerful quote to contemplate from RSR report authors Steve Rowen and Paula Rosenblum: “Most of us will sell our products in both stores and digital channels. We’ll need visibility into orders, customers, inventory, and product features/benefits pretty much everywhere. We’ll need to consummate sales in ever more channels. This leads us to a notion we never thought we’d have — that POS as a distinct and separate technology may well be dying, at least for everyone but high-volume, low dollar value retailers. ... We recommend that you start contemplating what your next-generation POS system should look like. Three-quarters of our respondents believe the future is in a converged platform. But we’re not sure they’ve actually contemplated the implications of that.”