The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of retail with an unparalleled speed. Retailers are now facing new challenges that include how to bring back the workforce and protect the health and safety of its employees and consumers. Having to respond to a change in consumer behavior also created a new opportunity to reassess how retailers do business. In addition, physical locations will be critical to building and maintaining the flexibility that is demanded of retail supply chains as stores now serve as fulfillment centers or distribution points enabling the delivery of excellent shopping experiences.
Top Trends in Retail Digital Transformation and Innovation for 2021
This year, with this rapid digital transformation in mind – especially when it comes to physical locations – Gartner has identified seven key trends that retail CIO’s must recognize and understand when advising the business on technology investments. According to Gartner, the pandemic has dramatically increased these technologies’ importance to retailers’ efforts to meet and exceed customer expectations.
In this blog, we take a deep dive into the Fulfillment Execution trend. Download the complete research by Gartner to learn about all seven emerging trends, expected challenges and next steps for retail CIOs in 2021
The significant rise in e-commerce during the past year as well as increasing consumer demand have made excelling in fulfillment execution a top priority for retailers. According to Gartner’s ‘’final mile’’ survey, just 18% of the surveyed retailers reported fulfillment accuracy rates of 95% or better. Gartner also reports that half of online orders are now handled by a store, through either click and collect or store fulfillment (ship-from-store).
Half of the online orders are now handled by a store, through either click and collect or store fulfillment (shop-from-store).-Gartner
Shoppers want to be able to search, transact, acquire, and consume products and services safely and easily across a retailer’s entire ecosystem. This means that retailers need strong store teams and robust technology in place to create a fluid experience for customers while simultaneously managing costs.
As a result Gartner recommends that Retail CIOs take action and improve management of on-hand inventory, avoid “dead” inventory and reduce waste by leveraging RFID technology and optimizing customer order fulfillment by improving real-time inventory visibility.
Why Inventory Visibility?
Whether merchandise is located in a warehouse, a distribution center, a physical store or on a truck, you cannot make fulfilment promises to customers without an accurate inventory picture. Having inventory silos means that you often have items that meet your customer’s needs and timing, but you just can’t see or access them, so you lose the sale.
What should be a centralized view of all available inventory is instead currently just a keyhole view. This leads to lost sales, customers aggravated by overpromising, giving away margin due to markdowns and expedited shipping charges, carrying excess safety stock and limited ability to enter new sales channels.
Create a Complete and Transparent View of Your Entire Supply Chain
What is the answer to all these challenges: Break down inventory silos by creating a single view of stock across your entire supply chain. No longer have your stores, distribution centers and e-commerce channels own their own stock pools. Create a single point of truth in order to view your inventory across the entire network of your supply chain and have items move between your stores, distribution centers and e-commerce without losing sight of any single item. Perfectly match demand and supply anywhere, at any time.
iD Cloud Store is a cloud-hosted RFID solution that digitises stock management processes, making them more efficient and more accurate. Implemented within one hour, our multi-user app can provide intelligent stock takes and a smart in-store replenishment process. After deployment, you can simply scale the solution to offer omnichannel services, create supply chain visibility, integrate state-of-the-art loss prevention and effectively manage your entire store operations with real-time, item-level inventory visibility and analytics.