Study: Retailers Struggle to Become Omnichannel-Ready
November 18, 2016,
BOSTON—While retailers know omnichannel retailing is key to doing business today, many report their current planning tools are incapable of supporting such a unified commerce environment, according to a study conducted by Boston Retail Partners.
Retailers understand that merchandise needs to be available across channels, however, this makes planning exponentially more complex and challenging, according to the BRP’s 2016 Merchandise Planning Survey. Seventy-one percent of those surveyed don’t have formal omnichannel demand-planning processes, while 38 percent plan brick-and-mortar stores as an individual channel. Meanwhile, only 44 percent have integrated-planning teams, but 86 percent need improvement.
“While unified commerce is the desired model to which most retailers strive, planning organizations are struggling with the current lack of system, process and organization integration to support the necessary model,” said Gene Bornac, vice president at BRP. “The good news is that retailers recognize that there is a problem and there are a number of very good tools available to address the current planning needs. The bad news is that getting the budget and resource commitments to upgrade systems is a huge challenge.”
Forty-four percent of those surveyed said that improving analytics is a top priority, and 41 percent said they plan to upgrade their omnichannel demand-planning systems within two years.