TECHNOLOGY

BRP: Retailers’ digital capabilities still miss the mark

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The “digital divide” between retailers and consumers continues to grow, making it harder for retailers to satisfy customers’ expectations.

Consumers said that digital influences up to 75% of pre-store visits and is leveraged in 46% of their in-store shopping experiences. Yet, less than half of retailers deliver on the most important digital capabilities that customers desire, according to “The Retail’s Digital Crossroads: The Race to Meet Shopper Expectations.”

Retailers can no longer rely on legacy systems that are not designed to accommodate today’s retail environment. Many retailers that have cobbled systems and processes together in an attempt to deliver a seamless customer experience across channels. However, these quick fixes don’t execute omnichannel processes as promised — and can disappoint customers.

Instead, retailers need to adopt a new approach to unified commerce, one that requires a robust order management solution (OMS). Viewed as the brains of the operation, all transaction and customer data coming in and going out of the system is used to run the business, according to another BRP study called, “OMS — The Brains of the Operation.”

That said, 64% of retailers plan to implement a single OMS platform within the next three years. Nine percent of retailers have already implemented an OS platform to facilitate unified commerce, allowing them to engage customers wherever and whenever they want to shop, the study revealed.

To best leverage the technology, retailers are embracing this transition by moving to centralized capabilities. For example, 28% of retailers made the move this year compared to 9% last year. Another 53% of respondents plan to implement unified commerce within the next three years.

“Customer expectations are exceeding retail capabilities – creating a ‘great digital divide.’ Retailers realize that unified commerce is a retail imperative, but executing the strategy is challenging,” said David Russo, VP at BRP. “The answer may be utilizing an OMS as a unified commerce platform.”

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