If 2020 taught retailers anything, it’s that “good enough” is no longer good enough.
In the wake of turbulent economics, drastic weather events and the worst pandemic in a century, it’s easy to see how retail, especially grocery retail, has been among the most impacted industries in 2020.
Now that 2021 is here and the impacts of the events of the past year remain, the question is: how can retailers protect themselves from future disruption? While it’s vital to ensure that businesses remain strong in the face of immediate concerns, a successful approach to the “now” sets retailers up to navigate future disruptions – whenever they may occur.
In this blog series, we’ll be discussing the topics covered in our viewpoint paper, Rise and Thrive: Retail imperatives for 2021 and beyond. Throughout the series and paper we’re laying out the issues that every FMCG retailer needs to consider, including how AI-enabled technology helps connect multiple areas of the business, to meet the demands of the modern shopper and thrive in the coming years.
Omnichannel is no longer ‘nice to have’: Physical stores are here to stay – but the supply chain must support demand no matter when, where or how it occurs
When we consider the evolution of customer behavior throughout 2020, nothing compares to the explosion of online shopping. In a benchmark report released in Q1 2020, before the pandemic, retailers cite ‘knowing & reacting to consumer demand & cross channel forecasts’ as a top business challenge. As we move forward, omnichannel fulfillment methods such as home delivery, click and collect, and curbside pickup will only continue to rise in popularity. In fact, online grocery sales in the US were projected to rise more than 50% in 2020 and continue to grow, accounting for nearly 10% of total sales by 2023.
The ability to provide multiple fulfillment methods is essential. However, increasing fulfillment options for shoppers puts extreme pressure on retailers and their stores. And store layouts, space allocation for key categories, and inventory accuracy across distribution and fulfillment centers are only the tip of the iceberg. So, how can retailers optimize their supply chains, and other aspects of their businesses, to meet the challenges of consumer shifts in both the near and long-term?
In the new paper, we share why it’s vital for an omnichannel fulfillment program to ensure synchronized inventory to ensure on-shelf availability for both in-store and online shoppers as well as topics such as:
- Why customer-centric assortments are vital, online and in-store
- The importance of personalizing promotions across all touchpoints to build loyalty
- How retailers can eliminate ‘blind spots’ in inventory visibility
- Creating a future-proof Supply Chain that is unified from end-to-end