When it comes to offering competitive prices, convenience, and a superior customer service experience, many traditional brick and mortar businesses are struggling to keep up with intermediating retailers like Amazon and Google. As these industry giants have drastically raised the bar in terms of customer expectations and satisfaction metrics, the remaining marketplace players are left strategizing on how to stay relevant to consumers.
Marketing, Mindshare and Brand Awareness
Building top-of-mind awareness for the consumer is key, particularly in today’s vast e-commerce marketplace. Nearly every product imaginable is available for purchase on the web with a quick click of a mouse. Today’s retailers face unparalleled competition from intermediating retailers, who are remarketing product using browsing history and rapidly chipping away at the potential market share. Consequently, brand awareness is more critical than ever. To successfully compete, retailers need a clear, cohesive strategy to direct their online product offerings and brand experience in order to build lasting brand loyalty and affinity. Thinking outside of the box will allow retailers to craft creative and unique marketing initiatives to reinvigorate consumer affection. First and foremost, brand is king.
With Amazon now offering Sunday delivery via the U.S. Postal Service and expanding upon their existing 100 fulfillment centers, retailers are facing increased pressure to shave down delivery windows. Though most chain brick and mortar retailers operate largely from their legacy central distribution centers, they are nonetheless well positioned to offer same day and next day delivery utilizing ship from store services. Large store chains were built around servicing the surrounding population throughout the majority of the U.S., and as a result have great potential to compete in this arena. However, offering an improved fulfillment experience is contingent upon a retailer’s ability to expose actual store inventory to their customers across all channels in real-time and execute the last mile delivery, which takes us to the importance of unified commerce.
Hand in hand with offering all-star fulfillment comes the “Unified Commerce” model. To distribute goods as quickly and efficiently as possible, a retailer’s internal systems must fully support a real-time fulfillment strategy. By breaking down all of the traditional silos between store retail and online fulfillment and offering an “endless aisle” of goods, retailers provide consumers with a seamless purchasing channel between in-store, online, and mobile channels. Possessing unified commerce capabilities and executing strategic plans in conjunction with best in class fulfillment practices allow for enhanced supply chain efficiencies and customer satisfaction that significantly promotes industry advantage.
Posted by Laura Sossong
About Laura Sossong, Management Consultant
Laura is an experienced individual with core competencies in merchandising and retail strategy, product optimization, technological innovation, and team training and restructuring. Her efforts have been instrumental in the execution of various organizational strategies and solutions. She has effectively introduced and implemented initiatives for American Eagle Outfitters and MGM Resorts International, among others.