Retailers intend to completely transform merchandising strategies: BRP

Luxury Daily – Due to a completely different customer journey of today, retailers are looking to transform their merchandising process, according to Boston Retail Partners.

The 2017 Merchandise Planning Survey shows that 47 percent of retailers are looking to customer-centricity as a top priority for their upcoming strategies. Customers are now beginning to “pre-shop” for products online before coming to a bricks-and-mortar location and are now looking for quick delivery.

“The key takeaway from this survey was that there is still a lot of work to be done to unify the organizations’ people, processes and technology to eliminate data and process silos,” said Gene Bornac, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP. “To innovate the customer experience, retailers must transform their disparate systems, processes and organization into one cohesive environment with the ability to offer customers a seamless shopping environment across any channel and the capability to deliver merchandise immediately – wherever it is needed.

“Another key takeaway is retailers huge desire to improve analytics, with 36 percent of retailers indicating ‘improve analytics’ was their top planning priority,” he said. “Analytics serve as an important tool in assisting retailers to find and interpret meaningful patterns in customer and inventory data to support decision-making.

“Insight into customer demand, price sensitivity, reaction to promotions, demographics and more are key to drive merchandise plans and actions that maximize profitability,” he said. “This is especially critical in an omni-channel environment, as understanding the preferences of disparate customer groups across different channels becomes more complicated.”

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