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Survey: 63 percent of omnichannel retailers plan to upgrade merchandise planning software

DC Velocity – In an effort to upgrade their software platforms to keep up with the demands of omnichannel fulfillment, 63 percent of about 500 North American retailers plan to upgrade or replace their merchandise planning systems within two years, a new survey shows.

Most companies are changing their retail planning software systems because they aren’t aligned with the rapidly changing omnichannel planning environment, according to the 2015 Merchandise Planning Survey conducted by Massachusetts-based Boston Retail Partners (BRP).

About 58 percent of respondents said that improving their data analytics capabilities is the main reason for the upgrades. This would represent a significant boost over their legacy planning applications that were installed during the late 1990s or early 2000s to manage retail business models that are nearing obsolescence, BRP said.

In the long term, 78 percent of retailers plan to have a unified commerce platform within five years. That achievement could mark a big change in the way e-commerce retailers do business, because 49 percent of respondents said they still maintain separate product inventories for each channel. These investments could also yield new opportunities for merchandise-planning software providers such as JDA Software Group Inc., Logility Inc., and SAS.

Read full article: Survey: 63 percent of omnichannel retailers plan to upgrade merchandise planning software

Mobile ordering, payments responsible for 20pc of Starbucks’ October transactions

Mobile Commerce Daily – Starbucks experienced a considerable rise in revenue this third quarter, with sales toppling 18 percent higher, with stores that were early adopters of the chain’s mobile ordering and payments options the biggest winners.

The beverage marketer has also seen mobile ordering and payment account for 20 percent of its revenue this month, underscoring growing consumer demand for streamlined ways of purchasing on-the-go food and drink. Other quick service restaurants and retailers would be well-poised to follow Starbucks’ model of mobile innovation, which bestowed the brand with a $4.9 billion total revenue in Q3.

“Starbucks is a leader in the mobile apps space and has been extremely successful in getting its customers to download and use its app,” said David Naumann, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners, Boston. “Consumers are reaching app fatigue and retailers are competing for precious space on consumers’ smartphone screens.

“The key to mobile app success is to provide real value so that customers are compelled to download and use the app,” he said. “Starbucks has cracked the code by combining loyalty rewards, ordering and payment benefits on its mobile app.

“Retailers can learn from Starbucks’ mobile app success by adopting similar principles.”

Read full article: Mobile ordering, payments responsible for 20pc of Starbucks’ October transactions

Amazon lures Etsy users, brings handcrafts into the mainstream

Mobile Commerce Daily – Amazon is targeting customers of digital crafts retailer Etsy and peer-to-peer seller platform eBay with a new handmade shop available on mobile that could also produce higher sales for competitors as the ecommerce giant shines light on the category.

Mobile has paved the way for many unorthodox retailers to enter the commerce space, where digital platforms such as Etsy, thrive. Amazon is hoping to get in on the handmade merchandise game now that the facet of retail has become so popular and launched an artisanal space on its mobile application and desktop this week where users can shop products made by the seller.

“Handmade at Amazon will be a direct competitor to other craft marketplaces like Etsy,” said Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners. “As the hand crafted online category gets crowded with more choices, it is imperative that individual marketplaces differentiate their site to attract new shoppers and maintain their current loyal customers.

“From another perspective, Amazon’s entry into the handcrafted category might actually generate more sales for Etsy and other marketplaces by creating more interest in the handcraft category, resulting in a halo effect.”

Read Full Article: Amazon lures Etsy users, brings handcrafts into the mainstream

Retailers must show value of in-store identification efforts, says BRP analyst

Mobile Commerce Daily – NEW YORK – A Boston Retail Partners analyst said at Mobile Commerce Daily’s Mobile Research Summit: Data & Insights 2015 that retailers’ goal in five years to be able to identify shoppers via smartphones when they walk in a store points to the need to engage consumers with offers and games that deliver a real-time experience.

The session, “How Mobile Technology is Transforming the Customer Experience,” examined the retailing industry’s evolution on mobile, referencing a BRP study which found that by 2020, 59 percent of retailers plan to be able to identify customers when they walk in a store via their smartphones. The results highlight the need for retailers to showcase special offers or games that show consumers the value of opting in to a mobile program.

This article includes comments and a video interview from Ryan Grogman, vice president, Boston Retail Partners.

Read full article and watch video: Retailers must show value of in-store identification efforts, says BRP analyst

Real-time retail will revolutionize shopping as we know it: report

LUXURY DAILY – Within the next two years, approximately 300 percent more retailers plan to deploy mobile point-of-sale tactics into in-store strategies, according to a new report from Boston Retail Partners.

After slowly coming to terms with the importance of mobile in a bricks-and-mortar setting, retailers are now embracing the opportunities this technology presents. Mobile devices have become omnipresent in the lives of consumers and have had a significant impact on retail and the shopping experience, causing retailers to adapt to catch up with modern behavior.

Read this article to see how retailers are using mobile technology to enable real-time retail.

Read full article: Real-time retail will revolutionize shopping as we know it: report