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.