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Luxury Retail Outlook 2015

LUXURY DAILY – This special 43-page Luxury Memo report from Luxury Daily reporters from provides a bird’s-eye view of how luxury is expected to evolve this year.  The retail outlook report covers key luxury product lines such as apparel and accessories, automotive, food and beverage, fragrance, home furnishings, jewelry, and much more. The section on “retail” on pages 34-37 include insights from Ken Morris, Principal, Boston Retail Partners.

Read full report: Luxury Outlook 2015

Is RFID the Silver Bullet for Inventory Accuracy and Visibility?

RFID Whitepaper_Cover_Dec-2014In a recent BRP white paper, RFID – The Silver Bullet for Inventory Accuracy and Visibility?, we explore how radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology is emerging as a critical enabler of the omni-channel experience. RFID provides retailers with real-time visibility to accurate inventory across the enterprise, making it an imperative to real-time retail.

A catalyst for significant economic benefit, RFID gives retailers the ability to automatically identify and track goods, as well as capture instant information on a wide range of merchandise. As the technology has gained traction, it has allowed retailers to reap financial benefits and efficiency gains while strongly supporting the unified commerce model.

Retailers are taking note, evidenced by RFID’s deployment among retailers such as Zara, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and Chico’s. As the retail industry accelerates the shift towards an omni-channel retail model, more retailers are likely to follow suit by incorporating RFID technology into their environments to support a true unified customer experience.

Evolution of RFID Technology

Despite the inherent benefits of RFID technology, its adoption by retailers has been a slow process for budgetary reasons. RFID per tag costs were previously prohibitive for many retail applications; however, technological advances have resulted in significant price decreases and have made RFID more accessible to a broader range of organizations.

Value Proposition

RFID technology provides retailers with an opportunity to significantly improve sales, gross margin and markdowns through better leveraging of real-time, accurate inventory information. Since logistical inventory tracking can be extremely laborious for all retailers, and particularly those with stock keeping unit (SKU) intensive models, organizations stand to profit considerably by RFID Benefitsemploying RFID.

Omni-channel Enablement

As it relates to omni-channel initiatives, RFID provides fundamental support to businesses that offer a large assortment of styles, colors, and sizes. Near perfect inventory accuracy is needed to realize real-time retailing capabilities such as buy online and pick up in-store, buy online and receive in-store, and buy in-store and ship to home. SKU depth can cause item quantity distortion, as maintaining exactness in inventory counts presents numerous execution issues.

Read the BRP RFID white paper for more details on RFID, including case studies and a 3-step methodology for implementing RFID.

DOWNLOAD NOW:

WHITE PAPER: RFID – The Silver Bullet for Inventory Accuracy and Visibility?

While RFID has been slow for retailers to adopt due to cost and ROI challenges, reductions in costs and advancements in technology are certainly making RFID an attractive proposition for retailers.

But is it the silver bullet? What do you think?

As always, I welcome your thoughts and opinions. Please share your comments below.

Ken

Facing Fears in Omnichannel

VSR MAGAZINE – Over the past year, the term “omnichannel” has plummeted from buzz-worthy to cringe-inducing status. Even the smallest brick-and-mortar merchants know what it is, but many are intimidated. This article includes statistics from BRP surveys and quotes from Walter Deacon.

http://vsr.edgl.com/reseller-news/Facing-Fears-in-Omnichannel96300?googleid=96300

What are the Top Retail IT Initiatives for 2015?

As you create your budgets for 2015 and plan various projects and initiatives for the next 12-24 months, it helps to have resources to understand what the competition is doing, the trends in the industry, and the new and upcoming technologies that will be influencing your business. We can help you gain insight into what’s happening in the retail industry across all customer touch-points and channels, within the supply chain, throughout the merchandising process and the entire unified commerce enterprise.

Check out our industry-leading benchmarking surveys to help you plan for a better tomorrow.

CRM/UNIFIED COMMERCE BENCHMARK SURVEY

This survey offers insights into retailers’ current state and planned initiatives, priorities, and future trends relating to CRM practices associated with the retail industry’s shift to Unified Commerce. Some of the findings include:

  • Within 5 years, 75% of retailers plan to identify customers when they walk in the store
  • 16% of retailers have real-time retail from POS (offering the “Amazon” experience in-store) and another 63% plan to implement within 5 years
  • 95% of the respondents indicated customer experience/ customer engagement is one of their top three current initiatives

Download: CRM/Unified Commerce Survey

POS/CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT BENCHMARKING SURVEY2014 POS Survey Cover

The customer experience is the driver, with customer-facing technology a critical piece of allowing the customer to tailor his or her own shopping experience. Unified commerce is the means to meet customers’ needs and provide the expectedoverall customer experience, and real-time retail is the key to making it happen. This year’s findings include:

  • Retailers realize the significance of offering customer-facing technology in the store with more than half of the respondents ranking it in the top three areas of importance within the organization.
  • Unified commerce services are gaining traction with many retailers planning to expand their services and shipping options to make the customer shopping experience more holistic.
  • Retailers continue to focus on real-time retail to offer customers the online shopping experience, with its rich, detailed content and customer reviews, within the four walls of the store.

Download: POS/Customer Engagement Survey

SUPPLY CHAIN BENCHMARK SURVEY2014 Supply Chain Survey Cover

93% of Retailers are Transforming their Supply Chain to Enable Real-time Retailing!

Progressive retailers are shifting their business organization and supply chain away from distinct shopping channels into a seamless, unified, customer-facing experience to meet the expectations of today’s consumer. This survey focuses on:

  • Unified commerce – 93% are adopting a unified commerce model with 54% in the planning stages and 39% currently implementing solutions
  • Cross-channel inventory fulfillment – 75% of retailers can fulfill inventory across multiple channels
  • Corporate initiatives – 63% identified “enable seamless customer experience online and in-store” a top initiative

Download: Supply Chain Survey

MERCHANDISE PLANNING & ALLOCATION BENCHMARK SURVEY2013 MPA Survey Cover

This survey provides both retailers and vendors with insight and observations into the planning and merchandising tactics and strategies that top retailers are currently utilizing, identifying the priorities and initiatives that are currently underway, and addressing what these retailers envision for the near future:

  • Expansion of omni-channel capabilities
  • Increased focus on unified commerce
  • Use of social media in merchandise planning and allocation decisions

Download: Merchandise Planning & Allocation Survey

We hope you find these research survey reports helpful in you 2015 planning.

I welcome any comments or questions you have about these surveys.  Please enter your comments below.

 

5 Challenges, Opportunities, and Imperatives for Retailers in 2015

CPC STRATEGY BLOG – This post summarizes insights from retail experts on the most pressing challenges, opportunities, and imperatives for retail in the next 12 months. See what Ken Morris, principal at Boston Retail Partners and six other retail experts have to say.

Read Full Article: 5 Challenges, Opportunities, and Imperatives for Retailers in 2015

New Channels and New Competition Challenge Retailers

HOME IMPROVEMENT RETAILING – This special feature report includes key trends and issues in supply chain and distribution with references to research findings from Boston Retail Partners and case studies from Home Depot, Lowe’s and several other home improvement retailers.

http://www.hirmagazine.com/00_archives/2014/Digital_Issue_HIRSept14.pdf#page=19&view=Fit&pagemode=bookmarks&scrollbar=0

Inventory Optimization Tops Retailers’ Omnichannel Priorities

RETAIL TOUCHPOINTS SPECIAL REPORT – The Retail TouchPoints special report delves into current omnichannel inventory trends and includes quotes from Dimitry Erez, vice president at Boston Retail Partners. See pages 2 & 9.

http://retailtouchpoints.com/features/trend-watch/inventory-optimization-tops-retailers-omnichannel-priorities

 

Forget Omni-Channel; Retailers Move To Unified Commerce Model

ENTERPRISE APPS TODAY – This article highlights results from BRP’s Supply Chain Study that indicate retailers are focused on restructuring their supply chains to go beyond multichannel and omni-channel retailing.

http://www.enterpriseappstoday.com/crm/forget-omni-channel-retailers-move-to-unified-commerce-model.html

Retail Supply Chains Focus On "Unified Commerce"

SUPPLY CHAIN QUARTERLY – This article in Supply Chain Quarterly features content and perspectives from an annual survey conducted by Boston Retail Partners finds that creating a seamless shopping experience in stores, on the Web, and on mobile devices is a top priority for retailers.

http://www.supplychainquarterly.com/news/20140826-retail-supply-chains-focus-on-unified-commerce/

The Quest for a Unified Supply Chain

RIS NEWS SPECIAL FEATURE: EPICOR’S INSPIRED RETAILER MAGAZINE – See “The Quest for a Unified Supply Chain” article on pages 4-5, which includes excerpts from Boston Retail Partners’ Supply Chain Survey.

Epicors Inspired Retailer Magazine_August-September_2014