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Richemont’s costly e-commerce investments lead to a tenuous boost

Glossy – In 2018, French luxury group Richemont made some major investments into the e-commerce space, acquiring Yoox Net-a-Porter and pre-owned watch seller Watchfinder, and now there’s some indication as to how those investments are paying off. On Friday, Richemont released its annual earnings report for fiscal 2019, showing what acquiring these two companies had done for Richemont as a whole.

The short version is that Net-a-Porter and Watchfinder, which Richemont chairman Johann Rupert referred to as “our online distributors,” have been significant boosts to the company’s overall earnings, but have only begun to justify the massive costs associated with acquiring and operating them.

“It is rare to find retailers that are exclusively physical or online, as consumers expect both,” said David Naumann, vp of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “Richemont’s investment in luxury e-commerce companies has been a great way to diversify its portfolio from brand, product category and channel perspectives.”

Read Full Article: Richemont’s costly e-commerce investments lead to a tenuous boost 

BRP Report: Consumers Want Personalized, Consistent Experience Across Channels

Convenience Store Decisions – Consumers want a personalized and consistent experience across channels, but according to BRP’s (retail consulting firm) 2019 Unified Commerce Survey of top North American retailers, only 28% of retailers offer a shared cart across channels. Consumers now start and stop their shopping journey in different channels, including online marketplaces and social media, and frequently shop for the same product across different retailers, both online and in the store.

Consumers expect a frictionless shopping experience across an entire brand and they don’t want disruptions as they cross individual channels or locations. In fact, according to the recent BRP Consumer Study, 87% of consumers are interested in a personalized and consistent experience across channels. Today’s consumers expect their experience to be seamless as their “shopping cart” and browsing history follows them throughout their journey.

“The growth of online and mobile is driving the demand for increased digital capabilities bundled with personalization across all channels,” said Perry Kramer, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP. “To succeed in this demanding environment, retailers must undergo a transformation as they move to a true unified commerce approach to deliver the convergence of the digital and physical shopping experiences and create a holistic customer shopping experience.”

Read full article: BRP Report: Consumers Want Personalized, Consistent Experience Across Channels

Survey: Retailers lag meeting key omnichannel expectations

Chain Store Age – A new survey from BRP, retail consulting firm, reveals that retailers are behind in adopting several critical omnichannel capabilities. According to BRP’s 2019 Unified Commerce Survey, 87% of consumers are interested in a personalized and consistent experience across channels. However, only 71% of retailers plan to offer the ability to “start the sale anywhere, finish the sale anywhere” to their customers.

Similarly, while 68% of consumers would choose a store that offers personalized promotions/discounts over a store that doesn’t offer them, a matching 68% of retailers need to improve their ability to utilize customer insight to meet their customers’ expectations.

About two-thirds (64%) of consumers choose a store based on product information availability via their mobile device. But only 41% of retailers plan to improve the mobile experience to ensure they are meeting their customers’ expectations.

“The growth of online and mobile is driving the demand for increased digital capabilities bundled with personalization across all channels,” said Perry Kramer, senior VP and practice lead at BRP. “To succeed in this demanding environment, retailers must undergo a transformation as they move to a true unified commerce approach to deliver the convergence of the digital and physical shopping experiences and create a holistic customer shopping experience.”

Read full article: Survey: Retailers lag meeting key omnichannel expectations

87% of Consumers Indicate an Interest in a Personalized and Consistent Experience Across Channels, According to New BRP Report

Only 28% of Retailers Currently Offer a Shared Cart Across Channels

Boston, MA – May 7, 2019– Consumers now start and stop their shopping journey in different channels, including online marketplaces and social media, and frequently shop for the same product across different retailers, both online and in the store. Consumers expect a frictionless shopping experience across an entire brand and they don’t want disruptions as they cross individual channels or locations. In fact, according to the recent BRP Consumer Study, 87% of consumers are interested in a personalized and consistent experience across channels. Today’s consumers expect their experience to be seamless as their “shopping cart” and browsing history follows them throughout their journey.

“The growth of online and mobile is driving the demand for increased digital capabilities bundled with personalization across all channels,” said Perry Kramer, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP. “To succeed in this demanding environment, retailers must undergo a transformation as they move to a true unified commerce approach to deliver the convergence of the digital and physical shopping experiences and create a holistic customer shopping experience.”

BRP’s 2019 Unified Commerce Survey of top North American retailers offers insights into the forces affecting the retail industry, the opportunities available for retailers and the future of retail.

The key findings in the 2019 Unified Commerce Survey:

The Mobilization of Retail

  • 64% of consumers choose a store based on product information availability via their mobile device
  • 41% of retailers plan to improve the mobile experience to ensure they are meeting their customers’ expectations

The E-Commerce Effect

  • 81% of consumers purchase online at least once per month and 89% browse online at least once per month
  • 71% of retailers plan to offer a live chat option on their website to enhance the online shopping experience within two years

The Changing Customer Experience

  • 68% of consumers would choose a store that offers personalized promotions/discounts over a store that doesn’t offer them
  • 68% of retailers need to improve their ability to utilize customer insight to meet their customers’ expectations

The Need for Unified Commerce

  • 87% of consumers are interested in a personalized and consistent experience across all channels
  • 71% of retailers plan to offer the ability to ‘start the sale anywhere, finish the sale anywhere’ to their customers

The Future of Retail

  • 57% of consumers would choose a store offering an automated returns process over one that doesn’t offer it
  • 38% of retailers plan to offer an automated returns process within two years to offer more self-service opportunities

To download the complete Unified CommerceSurvey, visit:

https://brpconsulting.com/download/2019-unified-commerce-survey/.

The Unified Commerce Survey platinum sponsors are enVistaand Kiboand the gold sponsors are Aptos, ECRSand Fujitsu, LS Retail, and PCMS.

About BRP

BRP is an innovative retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential. BRP’s consulting services include:

Strategy | Business Intelligence | Business Process Optimization | Point of Sale (POS)
Mobile POS | Payment Security | E-Commerce | Store Systems and Operations | CRM
Unified Commerce | Customer Experience | Order Management | Networks
Merchandise Management | Supply Chain | Private Equity

For more information on BRP, visit http://www.brpconsulting.com.

[1]2019 Consumer Shopping Habits – The Generation Gap, April 16, 2019, https://brpconsulting.com/download/2019-consumer-shopping-survey/

Ease of Checkout, Payment Top Consumers’ Shopping List

Convenience Store Decisions – Retailers are adding to POS capabilities now while planning eventual move to cloud-based commerce platforms. According to a new report released last week by Boston-based retail consultant BRP, brick-and-mortar stores are standing up to the seemingly massive shift to online commerce. The key, the report suggests, is in the ease of the shopping and purchasing experience.

According to the report, “SPECIAL REPORT: The State of Store Technology,” the store is still a major part of the customer journey with 79% of consumers indicating they frequently purchase merchandise in a store. With an increased focus on customer engagement and the convergence of physical and digital, the point of sale or commerce platform plays a critical role in shaping the customer shopping experience. The right technology foundation is essential to support the best in-store customer experience.

“Stores remain center stage in the shopping experience, and that experience is an ever-increasing factor in where consumers choose to shop,” said Brian Brunk, principal at BRP (retail consulting firm). “Retailers understand the importance of keeping up with customer expectations; in fact, 75% are considering cloud-based platforms as part of their in-store technology plans over the next several years.”

BRP’s “SPECIAL REPORT: The State of Store Technology” is based on findings from the BRP Consumer Study and the “2019 POS/Customer Engagement Survey” and offers insights into the state of retailers’ current store technology and their future plans.

Read Full Article: Ease of Checkout, Payment Top Consumers’ Shopping List

Influentials: Top Movers and Shakers in Retail 2019

RIS News – The retail industry touches the lives of everyone on a daily basis. Filled with innovative technology in a rapidly changing landscape, retail is constantly on the move ― and its success is impossible without knowledgeable leaders working hard to evolve the industry and steer the ship into the future.

RIS’ third annual “Influentials: Top Movers and Shakers in Retail” highlights the retail executives, analysts and solution providers that are shaping the retail landscape and developing and deploying cutting-edge technology.

The executives featured below were chosen for their contribution to the retail industry and their respected companies. Whether they are launching a new retail venture, innovating cutting-edge technology, or helping set the retail agenda, these exceptional leaders are pioneering the entire industry forward. To compile this list, RIS interviewed each executive to uncover the keys to their success and the technological innovations they have helped bring to the market.
Read on to find out more of what makes each of these leaders a retail tech influencer and one of RIS’ Top Movers and Shakers.

KEN MORRIS, PRINCIPAL, BRP
Throughout his four decade career in retail technology, Ken Morris has held IT leadership positions at leading retail companies and his consulting expertise has helped hundreds of retailers solve business and IT problems.

Prior to founding BRP (retail consulting firm), this industry thought leader was CEO and president of LakeWest Group and founder of CFT Consulting and CFT Systems, a retail software company. Earlier in his career, he held retail information technology executive positions at Lord & Taylor, Filene’s (Macy’s), Talbots, Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, and Sears.

Morris said his biggest accomplishment has been that he designed, built and owned the largest lost prevention solution, XBR, before selling it to Micros/Oracle. He also founded and built best-in -class retail management teams – BRP and CFT Consulting.

BRP is working with several retail clients that are implementing augmented reality at stores with visual products, like furniture, making this innovative technology a game changer in the retail customer experience. He’s also working on real-time retail.

“Today’s retail model is moving beyond omnichannel by breaking down the walls between internal channel silos and leveraging a common commerce platform with a single order management system to deliver a holistic, real-time, personal, seamless experience,” Morris notes. “The importance of real-time visibility and access to product and customer information across channels has grown significantly over the past few years as it drives significant benefits to retailers and consumers.”

Morris says if he could change one thing in retail, it would be to get retailers to invest in infrastructure.
“Retailers have notoriously been reluctant to invest in infrastructure, because they are too focused on quarterly results,” he notes. “Where would we be as a country if we didn’t invest in railroads and highways? Retailers should apply the same long-term approach to their technology strategy.”

Read Full Article: Influentials: Top Movers and Shakers in Retail 2019

96% of Consumers Indicate that Ease of Checkout and Payment are Important Factors When Choosing Where to Shop, According to New BRP Report

Retailers’ immediate focus is on adding capabilities to their current POS, while future plans include moving to cloud-based commerce platforms

Boston, MA – April 24, 2019– According to BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: The State of Store Technology, the store is still a major part of the customer journey with 79% of consumers indicating they frequently purchase merchandise in a store. With an increased focus on customer engagement and the convergence of physical and digital, the point of sale or commerce platform plays a critical role in shaping the customer shopping experience. The right technology foundation is essential to support the best in-store customer experience.

“Stores remain center stage in the shopping experience, and that experience is an ever-increasing factor in where consumers choose to shop,” said Brian Brunk, principal at BRP Consulting. “Retailers understand the importance of keeping up with customer expectations, in fact, 75% are considering cloud-based platforms as part of their in-store technology plans over the next several years.”

BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: The State of Store Technology is based on findings from the BRP Consumer Study and the 2019 POS/Customer Engagement Survey and offers insights into the state of retailers’ current store technology and their future plans.

The SPECIAL REPORT: The State of Store Technology highlights:

CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS:

  • 96% indicate that ease of checkout and payment are important factors when choosing where to shop
  • More than 55% indicate that in-store technologies like self-checkout, product locator, inventory lookup, and endless aisle are important factors when choosing where to shop
  • 68% are likely to choose a store offering buy anywhere, ship anywhere services over one that doesn’t

RETAILER PLANS:

  • 53% are focused on adding additional capabilities to existing POS and 48% plan to replace their POS within three years to improve the checkout experience
  • As retailers make decisions on new POS systems, 75% indicate they plan to have cloud-based solutions within three years
  • 94% plan to address holistic customer engagement with the implementation of a single unified commerce platform

To download BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: The State of Store Technology, visit:

https://brpconsulting.com/download/2019-special-report-store-technology/

The special report platinum sponsor is TSYS, the gold sponsors are Aptos, Diebold Nixdorf, ECRS and Fujitsu, and the silver sponsor is STORIS.

About BRP

BRP is an innovative retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential. BRP’s consulting services include:

Strategy | Business Intelligence | Business Process Optimization | Point of Sale (POS)
Mobile POS | Payment Security | E-Commerce | Store Systems and Operations | CRM
Unified Commerce | Customer Experience | Order Management | Networks
Merchandise Management | Supply Chain | Private Equity

For more information on BRP, visit http://www.brpconsulting.com.

Delivering an Elevated Customer Experience Requires an Agile Retail Technology Platform

Marketing Outlook – Retailers that are thriving – and there are lots of them – anticipate and react to consumers’ demand for an enhanced and continuously changing retail experience, according to Perry Kramer, SVP and practice lead at BRP, retail consulting firm.  Retailers that have successfully anticipated the changing customer experience have created a technical platform, with the supporting process changes, that allows them to react quickly enough to stay ahead of a new set of customer expectations in an increasingly competitive digital retail environment.

Increasing Pressure on the Retail Model

One of the greatest hockey players ever, Wayne Gretzky, said “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”  The retailers who are profitable and continuing to grow are executing this same philosophy.

The pressure on physical stores continues, as more than 7,100 retail locations have closed this year and additional closures are expected after the holiday season. With an estimated 15% of holiday shopping moving to digital this year, the competition for share of wallet has become more intense than at any point in the digital retail era.  As retailers shift more of their sales online, additional pressures are exerted as retailers deal with the lower margin generally associated with digital sales and the need for modified business process, organizational and technology changes to remain competitive.

Read Full Article: Delivering an Elevated Customer Experience Requires an Agile Retail Technology Platform

Restoration Hardware bolsters omnichannel payment capabilities

Chain Store Age – Restoration Hardware (RH) customers will have an easier time shopping and making payments across channels. The luxury home furnishings retailer has selected Ayden as its omnichannel payments partner. The global Ayden platform will enable RH to process all major card brands, as well as accept local digital payment methods. The retailer will also be able to provide a consistent payment, and refund experience across all channels, while recognizing shoppers at checkout.

RH is implementing the Ayden omnichannel payment solution as consumers increasingly expect a smooth, seamless shopping experience. Recent analysis from BRP, retail consulting firm, indicates that only 7% of retailers offer a shared omnichannel cart. Yet 56% of customers want access to a single cart to shop across channels and be able to reach their cart via phone, computer, or in the store.
Read Full Article: Restoration Hardware bolsters omnichannel payment capabilities

Mapping Retail’s Last Mile Battleground

Retail TouchPoints – There are many reasons why the last mile has become a first-order concern for retailers. Topping the list is Amazon’s well-publicized ability to provide two-day, one day and even same-day shipping. Amazon’s ability to set a high standard for the retail industry is abetted by the fact that for more than 100 million Amazon Prime members, those shipping costs are bundled into their annual fees, making them essentially invisible and “painless.”

Another reason that last mile concerns are increasingly keeping retailers awake at night is the growing volume of digital sales and subsequent deliveries that are taking place. Results from the 2nd annual Retail TouchPoints Last Mile Benchmark Survey, which collected and analyzed responses from 138 retail executives, illustrate the last mile’s growth trajectory.

Below are pages with comments from Jeffrey Neville, SVP and Practice Lead at BRP Consulting:

PAGE 4:
Retailers also are reshaping their internal structures and responsibilities to handle last mile challenges. “Retailers are beginning to apply the agile processes they are using on their web sites to the last mile customer experience,” said Jeffrey Neville, SVP and Practice Lead at BRP Consulting in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “They are assigning a product manager to the last mile experience, giving this person the ability to test and learn about the impact technical and non-technical changes can have on the identified last mile KPIs. These product managers are also engaging consumers in feedback of the initiatives before they roll out chainwide.”

PAGE 5:
“Meeting and exceeding the accelerating consumer expectations for fast and free delivery has retailers scrambling to figure out the most economical and reliable options,” said BRP’s Neville. “In addition, retailers must manage the costs and inefficiencies created by rushing to implement new delivery options to avoid customer disappointments.”

PAGE 6:
“Retailers are establishing KPIs, metrics and service level agreements (SLAs) to monitor and maintain consistent delivery quality,” said BRP’s Neville. “Establishing clear expectations of service levels with third-party delivery parties is imperative to ensuring customer satisfaction.”

PAGE 10:
While managing the cost of returns was the top challenge for retailers in 2018, this year the list is led by the 64% that identified minimizing fraudulent returns. This is another complex problem with no single “silver bullet” answer, according to BRP’s Neville: “Preventing or limiting theft from delivery drivers, porch thieves and dishonest reports of theft from customers is a challenge,” he noted. “Retailers need to proactively identify theft as well as arm customer service representatives with a clear policy for customer appeasement for those customers that have experienced stolen packages.”

PAGE 11:
BRP’s Neville recommends retailers provide a preprinted return label, including a prepaid shipping label, and also enable shoppers to easily print such labels from the retailer’s web site. “The prepaid label assures that a standard set of information is included with each return (invoice number, SKUs, quantities, etc.) to assist the returns team in processing it,” he said.

Read Full Article: Mapping Retail’s Last Mile Battleground

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