Retailers that offer their customers true all-channel commerce shopping capabilities outperform other retailers by significant margins, according to a new research report from Aberdeen Group.
A 2009 year-end survey of store traffic conducted by ShopperTrak, a provider of shopper traffic counting technology, showed a reasonably encouraging year-over-year increase of 3.5 percent. But store traffic has been so light over the past couple years that retailers, and their software vendors, are seeking ways to not only get consumers into stores, but also take them by the hand and guide them right to the cashiers. Case in point, take two recent retail technological innovations from Escalate Retail and NCR.
Until recently, selecting the optimum e-commerce platform for a multichannel business was a race to keep up with evolving technologies. The applications morphed at such blinding speed that the needs and requirements you defined when selecting your system easily could be obsolete by the time that system was up and running. Today's technology isn't evolving any slower — if anything, the pace of e-commerce change continues to accelerate. But the main differentiators among systems these days are less in the features and functions they support than the services they offer, flexibility, scalability, technical support, and the vendors' approach to charging for licenses or services. In short, your biggest challenge in selecting a platform may be determining which provider will be your best business partner going forward.
A recent visit to a major B-to-B cataloger (sales in excess of $100M) proved to be quite a revelation for me. During the course of my visit, it was revealed that the company was struggling to maintain its fill rate. When I asked what its fill rate was, the answer was shocking — below 80 percent! It’s been almost two decades since I’ve heard a number that low.
Once again, this example reinforced for me how important it is to make sure the basics are right in our businesses. With such a low fill rate, I suggested this company slow down on all other