IDC recently published a report covering its top 10 retail-related predictions for 2012.
It has really important and quite interesting stuff for me, that I want to share them with you;
1. Consumers, not products or channels, will create the basis for growth strategies: The movement toward becoming more customer-centric is driving new retail industry business models.
2. The omnichannel consumer will direct a new retail IT model for the industry — omnichannel orchestration and optimization: A good portion of IT spending will be in technology, especially software, to support the customer-centric initiative. IDC’s conversations with retailers have revealed that this effort will be more than simply modernizing the application and commerce portfolio; rather, it will be a complete re-platforming — what IDC calls the omnichannel orchestration and optimization (O3) platform, see below:
3. Retailers will race to innovate and will operate more efficiently as a result: Retailers are no longer waiting to be the accidental beneficiaries of adapted manufacturing supply chain processes and applications but are now the de facto innovators in the supply chain. Retailers will increasingly turn their attention to the whole consumer-driven supply chain, implementing integrated end-to-end mobile, social, and cloud-enabled processes inside and outside of the organization.
4. Retailers will synchronize the supply chain with the clock speed of their customers: Innovations that continue to gain traction in retail supply chains include:
- Collective intelligence, social networking, and analytics that connect retailers with customer intentions.
- PLM applications that enable retailers to capture inspiration as well as manage product development calendars, sourcing, workflow, specifications, materials costs, and lead times.
- Social networking connects associates to work and support from peers, supervisors, and digital resources.
- 3D visualization that supports everything from expediting product sampling processes to engaging customers in-store and collaborating on shelf assortments and placement.
- Voice and mobile capabilities that permeate supply chain operations and product development.
- RFID being alive and well in retail, with a majority of the activity in apparel.
- Cloud-based sourcing, logistics, order orchestration, and compliance capabilities that enable agile responsive operations.
5. Retailers will create great brand experiences by enabling engaged employee experiences: The last mile of the omnichannel shopping experience is the interaction that occurs between the customer and an associate in the store, on the Web, or at a call center. To deal with this effectively, retailers must take advantage of technology, including social capabilities, mobility, and cloud-based applications.
6. Planning paradigms will begin to evolve to support genuine customer brand engagement strategies: The emerging sets of merchandise planning focal points require systems, processes, and organizations that more tightly integrate merchandising and marketing on a common platform of an extended set of customer insights.
7. Continuous assortment planning orchestrated for space will become the planning hub: IDC sees the need to reposition product-centric planning on a new foundation built on and around assortment planning. The continuous space-aware assortment will be the hub of successful retail growth strategies. IDC sees here a trend towards its concept of LASAR-like planning — localized assortments orchestrated for space, allocation, and replenishment.
8. The store will evolve — to the omnichannel store: The store will evolve to be an integrated part of the omnichannel strategy. IDC considers the omnichannel store as a single brand place where retailers can bring online capabilities (including social) inside the store and store value outside following the customer journey. This is what IDC calls “online inside.” IDC sees here IT as a full innovator and enabler, with POS and mobile POS opportunities.
9. Customer experience improvements to boost online conversion will go beyond the web store: According to IDC, the important point among all of this channel activity is that the focus for retailers in 2012 is bringing all of these touch points together (search, social, shop, and serve) for a seamless omnichannel retail experience.
10. eCommerce delivery models will fragment: Retailers are not only relying on outsourcers to manage their infrastructure, integration, and e-commerce platforms; providers are also expected to be able to supply the payment and fulfillment and logistics services in emerging markets, either directly or through partners. As such, there will be more movement toward full e-commerce outsource models — from likely sources such as e-commerce platform providers, but also from traditionally logistics focused businesses moving into the technology space. According to IDC, any provider that can pull all of these offerings into a single simplified approach will win out.