August 04, 2016
Forecasting omnichannel demand: More than a crystal ball
By: Brent Williams

This Christmas was a little different for my family. More than ever before, we did nearly all of our shopping on mobile and online sites. During December, a parcel carrier seemed to appear each afternoon with one or two boxes of merchandise. Like my family’s, your shopping habits may be changing as well.

It is likely that your shopping habits involve the Internet in some way, whether it be conducting product research, comparing prices, or actually purchasing items. It is also likely that you are comfortable shopping across a retailer’s different channels and that you expect integration across those channels. Simply put, you expect a seamless retail experience when you shop.

Delivering a seamless retail experience is a major challenge for most retailers. Most retailers are working to reengineer their business processes to fit this new reality of omnichannel retailing. One such set of business processes that must be reimagined is demand forecasting. To profitably deliver a seamless shopping experience, retailers must rely on accurate demand forecasts. While this is a substantial challenge, there are many developments that make success possible. First, there is more data available to retailers about consumers’ shopping behaviors than ever before. Data can be harvested from internal sources such as shopper loyalty programs as well as from external sources such as social media. Second, computing power and data storage is becoming less expensive, which allows retailers the capabilities to convert the data into insights and predictions.

Are you interested in creating a seamless shopping experience for your customers? In the Accenture Academy course Forecasting Omnichannel Demand, you will identify how demand patterns are changing for omnichannel retailers. You will also determine how retailers currently forecast demand and recognize how forecasting may shift as a result of omnichannel retailing. Finally, you will identify omnichannel trends that will likely affect the future of retail forecasting.

About Accenture Academy

Accenture Academy offers proven, cost-effective learning solutions for a more versatile workforce and a more agile organization. We provide a flexible learning approach that helps your people be more versatile and your entire organization be more agile in the marketplace. Curriculum includes Supply Chain Management, Finance, Procurement, Analytics, Leadership & Management and Specialty Skills.


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