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August 04, 2016
It’s my party; I’ll shop omnichannel if I want to!
By: Brent Williams

Last weekend, my family hosted a party on Saturday evening. In preparation for that party, I realized just how much omnichannel retailing has affected how my family shops.

One week before the party, my wife decided that she wanted a new dress for the party. So, she searched online for dresses, and a couple of days later, a small package delivery service delivered three packages that each contained a dress. Perplexed, I asked my wife how she planned to wear three dresses to the party. Somewhat annoyed with me, she quickly explained that she only planned to wear one but wanted to try on three to decide which was best. Because returns are free, she simply planned to send two dresses back to the retailer. So, about two days later, the same delivery company picked up the two packages to be returned.

The day of the party, it was my responsibility to shop for the party food. However, I had one important conflict. My favorite basketball team was playing that day. I wanted to watch the game; I did not want to spend two hours shopping in the store. I ordered the food online from our local grocery store and scheduled a time to pick up the order during halftime of the game.

Just a couple of years ago, my wife would have spent at least half a day shopping for a dress in local department stores, and I would have spent two hours wandering around the grocery store. The emergence of omnichannel retailing has changed that for us. However, there is one important subtle point to consider. These options only work for my family if the logistics work well. I wouldn’t have trusted the grocery store to pick my order if I had not had several good experiences in the past. Similarly, my wife would not have bought a dress online if she didn’t trust that it would be delivered in time for the party.

My point is that logistics is now a bigger part of the shopping experience that ever before.

How do retailers develop a logistics organization and network that can support the emerging desires of shoppers? In the Accenture Academy course Recognizing the Evolution of Omnichannel Logistics, you will identify how retailers traditionally handle inventory in a retail supply chain, as well as how the emerging demands of omnichannel shoppers affect retail logistics. You will also define the evolving roles of omnichannel supply chain nodes and identify how omnichannel logistics may evolve as volume shifts toward online and mobile purchases.

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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