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Seamless retail operation-integrating functions and teams

Retailers focus inside, integrate retail operations across functions and teams—merchandising, marketing, supply chain and channels—to become seamless.

Overview

Today’s nonstop customers are online, on the go, in stores and in touch with social networks from Facebook and Twitter to Pinterest and Instagram. They have more tools than ever to learn about products, compare prices and gather insights—the options are evolving.

To attract these customers and succeed in a complex, fast-moving and hyper-competitive environment, retailers must change their game to remain relevant. They must become seamless retailers.

This is a future in which the retail organization becomes as connected as customers are. The focus is on reinventing retail operations across marketing, merchandising, supply chain and channel teams, talent and metrics— connecting isolated functions and roles in new ways.

How can retailers organize to meet consumers’ evolving needs without adding cost and complexity?

While there is no one-size-fits-all guide to becoming a seamless retail organization, the potential rewards are significant—so are the risks of inaction.

In Accenture’s experience, the seamless organization will focus on:

  • Consolidating retail channels

  • Transforming store operations

  • Evolving the retail supply chain

  • Expanding metrics and incentives

  • Converging retail merchandising and marketing

Accenture’s seamless journey starts with understanding consumer preferences and ends with helping retailers deliver that seamless experience. View the full results of our latest research study and learn more about building a seamless retail enterprise of the future at www.accenture.com/seamless.

Background

Today’s retail landscape is not so easy with empowered customers, channel complexity and competitive threats of online pure plays. As retailers take a hard look at what their retail organization might look like in the future, the idea of becoming seamless raises more questions than answers:

  • Do we have the right people, skills and accountabilities?

  • How should we organize and operate, and what specific changes must be made?

  • How can we address the political realities when trying to transform our organization?

  • How should we prioritize short- and long-term strategies?

  • Where do we start?

Even with this eyes-open approach, there is no single solution that can help every retailer in transforming the organization. Each will take a distinct journey to seamlessness, some faster than others, some more streamlined than others and some more boldly than others.

Analysis

In the years to come, customer demands will change radically, evolving in ways that we cannot yet imagine. Being prepared for the future is not simple and no retailer knows what’s to come. However, forward-thinking retailers are realistic and pragmatic enough to understand the need for change and are exploring options to deliver seamless retailing.

While there will be changes in IT, human resources and other enabling functions, this discussion focuses on customer-facing areas where retailers must change.

Engaged and delighted by shopping missions suited to their needs, the nonstop customer wants the ideal experience from retailers. And if they don’t get it, they simply change course—exploring other channels and competitors.

To deliver connected shopping experiences, retailers must take a look at their retail operations and operate seamlessly as well.

Industry & topics highlighted

Retail