Thursday, May 22, 2008

Two-Thirds of Retailers Lack Cross Channel System and Process Integration

Recent Aberdeen research indicates that only 30% of cross-channel retailers (e.g., direct sales, stores & Internet, Internet & call center, or a combination) have attained some level of cross-channel integration across their inventory, order management, fulfillment, and customer processes such as consistent pricing, product information, promotions, and loyalty initiatives. All of the above processes contribute towards a new customer acquisition and customer retention in the web, catalog, and store channels.

The research has detailed the Best-in-Class approach to integration. For instance, Best-in-Class retailers’ focus on creating a roadmap for multi-channel integration compared to Average and Laggard companies. More than half (53%) of the Best-in-Class are currently focused on developing an integrated brand identity amongst their customer base as a core strategy. The research reveals that designing the process and system strategy for multi-channel integration is a significant decision for any retailer from a web site, call center, end-to-end order management, or customer fulfillment standpoint. The business case for improving, or introducing, a unified cross-channel strategy involve factors such as customer value, business targets, investments to change or improve existing multi-channel technology, operating costs, and internal skill sets.

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