Omnichannel Starts With Merchandising

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According to Gartner, retailers are typically utilizing somewhere between 5-10% of their core merchandising system. There is opportunity to squeeze value out of one of the most important systems in a retail business.

Since coming out of the recession in 2009, retail has changed significantly. We, as everyday consumers, have changed our spending habits shifting from buying “things/widgets/etc.” to buying experiences and technology. When you layer that on top of a digital online marketplace disruption, retailers are feeling the stress to ensure that their stores, e-marketplace, and other channels are in sync to deliver an experience to attract and retain loyal customers.

This leads me back to opportunities that exist in retailers’ core ERP merchandising systems. Many of these systems were primarily set up and implemented based on retail market prior to Amazon and changing customer behaviors disruptions. Instead of upgrading these systems, some retailers are identifying ways to get more of their merchandising data to the store level and other areas of the retail business. Gartner references that the core merchandising system still remains the “sun of the retail solar system” and it continues to be the starting point for the omnichannel journey.

In many instances, information that is housed in core merch systems is critical to unlock omnichannel paths. One of our clients has recently come to us to help them with their ship-from-store (SFS) initiative. This project will enable customer fulfillment, inventory utilization, and other capabilities by allowing each store to serve as a fulfillment center. This retailer is looking at the implementation and management of around 25 SFS complex integrations. Through the delivery of key integration interfaces, this will further enable omnichannel capabilities like buy-online-pickup-in-store and streamline business operations.

The opportunity exists to take advantage of key merchandising data without a complete system overhaul. All it takes is aligning the right omnichannel strategy and the right resources to implement the strategy.

– Leif Knutson, Director of Marketing & Business Development, Logic Information Systems

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