Why Prime Day 2018 Isn’t Just About Amazon Anymore

“Amazon has been getting more and more help hyping the event every year, as other retailers — seeing both opportunities and risks in being left behind — chase after deal-hungry shoppers in cyberspace with their own discounts.” Retail Dive 

It’s all going down on July 16.

The explosion of the unofficial, e-commerce, midsummer holiday is exceeding expectations since its initial launch only a measly, three years ago! It’s pretty absurd looking at the jaw-dropping stats behind the growth Amazon Prime Day continues to garner: 

According to the Goliath, Prime Day sales increased 60% year over year. 

However, it’s clear that the attention around the event isn’t just fueled by Amazon themselves. Retailers of all shapes and sizes are jumping in the ring to get a finger in their consumer’s wallets. Here’s why Prime Day 2018 isn’t just about Amazon anymore: 

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Topics: amazon, e-commerce, amazon prime, amazon prime day, holiday shopping

How to be Michelangelo in Today's Retail Renaissance

Most news outlets seem to cover the changing retail landscape with near-weekly stories on store closings and bankruptcy filings. Even outside of the fact that articles with high click-rates beget other similar articles, which in the case of retail generally include household names with a significant nostalgic punch—there certainly is a dramatic change in the industry. However, we should not take stock in those with signs proclaiming “the end is near” for retail any more than we do the madman in front of the park fountain.

One of our customers’ CEOs recently told his leadership that he’s tired of hearing about “The Retail Apocalypse.” He pointed out the fact that it’s become such a ridiculously exaggerated topic, it even has its own Wikipedia page. Given the industry we’re in, this naturally made it worth a look. 

What’s interesting isn’t the fact that retail is changing, or that the general public and media have mischaracterized the evolution. What is interesting is when you look at the factors contributing to this change, understand their impact, and – most importantly — understand how to combat them in order to thrive in the face of this “New Retail” environment.

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Topics: e-commerce, inventory optimization, brick-and-mortar retail, retail renaissance, retail apocalypse

3 Ways Ship From Store Fulfillment Can Help Master Cross-Channel Demand

Unfortunately, anticipating demand isn’t as straight-forward as it once was. People shop whenever and wherever, leveraging each and every available retail channel.

This makes it really difficult for retailers nowadays.

Increased access also increases consumer expectations across channels—shoppers expect a seamless experience and alignment among brands, products, and choices both physically and digitally. To keep up, retailers must enable a cohesive cross-channel experience through their offerings, including product assortment, purchase, delivery, and return options. 

However, it’s really difficult for retailers to provide this seamless, integrated experience in a profitable way.

Unfortunately, you have no choice.

Mastering cross-channel demand is critical if you want to succeed in the retail industry, despite the challenges it presents. 

This is why many retailers today are incorporating a ship-from-store (SFS) strategy to help overcome the difficulties cross-channel demand entails. The key advantage of SFS (if done right) is that it allows retailers to provide the differentiated experience consumers seek via better delivery offerings, in a profitable and cost-effective way.

Here are 3 ways ship from store fulfillment can help retailers master cross-channel demand:

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Topics: shipping, e-commerce, ship-from-store, inventory optimization, order delivery, fulfillment optimization, cross-channel demand

Retail Safety Stock – Do You Even Need It?

“Determining appropriate inventory levels is one of the most important and most challenging tasks faced by operations managers. If you carry too much inventory, you tie up money in working capital; if you don’t carry enough inventory, you face stockouts.”Crack the Code: Understanding Safety Stock and Mastering Its Equations, MIT

Overstocks and out-of-stocks. A double-edged sword.

If your store runs out of product when unexpected demand hits the fence, it’s a missed opportunity. On the other hand, a store stocked with too much product almost always leads to markdowns and profit loss—another missed opportunity.

This is how the typical song and dance between planning for inventory safety stocks goes. Traditionally, retailers try to anticipate fluctuations in future demand, yet, most of the time, fail to do so accurately.

Given the recent pressures across the industry to improve performance as margins shrink and store foot traffic falls—retailers are scrambling to improve sell-through rates, decrease markdowns, and increase profit. Which is challenging when you’re constantly making the wrong bets in the wrong places.

The art of finding this balance between making sure you have the right inventory on hand is HARD.

In fact, it’s one of the biggest challenges retailers face today, and, in the most simplistic terms—it’s having the right product, at the right place, at the right time.

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Topics: e-commerce, inventory optimization, order delivery, safety stock, fulfillment optimization

The Cost of Love: 2018 Valentine’s Day Sales Increase Online Spending

What is the cost of love?

Of course, love is priceless. But, in all seriousness, how much are people really spending on Valentine’s Day this year? 

According to NRF data, the cost of love in 2018 is $19.6 billion.

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Topics: e-commerce, inventory optimization, retail spending, consumer spending, consumer trends

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