Solving for Today's Retail Order Fulfillment Dilemma 

The future of retail relies heavily on fulfillment.

Over the past decade, delivery expectations have surged. Two-day and one-day shipping is emerging as the new norm. Retailers continue to move towards shorter delivery times, yet most cannot deliver products profitably within three to five days.

At NRF earlier this year, our CTO, Vivek Farias, made a bold prediction: within the next ten years, two-hour delivery is going to be table stakes.  

Retailers are at a point where the failure to provide options for quick delivery comes with the risk of losing a sale. This shouldn’t come as a surprise for those in the industry, yet looking at the actual stats is always mind-boggling: 

  • About 72% of consumers factor in two-day delivery to help decide whether or not to make an online purchase.
  • About 45% of consumers factor in one to two-hour delivery to help decide whether or not to make an online purchase.

Given this data, maybe Vivek’s prediction isn’t so bold. 

It’s completely reasonable, and retailers need to prepare for deliver on these expectations in order to survive.

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Topics: inventory optimization, omnichannel, ship-from-store, fulfillment, supply chain

A New Mentality: Advanced Analytics for the 'New Retail'

It’s a telling time for retail. In spite of the brief reassurance from last year’s unexpected boost in sales, there’s still a lot of work to do. A fundamental shift in the way things were done in the past is finally unraveling across the industry, and is best encompassed by one recent announcement from Nordstrom after their Q4 earnings reports:

“Nordstrom will no longer separately report sales made online and in-store when releasing financial results. The Seattle-based retailer announced the change Thursday as it reported its fourth-quarter and year-end earnings. Nordstrom said reporting the sales figures as one allows it to more closely represent the company's focus on brands rather than channels, Chief Financial Officer Anne Bramman said. The change is part of a larger shift away from the legacy store view of its business to an omnichannel view that combines the physical and digital experiences, she said.”The Puget Sound Business Journal

This announcement is powerfully revealing to the position many retailers are in today. Many are at a crossroads where they can either sink or swim against the forceful current of increasingly complex consumer expectations and demands.

The fact a major retailer like Nordstrom is combining earnings from both online and offline only goes to show they’re swimming hard against this current—and a better representation of how they’re delivering to customers is necessary to stay afloat and strategically execute properly.  

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Topics: artificial intelligence, machine learning, inventory optimization, omnichannel

Retail Gets Touchy Feely

Earlier this week, Wal-Mart announced they were laying off hundreds of employees to realign the business and help strength the companies’ ecommerce operations.

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Topics: omnichannel, in-store assortment, assortment optimization

What Can You Do to Offset Rising Holiday Shipping Costs

In February, we wrote about whether retail analytics and personalization could offset rising e-commerce shipping costs. You can read the post here, but the general gist of it is by providing customers an enhanced online experience, there is a higher likelihood that customers will purchase the right item, thereby minimizing the cost of returns.  

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Topics: shipping, fulfillment, omnichannel, e-commerce

New E-commerce Data Reveals Need For Omni-Channel Approach, Retail Analytics

There's never a shortage of articles about e-commerce and its apparent disruption of (or downright end to) traditional brick-and-mortar shopping. It makes sense because it's easy, attention-grabbing, staple fodder for nearly every tech news source, corporate blog, or industry publication. While we did our best to refute that misconception here in March of 2015, in which Celect’s José Chan discussed consumer preferences for the “total retail experience,” it’s still worth revisiting. 

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Topics: omnichannel, retail trends, industry research

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