In spite of rising consumer expectations, just 5 percent of retailers believe they have advanced omnichannel capabilities, according to a new report by SPS Commerce.
Approximately 75 percent of retailers report experiencing increased demand for more rapid fulfillment and 44 percent of suppliers report greater demand for more robust item information. But between 35 and 40 percent believe they're lagging in these areas of expertise.
The findings of the third annual Retail Insight industry benchmark report confirm the cross-functional challenges retailers, suppliers and logistics firms face as they build omnichannel capabilities into their operations. The report also underscores the critical role fulfillment excellence plays in meeting consumer expectations for rapid delivery and flexible returns.
"This survey clearly lays out the fundamental reshaping of the business processes and technology required in today's retail environment," said Peter Zaballos, VP of marketing and product at SPS Commerce. "The report underscores the complex challenge of developing omnichannel retail success, while also affirming the future direction of the retail industry."
Mobile efforts are perhaps outstripping those in multichannel capabilities. Just 11 percent of retailers said they were prepared for cross-channel fulfillment while 18 percent report mobile commerce readiness.
More than half (52 percent) of retailers and suppliers are too distracted to prioritize and focus on their omnichannel strategies and 43 percent of retailers report their legacy systems hold them back from omnichannel progress.
A quarter of retailers have made the transition to store-based fulfillment of online orders but expect this to decline over the next three years to balance shipping costs.
"Omnichannel is about profitably building the next generation of consumer experience, and execution is apparently harder than the ecosystem expected it to be," said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at Retail Systems Research. "Retailers, suppliers and logistics providers need to move quickly to satisfy a consumer who has a seemingly endless array of choices and not a lot of patience. While everyone is heads-down, particularly in figuring out the supply chain side of the omnichannel equation, no one should lose sight of the consumer."
-See this SPS Commerce report
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