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Smart Supply Chain is Key to Meeting Shopper Expectations

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What do today’s omnichannel-savvy consumers expect? That’s more than an academic question, because retailers that understand and meet those shopper demands are more likely to emerge as winners in a competitive landscape.

“Today’s retailers’ reputations rest on how well they can adapt to consumer demands, [and] that means managing a wide variety of orders delivered when, where and how their customers expect,” said Bill Ryan, North American CEO for Kӧrber Supply Chain – Software.

Kӧrber and enVista together surveyed U.S. shoppers to understand their preferences in retail inventory, assortment and delivery. They found:

  • 67% of consumers expect inventory visibility across stores, online and mobile.
  • Nearly as many (65%) want the ability to buy anywhere and ship anywhere.
  • 48% said the ability to pick up an online purchase in-store influences where they shop.

enVista and Kӧrber also surveyed retailers about their top concerns as they evolve to meet today’s customer expectations. Retailers told them their top three challenges were balancing increased e-commerce demand with store demand, demand planning and forecasting, and improving efficiencies.

Across disciplines, retailers said these were the top challenges they faced:

  • Warehouse — The top priority is to expand capacity.
  • Inventory — Increase sustainability.
  • Transportation — Increase speed of delivery.
  • Store — Implement automation.

“The market is transforming, with consumers driving the change. They want agility, flexibility, speed and convenience,” the report concluded. “An efficient supply chain will be the critical growth enabler for both retailers and manufacturers. Retailers must elevate [their] supply chain capabilities to serve the needs of today’s consumers while efficiently managing the costs required to do so.”

The 20-page “2020 Supply Chain Survey” report can be downloaded here.

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