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Retailers fail at cross-channel inventory management despite omnichannel investment, says SAP firm

Antony Savvas | Dec. 3, 2014
Similar research from Juniper also reveals retailers who struggle to link their online and in-store sales strategies.

Cross-channel inventory management is the main challenge for retailers embarking on an omnichannel sales strategy, according to research.

The global study, commissioned by SAP company hybris, shows that less than half of retailers questioned currently have system-wide inventory visibility.

According to the research, which questioned 85 major retailers around the world, inventory and order management has now "eclipsed" data management as a concern among for retailers. While 93 percent of retailers rated system-wide inventory visibility as the most significant capability in executing their omnichannel fulfilment strategy, currently just 45 percent have it.

Stefan Schmidt, vice president of commerce and cloud strategy at hybris, said: "Retailers need to enable enterprise-wide processes that ensure they can deliver on customer promises."

Other research published by Juniper Networks focuses on 100 UK retailers with over 250 staff, echoes the hybris research, in that 21 percent admit they are failing to link their online and physical on-premise sales strategies.

In the Juniper survey, retailers viewed technology as "crucial" to meeting rising consumer demand, with 60 percent of respondents acknowledging that technology is a valuable resource for their company.

Nearly half (44 percent) of those surveyed said learning more about their customers' buying habits is the biggest advantage of technology.


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