In order to meet the dynamics of evolving customer expectations, smart companies must enhance business processes throughout the customer-facing value chain. According to a new report by Aberdeen Group, a leading IT market analysis and consulting firm, companies are increasingly employing distributed order management, e-commerce, demand management and related supply chain execution applications. These innovations are increasingly necessary to compete in today’s changing marketplace.

“Many consumer product companies and retailers talk about customer-first strategies, but only the leaders are deploying the execution-oriented solutions required to flip the value chain away from product-centric go-to-market strategies,” said Kent Allen, Aberdeen Group research director for multichannel planning and execution applications and author of the report, “Converging on a Successful Multichannel Retail Model.” “Smart retailers must leverage the customer empowerment construct by embracing the customer’s channel of choice, regardless of whether the channel is in store or off store.”

Allen points out that retail sector organizations that wrap enterprise business process flows around the customer and proactively embrace store-level innovation are gaining competitive differentiation. “Mainstream buyers are increasingly comfortable with e-commerce, but the real dollars are still rung up in the store. The informed customer is seeking a multichannel retail fulfillment model that revolves around the empowered store.” More specifically, this report analyzes the impact of IT trends on the evolution of multichannel merchandising strategies and on the product distribution channels through which retailers execute these strategies. In doing so, this report examines how retail enterprises are responding to these new market dynamics and business requirements by modernizing their traditional business practices. Areas of application focus include e-commerce; product information management; demand management; merchandising and pricing optimization; inventory and order management; order fulfillment; and the e-liquidation of overstocks and B stock.

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