Planning for Retail Success in 2016

February 02, 2016

It is no question that the retail industry is going through some significant transformations. In fact, one of the major shifts is the end-to-end buyer process.  Thanks to technology, consumers now have everything they need to know about a product and/or service right at their finger tips. The need to engage with a sales rep is basically becoming obsolete. In a matter of a few clicks, consumers are able to search, gather information, and read reviews about whatever they might be looking for, ultimately enabling them to become self-sufficient.

This change in the buyer process requires retailers to be agile in their go-to-market strategies. Take for example, the desire for consumers to be self-sufficient. Digital influence in the UK Retail Market reports that consumers prefer to use their own device for assistance in-store, rather than ask a sales assistant and 33% of in-store sales was affected by mobile in 2014 and that number was expected to increase to 50% by the end of 2015. European Retailers will Embrace Experimentation in 2015 forecasted by the end of 2015, online retail sales will reach €153.8 Billion. Retail organizations must now balance the needs of consumers who prefer to shop online vs. the ones that go in store.

Being able to find the balance between online and in-store traffic is just one of the main facets facing retail, today. State of the Retail Industry states that other major challenges in the industry include:

  1. Ability to deploy a real-time model across all channels to enhance the customer experience.
  2. Inventory visibility and availability – maximizing inventory to ensure accessibility via all selling challenges.
  3. Updating and replacing technology – 63% of those survey in a Boston Retail Partners Report say planning systems are outdated and plan to upgrade over the next few years.

The three points above all have something in common, the ability to properly forecast and plan to ensure success for the upcoming year. With the retail landscape being extremely dynamic, complex, with ebb and flows based on seasonality, trends, and uncontrollable external factors, organizations must be able to adapt quickly in a way that enables for collaboration across departments, can be done in real-time so organizations are able to see one version of the truth, and most importantly improve the customer experience. Marklogic shows this as one of the top 5 challenges in 2016 for retailers, with 80% of new data sources not being easily accessible to analyze due to sheer volume, velocity, and variability. It is no surprise that sales operations teams and financial planning teams are relying on manual spreadsheets. With majority of organizations using homegrown or manual outdated technology, multiple spreadsheets are being updated, by a number of different people, causing various versions of the truth and the risk of error, latency, and audit are amplified. How does anyone know which spreadsheet to change and/or what risks are present if something is entered wrong? How are organizations able to remain agile and gather all necessary metrics to make informed business decisions?

These are all topics being discussed during an upcoming webinar. We encourage you to join OpenSymmetry and Anaplan on February 4th starting at 11 am GMT. Strahan Wilson, CFO, EAT and James Aldrich, Anaplan, will discuss the transformational way EAT has changed its planning to support rapid growth and scale for the company. James Mulligan, OpenSymmetry, will be diving deeper into the latest trends in retail performance management, including best practice examples of effective planning for an individual store and regional performance. Register today!

Register Today: Planning for Retail Success in 2016




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