Accenture operating seamlessly integrating operations to deliver the non stop customer experience


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To keep up, retailers must evolve. It’s a future where they transform into integrated retail organizations that deliver seamless experiences for non-stop customers.

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Accenture operating seamlessly integrating operations to deliver the non stop customer experience

  1. 1. Operating Seamlessly: Integrating Operations to Deliver the Non-Stop Customer Experience 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 1 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  2. 2. Introduction1 Toward seamless retail 2 Evolving to the future 3 The customer experience 4 is everything Traditional channel boundaries 8 among teams are over New roles for store associates 10 and stores The evolution of the elastic supply chain 12 Metrics for a new reality 14 Getting started 15 Looking ahead 16 Get in touch 17 References 17 Contents 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 2 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  3. 3. Operating Seamlessly 1 To keep up, retailers must evolve. It’s a future where they transform into integrated retail organizations that deliver seamless experiences for non-stop customers. Today’s non-stop customers are online, on the go, in stores and in touch with social networks from Facebook and Twitter to Pinterest and Instagram. These customers have more tools than ever to learn about products, compare prices and gather insights—the options are always evolving. And these customers want a relevant experience while paying less. In fact, Accenture’s survey of 6,000 consumers in eight countries reveals that the majority of respondents believe that integrating in-store, online and mobile is the number one thing that retailers can do to improve the shopping experience.1 Survey data shows that when it comes to in-store shopping, consumers want the basics—the right products, the right prices and an easy shopping experience. To attract these customers and succeed in a complex, fast moving and hyper- competitive environment, retailers must change their game to remain relevant. They must become seamless retailers (see Toward seamless retail overleaf).2 As part of Accenture’s series on seamless retailing, this point of view addresses the seamless operations aspect of this transformation. This is a future in which the retail organization becomes as connected as customers are. The focus is on reinventing the status quo across marketing, merchandising, supply chain and channel teams, talent and metrics—connecting isolated functions and roles in new ways. How can retailers organize to meet consumers’ evolving needs without adding cost and complexity? While there is no one- size-fits-all guide to becoming a seamless retail organization, the potential rewards are significant—so are the risks of inaction. Retail will change more in the next five years than it has in the past 50. COME IN OPEN WE’RE 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 1 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  4. 4. 2 Operating Seamlessly Toward seamless retail Delivering a consistently personalized, on-brand experience for every customer—every time, across every channel is the holy grail of seamless retailing. It’s essential for retailers to remain relevant, build loyalty and boost sales in a turn-on-a-dime market. Seamlessness requires a new breed of customer experience, operations, platforms and partnerships. Retailers must evolve to: Customize Understanding individual shoppers in context and across channels Connect Integrating operations to sustain a single customer conversation Converge Building standardized IT platforms that unify divergent data sources Collaborate Forging partnerships to strengthen the customer value proposition 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 2 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  5. 5. “Do we have the right people, the right skills—and the right accountabilities?“ “How can we address the political realities when trying to transform our organization?“ “How should we prioritize short and long-term strategies?“ Evolving to the future From empowered customers and channel complexity to warp-speed innovation and the competitive threat of online pure plays, the new face of retail is not for the meek. In fact, Accenture’s evaluation of 60 global retailers reveals a significant gap between reality and customer expectations.3 Yet forward-thinking retailers are realistic and pragmatic enough to understand the need for change. What is clear is that there is no single cure-all for every retailer in transforming the organization. Each will take a distinct and nuanced journey to seamlessness, some faster than others, some more streamlined than others, and some more boldly than others. No retailer has yet to realize every aspect of seamless retailing. However, we are seeing companies exploring seamless options more and more. For example, Macy’s and Saks are among retailers that have created new senior level positions to drive integration and seamlessness around the customer experience. While there will be changes in IT, human resources and other enabling functions, this discussion focuses on customer-facing areas where retailers must change in five key areas. These include actions that retailers can take in marketing, merchandising, supply chain and channel teams, and talent and metrics and are explored in detail on the following pages. Even with this eyes-open approach, becoming seamless raises more questions than answers as retailers take a hard look at what their future organization might look like: Operating Seamlessly 3 “Where do we start?“ “How should we organize and operate—what specific changes must be made?“ 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 3 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  6. 6. 4 Operating Seamlessly It is not enough for retailers to simply agree that customers are empowered like never before. They must make substantive operational changes where awareness of and attention to the personalized, relevant and distinct customer experience is a primary focus. Leading the way, traditionally independent merchandising and marketing organizations must converge under a customer experience “umbrella.” The emphasis must be on the customer experience as much as—if not more than—products and pricing. Having the right products and pricing is a given for success. But the real source of differentiation will be the customer experience. Trumpet the brand voice loudly As part of this focus on the customer experience, marketing and merchandising must present a cohesive brand to the non- stop customer. This requires a laser focus on developing consistent brand campaigns across existing and new channels—always with an eye to the horizon. The pace of change is simply that swift. Yet marketing cannot stop here. The brand presence must be bold, clear and consistent to connect with customers and to rise above the noise of consumers’ always-on lives. The execution of such campaigns is of singular importance. While print and circular were once retailers’ marketing vehicles of choice, today’s focus is on ever-evolving online, mobile and social vehicles. These channels are here to stay, and their impact is increasing at a rapid pace. Forrester Research estimates that the social media, email and mobile marketing market— a $6 billion market opportunity today—will skyrocket to $16 billion in just three years.4 Having ongoing brand interactions with consumers across all channels requires new competencies including deep fluency in cutting-edge interactive technologies and an ability to sense, evaluate and respond at speed—and at scale—to customer interactions. What’s more, success will require increased collaboration with operations—both online and in store—and approaches that synchronize consistent, non-stop customer experiences across all customer-facing teams. There are retailers making inroads in this area. Consider Williams-Sonoma, a home furnishings retailer in the United States and Canada with a number of niche brands. The company has evolved its legacy marketing approaches to an omnichannel one with a strong social media focus while maintaining the integrity of its brand family.5 The customer experience is everything 1 $6bn social media, email and mobile marketing market opportunity today will skyrocket to $16bn in just three years 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 4 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  7. 7. Operating Seamlessly 5 Infuse merchandising with customer advocacy The future of merchandising must be about leading customers to their desired purchases with a personalized, end-to-end experience that has no “seams” from either retailers’ or customers’ perspectives. This means trading product centricity for customer advocacy and offering customers the right price, assortment, promotion—and now customer experience—consistently across channels. Moreover, the customer and product agendas must be in lock step and inform merchandising tactics at every turn. This strategic combination of customer experience insight and merchandising acumen must become a core competency for retailers. Customer insight data is the glue that holds this customer experience function together. Without data-driven views of customers—who they are, what they want, how they behave—retailers cannot offer authentic and effective customer experiences even to their most brand-loyal shoppers. To truly understand and deliver the right customer experiences, the customer insight group must become more embedded with merchandising—either physically or operationally. This integration eliminates “insight islands,” making it easier to incorporate insights at the point and place of decision. Such changes will certainly impact existing leadership and cross-functional organizational structures. More and more, retailers will need to consider creating customer experience organizations. These can take on many forms. For one, customer experience teams could be located within marketing and influence merchants from there. In another scenario, the customer experience team could be fully embedded in merchandising with an equal voice at the table. Or separate customer experience function with individual team members matrixed into each merchant buying team. Customer experience organizations can take on different models. Customer experience teams could be located within marketing and influence merchants from there. The customer experience team could be fully embedded in merchandising with an equal voice at the table. Separate customer experience function with individual team members matrixed into each merchant buying team. Matrixed $ $ MerchandisingMarketing $ 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 5 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  8. 8. are willing to or would definitely use personalized, real-time promotions sent to their mobile phones. “We saw you last night on the women’s shoes part of our website Take 20% off your next online purchase with this code MACY20” 80% of customers Accenture’s recent consumer survey results revealed that 50%coupon “There are times we’ll send out 18 million unique emails …down to the point of emailing a shopper with a message.” 6 Operating Seamlessly 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 6 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  9. 9. Operating Seamlessly 7 Get up close and personal with customers Meeting customers’ demands for a superior customer experience will ultimately mean a decline in mass marketing vehicles in favor of highly-targeted micro-promotions. This is because non-stop customers prefer—and are more responsive to—targeted one-to-one interactions and personal “dialogues” with retailers. Accenture’s recent consumer survey supports this concept. Results reveal that 88 percent of customers are willing to or would definitely use personalized, real-time promotions sent to their mobile phones. Of those customers, 38 percent say they would definitely use such promotions and cannot wait until their favorite retailers offer them. What’s more, nearly all consumers surveyed want the same promotions in-store and online.6 As retailers become more seamless in how they operate, strategic, real-time personalized services and offerings—in line with the right products—must become the norm. With the influx of consumer data, advanced analytics capabilities and the right technology platforms, retailers can do what once seemed contradictory if not impossible—connect with individual consumers at scale. The chief marketing officer of Macy’s explains just how personal micro-promotions executed at scale can be. “There are times we’ll send out 18 million unique emails…down to the point of emailing a shopper with a message like: we saw you last night on the women’s shoes part of the website, and then send that shopper a targeted show promotion.”7 Rethink support functions and fuel the innovation engine To enable these new capabilities and teams of the future, something has to give. To reinvent operations, retail organizations require specialized support functions and new capabilities to free up capacity and infuse innovation into the business. Without this, retailers are working against the tide of increased market complexity, the “big data” onslaught and the sheer pace of innovation. Affecting change can begin by taking an objective look at roles and responsibilities within these functional areas, redefining and prioritizing to optimally support both tactical and strategic needs. Specialized execution teams must take on tactical activities. One of the world’s largest retailers has done just that. The company relies on the commercial division of its India-based global service center to handle marketing and merchandising functions including sourcing, forecasting, supplier management and analytics. Several tactical areas must take on a new importance and evolve in the seamless organization. Retail data management, including master data management and content management, is essential to enable clean and common data across functions. And strong analytics capabilities are essential to produce actionable insight for faster, better decision making. With their rate of innovation typically underperforming the online pure plays, traditional retailers can use this opportunity to redirect “freed up” resources to support a strategic innovation agenda. One way is to consolidate and redirect execution functions in-house or externally and develop innovation labs to launch horizon programs and products. Outsourcing commodity functions can free up funding to invest in innovation. 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 7 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  10. 10. 8 Operating Seamlessly Many retailers today have independent marketing, merchandising and supply chain teams that focus on a single channel. But in the era of the non-stop customer, this model is out of synch with the times. As retailers prepare for a seamless future, they must work to eliminate these channel boundaries on their own timetable. The key will be to strike the right balance between bringing functions together and the need to incubate newer online businesses by determining the right threshold for change against the retailer’s business strategy. But in the end, these teams must be connected to serve the entire enterprise. It’s about working more effectively and cost- efficiently as a seamless retail organization, smashing antiquated internal silos to function just as cross channel as customers shop. Without a doubt, this is a significant and transformational change. It will mean holistic ownership of product categories—and, ultimately—holistic customer and product PL responsibility across all channels. Governance, guidelines, skills and capabilities must be initiated or updated to enable a consistent cross-channel experience. Leadership and organizational changes will also be in play—from the executive suite to the showroom floor. The good news is that such changes are possible—and profitable. In fact, some retail pioneers have already made strides in this area. Macy’s, for example, recently named a chief omnichannel officer with responsibility for integrating store, online and mobile—a move that demonstrates the retailer’s desire to align operations with how customers shop.8 Staples is poised to bring its U.S. retail business and under unified leadership. What’s more, Apple already operates with a single PL.9 In the United Kingdom, the John Lewis department store has strengthened its ability to offer customers cross-delivery options and click-and-collect services by unifying online and store businesses under a single reporting function. The initiative has generated outstanding results. Between 2011 and 2012, John Lewis reported an 8.7 percent lift in gross sales, to £4.4 billion. 2 Traditional channel boundaries among teams are over Customer places order online Customer notified of order status Customer’s order delivered to store Customer collects order from store John Lewis, in the United Kingdom, reported an 8.7% lift in gross sales, to £4.4 billion from click-and-collect services. 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 8 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  11. 11. Traditional retail teams will need to explore different organizational approaches to be able to give customers the seamless experiences they want. While there is not a single “right” answer, possibilities include: Chief seamless channels officer model Several retailers have recently created a “chief omnichannel officer” position, which is an excellent step toward eliminating traditional channel boundaries and delivering one customer experience in-store, online, through mobile, etc. The “authority” chief customer officer model A chief customer officer oversees a consolidated marketing and merchandising function, with a dramatically higher level of integration across product, offer and customer experience decision making. This can be a new position or a role filled by the current chief merchant, chief marketing officer or channel leader. The “facilitator” chief customer officer model A chief customer officer position is created to work closely with the chief marketing officer, the chief merchant, CIO and other leaders to drive customer experience orientation throughout organization. The collaboration model If structural changes are not possible initially or even in the long term, leadership must support an environment where cross-functional collaboration is a priority. Strong governance with a clear decision approach and adherence to customer-focused processes is required. Ultimately, the chief merchant, chief marketing officer, chief channel officer, chief customer officer and CIO must work as equals to deliver the desired seamless customer experience. Changing the leadership structure Operating Seamlessly 9 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 9 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  12. 12. 10 Operating Seamlessly Retail customers move back and forth across channels with intention to complete their shopping missions. Yet even in a multichannel environment, physical stores still matter. In fact, 89 percent of respondents to Accenture’s Seamless Retail Survey rate in-store as the easiest retail channel in which to complete a purchase. Moving forward, realizing seamless retail operations requires two distinct roles for store associates. Retailers need the right mix of customer facing and fulfillment focused associates. And each type plays a specific role in connecting online and in-store environments in new ways. Keep people coming back with highly skilled talent To drive seamless operations, customer-facing store associates must evolve to become the frontline stewards of an increasingly sophisticated customer experience. These “new” store associates must understand customers, products, prices and promotions, using technology tools to gather and share information to meet customer’s needs—and connect with their aspirations. Aligning technology, mobility, customer and product knowledge—within and outside the physical boundaries of the store—is a core competency for this store associate. Associates essentially become cross-channel customer ambassadors. This shift helps retailers capture the highest share of wallet from customers—in-store shoppers become online shoppers, and when online shoppers visit the store, they want to come back. To create a compelling in-store experience that resonated with cross-channel shoppers, John Lewis piloted a virtual fashion mirror over six weeks in 2012. This innovative tool allowed customers to “try-on” outfits and get recommendations for coordinated pieces without browsing the racks. Store associates helped guide the experience, and customers could make purchases in-store or online via an in-store kiosk. Sixty-seven percent of participating customers reported that they enjoyed this experience.10 Wal-Mart’s Scan Go program is another example of how retailers are using technology tools to offer customers new control over their shopping experiences. Using their iPhones, customers scan and bag groceries while shopping and then pay quickly and conveniently using self-checkout. As retailers provide options like this, sales associates will have to be far more sophisticated in helping customers use their own devices than they are today. 3 New roles for store associates and stores Add item Scan Go! 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 10 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  13. 13. Operating Seamlessly 11 To provide experiences like this, retailers will have to re-skill and appropriately incent their sales workforce to support them. New and continuous training programs will be essential. Not only will associates have to understand products and promotions across channels, they will have to be trained on enhanced customer experience tools. Training in a seamless retail organization must be real-time and at the point of experience with customers, using the latest mobile tools. To accomplish this, retailers will need training approaches that are dynamic and also cost effective and efficient. According to Motorola’s most recent Holiday Shopping Study, 47 percent of shoppers reported better experiences when store associates consulted technology tools for product information.11 And better shopping experiences usually translate to better buying experiences. Enable stores as fulfillment centers Just as store associates need to deliver a more sophisticated in-store customer experience, these associates must meet the needs of customers who never even enter the store. More than an important operational shift—this is a cultural shift in which stores and associates treat every online order as if it came from the brand’s most loyal customer. An important part of making this happen is a shift where stores become fulfillment centers. It’s about increasing real-time order fulfillment with store associates who provide non-stop customers with what they want faster. Rethinking stores as fulfillment centers provides customers with the highly- coveted immediacy that shipping from distant distribution centers rarely achieves as easily and inexpensively. This translates into better, more customer-centered—and more profitable—fulfillment. To drive this shift, retailers must identify another type of store associate, apart from the customer experience ambassador mentioned earlier. These associates do not necessary “sell.” Instead, they pick, pack and ship orders just as distribution center associates do today. This is similar to apparel retailer Zara’s approach where sales associates have traditionally spent time focused on logistics related activities.12 This transition will mean that retailers must rethink store processes, reconsider talent and manage labor differently. Store leadership at all levels and across functions will also change to effectively manage these new specializations. But this shift can work. Consider that Macy’s and Nordstrom are using stores to support online order fulfillment today. 47% of shoppers reported better experiences when store associates consulted technology tools for product information. 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 11 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  14. 14. 12 Operating Seamlessly The retail supply chain is the lifeline of the retail enterprise, getting the right products to the right stores, distribution centers and customers at the right time. Changes to the supply chain and inventory management are key to fulfilling the promise of seamless retailing. Make visibility and dynamic fulfillment mandatory Just as single-channel teams create blind spots in serving cross-channel customers, so does a supply chain focused only to a single area of the business. Instead, inventory must be managed at the enterprise level. All nodes of the supply chain—stores, suppliers and other partners included—must work together to increase product visibility, availability, profitability and speed to customer. This integration is also important for retailers because it is essential to helping them meet non-stop customers’ expectations for inventory visibility. When asked to name the most important information to have prior to visiting a physical store, 66 percent of respondents to the Accenture Seamless Retail Consumer Survey selected product availability information. Simply put, when customers want something, retailers must make sure they get it. Achieving a single view of inventory availability will mean that accountability must shift from location inventory ownership to enterprise inventory ownership. Existing supply chain organizations must transform into a single supply chain team that includes digital fulfillment centers, digital fulfillment from stores and enterprise forecasting capabilities. It is about replacing fragmentation with common teams and processes. Perhaps not surprisingly, data indicates that retailers recognize the need for a new kind of inventory management. Eighty percent of mega retailers recently surveyed by the Retail Systems Research identified shared inventory for in-store and online fulfillment as a top priority, though many are still not there.13 Getting there, and making profitable decisions with a streamlined supply chain, will require specialized teams and capabilities to analyze and optimize inventory data and practices across channels. 4 The evolution of the elastic supply chain The retail supply chain is the lifeline of the retail enterprise. 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 12 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  15. 15. Operating Seamlessly 13 Emphasize returns management It is increasingly common for customers to purchase a product in one channel and to expect to return it in another. The non-stop customer’s path to return is just as fluid as the path to purchase. In fact, Accenture survey data reveal that the majority of consumers will seek out the least expensive return option even if it is not as convenient as other options. As such, retail organizations must manage returns more holistically. Returns management must become a core competency for all customer-facing employees at stores, distribution centers and call centers. Retailers must focus equally on moving product through the forward and backward supply chain. This focus is about aligning returns with customer behaviors—keeping customers happy while maintaining profitability. However, it can be quite challenging because managing returns is highly complex today. Retailers must now solve for disposition, fraudulent and multichannel returns with more risk of getting taken advantage of than ever. In 2012 alone, retailers lost an estimated $8.9 billion to return fraud.14 Moving through this complexity, retailers must consider how to standardize, streamline and monitor return processes, so returns are “painless” and “profitable.” It will be essential to train store associates in this area. While doing so, leadership must account for labor management implications around the measurement/incentives of multichannel returns. They must also get better about scheduling and capacity as returns will continue to play a growing role in retailers’ business. But with updated core processes, technology and skills, returns management can be a source of customer loyalty and added value. Nordstrom is one retailer that has historically gotten returns right. The Seattle-based fashion retailer has a sterling reputation for returns. Retailers must consider how to standardize, streamline and monitor return processes, so returns are “painless” and “profitable.” REFUND Online purchase Return to store Receive refund 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 13 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  16. 16. 14 Operating Seamlessly As retail organizations evolve to become seamless, traditional metrics must evolve too. This includes both the way that retailers track their performance holistically and how they are viewed externally, as well as how companies internally measure—and, ultimately— change behavior. Changing metrics at both of these levels is essential for retailers to become truly seamless. In essence, incentives must influence behavior change to drive sales across all channels, powering the dissolution of existing “seams.” Looking at the macro level, existing metrics like comp store sales are not going away any time soon, but they must reflect what the reality of the business is. The comp store sales need to reflect total sales growth for in-store and online purchases holistically. Retailers must introduce comp “customer” sales to work in tandem with traditional comp store sales. It’s about measuring total category performance online and offline. This is a necessary shift because customers shop across all channels, and retailers must be measured, rewarded and incented on enterprise customer sales. Changing measures and metrics at a micro level is also essential to eliminate potentially dysfunctional behavior that can block seamlessness. Retailers must incent different departments and functions to operate with a seamless mindset—aligning incentives with metrics and measurement. For example, if stores and associates are not credited for online purchases, they have little incentive to make online order fulfillment a priority—and the customer experience suffers. Some retailers are making changes to alleviate challenges like this. As part of its commitment to integrate in-store and online channels, Nordstrom recognized the importance of aligning teams across channels around customer sales over fostering an environment where teams fight over credit.15 This issue of giving stores credit for sales initiated in other channels will continue to be significant. If retailers want to continue to rely on stores to alleviate out-of-stocks for online orders, they must look at customer value and related incentives with much more of an omnichannel eye. Customers shop across all channels, and retailers must be measured, rewarded and incented on enterprise customer sales. In store Vs online 5 Metrics for a new reality 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 14 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  17. 17. Getting started Retailers can create momentum towards becoming a seamless retail organization by considering the following steps: Acknowledge the burning platform Whether you have explicitly acknowledged it or not, the retail industry is dramatically changing, and no company will survive without transforming over the next five years. Determine how proactively and quickly your business will migrate categories to online customer purchase and understand the radical implications of those transitions across store size and overall count, assortment, space, pricing, inventory and store labor. Identify target customer experiences While we may not be able to predict exactly how customer experiences will change, we do know they will change significantly as technology transforms how customers shop. As inventory visibility, scan go and other technologies rapidly gain adoption, are you organized to rapidly deliver those customer experiences? Determine the seamless product-specific customer experiences that will define how your customer will want to shop. Put the right leadership in place Regardless of which organizational model is right for you, some level of new leadership is critical to be a catalyst to help others throughout the company think differently and drive the change. Consider whether establishing a new chief customer officer to define the overall customer experiences, or a chief channel officer to unite all customer touchpoints, is right for your business. Involve the right people from the beginning Because the need to become seamless will touch on customer-facing and enabling functions—from IT to merchandising, to marketing, to channels to supply chain — representatives from all areas must actively participate from the outset to ensure that the “left hand knows what the right hand is doing.” Establish the right governance model to ensure the collaboration takes place. Know that making the business case will be challenging While we know that customers demand seamless experiences across all channels, defining a business case— as is historically done for traditional initiatives—can be challenging. It is easy for companies to estimate sales lift, cost take-out and other potential benefits. But the reality is that it is as much a defensive play to maintain your current customer base, your current share of wallet and prevent defection to online pure plays and other competitors as it is about driving an upside. Realize that becoming seamless is about survival—and then establish operating metrics to monitor progress to ensure your business is moving ahead. 1 4 52 3 Operating Seamlessly 15 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 15 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  18. 18. 16 Operating Seamlessly By building a seamless retail organization—one step at a time and at their own pace—retailers can deliver non-stop customer experiences that defy the limitations of a single channel. Only through this type of transformation will retailers be able to survive—and thrive—through the dramatic changes driving a reinvention of retail as we know it. Merchandising and Marketing converge with a unified position with the customer experience becoming equally important as product and price. Sales associates must provide sophisticated customer experiences while fulfillment associates enable complex delivery options. Single-channel teams— marketing, merchandising and supply chain—must consolidate to serve customers across the enterprise. The supply chain must evolve to manage inventory holistically— forward, backward and sideways. Metrics and incentives must expand to include holistic customer value—comp customer sales are as important as comp store sales. Looking ahead In the coming years, customers’ demands will change, evolving in ways that we cannot yet imagine today. Engaged and delighted by shopping missions suited to their needs, non-stop customers want the ideal experience from retailers. And if they don’t get it, they simply change course—exploring other channels and competitors. To deliver seamless experiences, retailers must operate seamlessly themselves. Navigating all of the decisions that must be made can be overwhelming, but retailers can focus on these key customer-facing areas: 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 16 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  19. 19. Operating Seamlessly 17 Get in touch Accenture has a dedicated team focused on the issues retailers face competing in the online economy – for more information please contact: Global Chris Donnelly Asia Pacific Takaaki Haraguchi Europe Adrian Bertschinger North America Dave Richards 1 Accenture Seamless Retail Consumer Survey, November 2012. 2 See Accenture’s Seamless Retail: Customize. Connect. Converge. Collaborate. for more detail. 3 Accenture Seamless Retail Consumer Survey, November 2012 4 Forrester Research Inc., US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2011 To 2016, September 2011. 5 Fiorletta, Alicia. (October 30, 2012). Social Advocacy Summit: Retail and Facebook Execs Discuss Shift to Converged Marketing. In Retail Touchpoints Web site. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 6 Accenture Seamless Retail Consumer Survey, November 2012. 7 Kalakota, Ravi. (January 19, 2012). Multi-channel to Omni-channel Retail Analytics: Big Data Use Case. In Practical Analytics Word Press Web site. Retrieved on March 5, 2013 from channel-retail-analytics-a-big-data-use-case/ 8 Demery, Paul. (January 29, 2013). Macy’s Names a Chief Omnichannel Executive. In Internet Retailer Web site. Retrieved on March 5, 2013 from http://www. 9 Eisenberg, Bryan. The Steve Jobs Way to Marketing Integration. In State of Search Web site. Retrieved on March 5, 2013 from steve-jobs-way-to-marketing-integration-by-bryan-eisenberg-thegrok/ 10 Cisco. Leading U.K. Retailer, John Lewis, Pilots Unique Cisco StyleMe™ Fashion Mirror to Help Capture More Cross-Channel Shoppers. about/ac79/docs/retail/John-Lewis-and-Cisco-Virtual-fashion-mirror-case- study.pdf 11 (January 2, 2013). Nearly 50% of Consumers Believe They are More Informed than Store Associates. In Retail TouchPoints Web site. Retrieved on March 5, 2013 from consumers-believe-they-are-more-informed-than-store-associates- 12 (April 18, 2011) Why Logistics Personnel Should Work in Stores? In Store Logistics Web site. Retrieved on March 5, 2013 from 13 14 Winter, Caroline. (December 30, 2012). When Christmas Brings Retailers Many Unhappy Returns. In Bloomberg Businessweek Web site. Retrieved on March 5, 2013 from brings-retailers-many-unhappy-returns 15 Taylor, Heather. (September 20, 2012). Nordstrom VP Warns Retailers ‘Put Customers in Driver’s Seat, or be Dead by 2020.’ In EConsultancy Web site. Retrieved on March 5, 2013 from nordstrom-vp-warns-retailers-put-customers-in-driver-s-seat-or-be-dead- by-2020 References 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 17 4/29/13 12:22 PM
  20. 20. About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 261,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is Follow us on Twitter @AccentureRetail Learn more at Copyright ©2013 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. Rights to trademarks referenced herein, other than Accenture trademarks, belong to their respective owners. We disclaim proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. 2177_Seamless_pov_awk_FINAL_V2.indd 18 4/29/13 12:22 PM