What's a CMO? Guess again. With massive e-commerce growth, the role of the Chief Merchandising Officer takes the stage.
While retail is undergoing tremendous change, the ultimate goals remain the same: Boosting margins, profitability, and customer loyalty. A recent retail merchandising survey shows how brands are pursuing these goals in the digital era.
According to the SAP Retail survey, merchandisers prioritize customer experience and are looking to analytics and advanced technology for help.
The study also revealed gaps and room for improvement.
Survey says: Top retail merchandising goals
Merchandisers today are keenly aware that they must understand customer needs and deliver on those needs across multiple channels. Retail success today hinges on providing shoppers with omnichannel experiences, and retailers are working hard to provide optimal experiences for consumers.
What matters most to merchandisers:
72% percent of respondents said they want to deliver consistent assortment, pricing, and promotion across all customer touchpoints.
More than half of the retailers surveyed aim to improve collaboration with suppliers and offer more flexible sources of supply.
52% of respondents said providing tailored and localized assortments is important.
Learn how a German hypermarket chain uses SAP's Unified Demand Forecasting solution to improve efficiency and accuracy.
Whomp-whomp: Merchandiser goals vs. merchandiser reality
Although merchandisers recognize the importance of customer experience, the survey showed that many have a lot of catching up to do.
More than 40% of survey respondents aren’t confident in their ability to know their customers at the level of detail needed. And only a third have invested in knowing their customers’ needs and preferences.
Despite the need to maximize margins and drive profits across all channels, only 28% merchandisers surveyed included understanding the margin and profit of their assortments at any level as an important strategy.
The future of retail & the promise of tech
Merchandisers are taking steps to bridge the gaps and better align their strategies with business goals, the survey found.
Many are moving towards predictive analytics and machine learning to improve their decision making.
More than half of retailers surveyed have already invested in ERP software, with even more considering such a move.
About 33% said they’ve invested in predictive analytics and demand forecasting.
“Technology is emerging as a real differentiator to help retailers optimize profitability while delivering a more engaging customer experience across channels,” says Kristin Howell, Global Vice President, Retail Marketing & Merchandising, SAP.
As merchants tailor their assortments and personalize promotions, predictive analytics and a connected platform for execution deliver measurable growth and profits, Howell adds.