ASDA Canning Its Commerce Silos For Omnichannel
ASDA is joining the omnichannel revolution.
If I were a day trader, I would be short retail stocks.
And not because of the state of the economy as that is picking up, but because of the looming omnichannel reality facing retailers. Blending online and offline shopping requires a massive internal structural shift in many aspects of retailing, such as commerce platforms, inventory control, customer service and marketing.
Then there’s an entire company culture that needs to be transformed. This evolution needs to happen to all size retailers, but it will be the most painful for large brands, the kinds that float stock and the kinds that are so big that change doesn’t happen easily.
It’s difficult to make such large changes within the confines of existing internal best practices not to mention having the right human resources to make the switch.
According to a report conducted by commerce platform provider Mozu, the top three barriers to retail innovation for high-revenue organizations are:
- Difficulty implementing backend technology (29.6%)
- Insufficient financial resources (25.5%)
- Lack of education and training of employees (25.5%)
ASDA Jumps In An example of a retailer getting serious about omnichannel is ASDA. They recently announced a long-term plan to invest in bridging the gap between online and offline retail to reflect the changes in consumer shopping habits. Although their like-for-like sales were down 1% last year, they are investing £600m to link their ecommerce with their physical stores.
And back to my imaginary world of day trading, where would I invest? In the commerce platform developers as well as consulting firms and agencies that are making multichannel retailing a reality for today’s brands. They have a steady pipeline of work for the foreseeable future.
Greta Paa-Kerner (@gretapk) is a guest lecturer on digital and affiliate marketing and a management consultant through Ganduxer Consulting. Visit her blog and LinkedIn profile
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