Supply chain technology will make or break store retailers - Just Style
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Supply chain technology will make or break store retailers

23 Nov 2017

Increasing competition from online retailers – particularly during events like tomorrow's Black Friday – means that brick-and-mortar firms need to adapt their supply chains to replicate the agility of these online-only stores.

Increasing competition from online retailers – particularly during events like tomorrow’s Black Friday – means that brick-and-mortar firms need to adapt their supply chains to replicate the agility of these online-only stores.

Research from IHS Markit earlier this week demonstrates a cautious analyst sentiment surrounding the performance of physical retailers in the busy holiday period, with online giants such as Amazon expected to take more customers away from the high-street.

After consecutive record Black Fridays in 2016 and 2015, this year’s peak trading day has also been the subject of lowered expectations from many brick-and-mortar retailers.

Supply chain technology provider World Wide Technology believes physical stores can regain their edge through replicating the agility of these online-only stores.

“The divide between bricks-and-mortar stores and agile online-only retailers has become even more apparent lately, with pioneers such as Amazon showcasing technologies that put them at a distinct advantage compared to physical retailers who must manage a more complex supply-chain,” explains Ben Boswell, VP EMEA at World Wide Technology.

He continues: “In order to stay relevant to consumers who are now accustomed to very rapid delivery times and excellent product visibility on online platforms, bricks-and-mortar retailers must look closely at their supply chains. Digital supply chain technology is enabling ‘online’ inventory management features to be brought to the physical store.

“A good example of this in practice is retailers who stock their stores with products that are generating interest online. This can be mapped according to product interest by location. Levels of online interest in specific products in different areas are being used to stock physical stores that give customers what they are looking for.”

“Connected technologies that streamline the supply chain will be key in enabling brick-and-mortar retailers to replicate the online experience. They need to close the gap with the speed and ease-of-purchase that e-commerce provides, and this is only going to be achieved through having supply chains which can respond rapidly to specific customer demand, especially over the holiday retail season.”