The past few years have been filled with the fear of an impending “retail apocalypse” that will leave all physical stores empty and abandoned in its wake. In 2017 alone, 21 major retailers filed for bankruptcy. But in their State of Retail 2017 report, TimeTrade found that more than 70% of consumers would still prefer to shop a brick and mortar store over its online counterpart. If consumers still want to shop in store, what is actually contributing to the retail apocalypse?
One of the killers of retail has been adaptability, or lack thereof. Forbes contributor Blake Morgan said of the retail apocalypse, “If stores can’t adapt with changing trends and technology, they will die of natural causes… you walk into stores that don’t have what you are looking for or that aren’t relevant to you… you walk out of the stores empty handed, frustrated, and feeling like you just wasted your time.” We’ve all had this experience––you walk into a store to find shelves brimming with irrelevant products, or they are completely out of what you want!
In her RILA 2018 Conference keynote address, Sona Chawla of Kohls described this inventory issue as the “Goldilocks Problem.” In the fairytale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” Goldilocks spends the entire story looking for perfection. She tries the bears’ food, chairs and beds going from one extreme to the next all in the name of finding something that is just right. Goldilocks’ problem rings true for many businesses and their inventory challenges, how do they go from too much or too little inventory to getting it just right?
Today, customers are demanding efficiency in all aspects of their experience with your business. They want an omni-channel experience that gives them a seamless transition from online to in-store shopping, instant gratification through quick shipping and pick up options and to only see what is relevant to them and their specific needs. Solving the Goldilocks Problem and giving customers exactly what they want takes data, visibility and good insights tools that support real-time decisions regarding the best path to the customer.
With the right technology, mobile tools and insights, businesses now have the ability to better understand their customers and adapt to their ever-changing needs. DSI’s cloud-based inventory management capabilities and mobile-first apps provide a single point to manage inventory, streamline supply chain operations and provide businesses with global inventory visibility. With DSI’s solutions, businesses are able to adapt their processes to keep up with consumer trends as well as their competitors.