The definitive guide to the multichannel strategies of the largest UK retailers.
A year is a very long time for multichannel retailers. And 12 months after writing the first Multichannel Now report, it was heartening to see during the research phase for the second that there was no need to go over old ground.
The market is moving at a tremendous pace, with a mixture of incremental developments and what we describe as leapfrogging activity, where retailers make substantial changes to their channels, services or product ranges in order to steal the march on their competitors.
If anything, the worsening of the economic outlook, and fears about future domestic growth are only increasing the pace of change. Retailers are trying to arrange their businesses to have the most compelling offer going into what they expect to be a difficult 2012, and increasingly they see their multichannel strategy as crucial to this.
In September and October 2011, we interviewed a selection of 20 board-level executives within retail; 16 of who work for top 100 retailers, and the other four who work for retailers turning over more than £100m a year. As for last year, we wanted to speak to a variety of decision-makers, and not just gather the views of those who are most enthusiastic about the possibilities of multichannel.
This gives the report real ‘legs’, and confidently allows us to predict how the trends the market is witnessing will play out in the next 12 months.
We are happy with the comparisons between what we predicted in 2010 using this methodology, and what has occurred since. A year ago, references to multichannel causing a reduction in demand for retail property was mentioned in hushed tones. We felt it would quickly become significant, and sure enough throughout 2011 retailers announced property reviews.
There are plenty more such insights to be gained this year, particularly around multichannel pricing strategies, cross channel services and, in the longer term, the future of store formats and design.
In addition, we had feedback that readers wanted the report to contain more industry facts and figures, collated together in one easy to access place. We have referenced the work of more third-party research, as well as summarising the benchmarking table, so you can see, for instance, how many of the top 100 retailers have launched mobile apps.
This report has been designed to ensure you understand how multichannel will be used as a key component of competitiveness in the next 12 months.
Joanna Perry, Retail Week
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FOCUS ON RETAILERS
- Learn why the growing skills gap threatens key-staff retention and how staff engagement can strengthen your business. Plus, how retailers are successfully engaging front-line staff in their multichannel strategy
- Hear how leading retailers are managing the speed of change and adapting cross-channel strategies to compete - including internationally
- Understand why your business structure will need to change to maximise your multichannel business
- Discover how customer behaviour is changing and what this means for your mobile strategy
- Prepare for the new retail landscape – including property realignment, tactical pricing, channel proliferation and in-store design
FOCUS ON SUPPLIERS
- Get ready for the effect of multichannel on retail property portfolios and find out who will be the winners and losers
- Learn how multichannel design will make retailers question their in-store design
- Discover how multichannel is being used to drive international growth online and offline.
- Understand how customer fulfilment demands are changing and what retailers will be expecting from their suppliers