Dear retailers,

As you are all aware, the Internet prompts two strong responses in customers: high expectations and frustration. Customers want to take advantage of what your e-commerce website and your bricks-and-mortar network can offer for one and the same purchase, but sometimes get the impression that there’s no communication between the two channels.

The answer to this problem is not just to develop your in-store digital technology: the most effective response will be to digitally transform your whole organization and processes. For your store network and your website to have a consistent offering, your teams and departments must stop working in silo mode and collaborate, in real time, on an ongoing basis. And for this to happen, communication must no longer take place exclusively between silo directors, or involve a time lapse of several weeks. Can you even conceive of going digital without the help of modern management tools, relying instead solely on email, phone calls, physical meetings, schedules and Excel spreadsheets? The answer is clearly no! We no longer manage our operations – which are increasingly complex – the way we managed them 20 years ago.

Moreover, a 2015 retail report showed that our European colleagues’ projects are increasingly complex. This growing complexity is designed to support ExCom strategies to survive in an ultra-competitive market. However, it puts the projects at risk, and a number of them have already run aground (aborted, behind schedule, over budget, etc.). To reduce the risks inherent in such projects, 81% of European retailers plan to acquire a real-time management solution and 77% a collaborative solution shared by all company stakeholders. (Source: 2015 European retail report available here)

So don’t confine yourselves to digitalizing your network: take your whole organization digital. Streamlined communication between your teams is essential to give your customer a streamlined journey and ensure a consistent offering and service anywhere in the purchase funnel.

Using a collaborative platform will help you:

  1. Remedy the lack of collaboration that prevents projects from reaching a successful conclusion and which leaves you out of pocket;
  2. Make sure the goods and services offered by your e-commerce website and your offline store are consistent, to avoid tarnishing your brand image;
  3. Make sure that the growing complexity of your projects does not translate to operational delays but to heightened customer satisfaction.

If you care about customer satisfaction, give your teams the modern management tools that will help bring your sales, marketing, merchandising, outfitting, etc. initiatives to a successful outcome.

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