SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group

December 09, 2010 11:00 ET

The Evolving Customer Is Driving Cross-Channel Retail

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - December 9, 2010) - The top cross-channel associated business pressure facing retail executives today is the customer's expectation for relevant information regardless of channel, according to the report The Roadmap from Multi-Channel to Cross-Channel Retailing, announced by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS). This study surveyed 100 retail organizations to determine the current state of cross-channel retail initiatives.

"The ubiquitous consumer is seeking more informed purchases across channels and overall upgradation of the shopping experience. Retailers on the quest for unified channels must first embrace the notion of 'anytime-anywhere' retailing," says Sahir Anand, author and vice president / principal analyst, Aberdeen.

In response to this pressure, retail organizations indicated plans to centralize all customer data for coordinated offers across channels. "The centralized data repository allows the retailer to analyze all channel data, resulting in improved customer service for higher satisfaction levels, highly targeted promotions through the customer's channel of choice, and the building blocks for an integrated cross-channel retail environment," states Chris Cunnane, co-author and senior research associate, Aberdeen.

Top retailers have placed an emphasis on an integrated supply chain as the first step in the unified channel process by implementing warehouse management systems, inventory management modules, and transportation management systems. "These three technologies work together to ensure that customer orders can be seamlessly fulfilled through any channel. However, retailers must ensure they are not ignoring their cross-channel marketing initiatives," says Cunnane.

To improve cross-channel performance, Aberdeen data has shown that retailers must make informed and educated decisions regarding their cross-channel strategy. Aberdeen recommends the following actions for performance improvement:

  • Apply common merchandise planning and assortment goals for all channels of operations.
  • Provide customers with the ability to purchase, exchange, and return product through a channel of their choice.
  • Create a roadmap for cross-channel process and technology integration.

All of the above requirements, amongst others, are part of the winning strategy for cross-channel retailing.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Cactus Commerce, Channel Net, Escalate Retail, and NCR. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit:

http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?spid=30410182&cid=6823&camp=2

Visit Aberdeen.com for additional access to complimentary Retail and Banking Research. 

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen provides fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having queried more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 854-5200, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748.

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