Can cross-channel commerce offer Europe’s retailers a more certain future?, by Kay O. Manke / Partner, Retail & Consumer Markets, BearingPoint
Retail has long been a tough market in Europe, with growing customer expectations, increasing competition online, and “race to the bottom” market models. The pressure has particularly been felt in physical stores, as many retailers find it increasingly hard to justify in terms of cost efficiency even as they struggle to grow their presence in the digital world.
Recently, many retailers have pinned their hopes on cross-channel models which offer the promise of an integrated view of sales and service across online sites, physical stores and mobile service delivery. These models are not without their challenges however, as they directly impact the processes, structures and information flows at the heart of retail business models.
As retailers home in on such approaches, what strategy options exist, and what starting points exist for cross channel success? The answer lies in working with a phased roadmap which delivers the right level of integration, to responds to customers’ own changing behaviours as they move between channels.