Fashion and Apparel’s Quest to Merge Online and Offline into Omnichannel

A recently published report from Avanade and EKN, entitled “Fashion & Apparel: Achieving a frictionless shopper experience and streamlined operations” discusses major trends in the fashion and apparel industry. One of the conclusions drawn is that the lines between digital and physical shopping are getting more blurred, with customers preferring omnichannel interactions that offer a […]

Retail Jobs: Lost and Found

The numbers were startling, if coincidental. The U.S. Labor Department March 2017 Jobs Report stated that just over 30,000 jobs had been lost in the retail sector in that month. The day before the Labor Department figures were released, Amazon announced that it was planning to hire 30,000 more people! Net-net? Not quite. At least […]

Fashion Hit with Global Uncertainties and Heightened Customer Demands

The performance of the fashion and apparel industry last year was not very encouraging. Most indicators point to sluggish growth and stagnating profit margins. And many retailers believe that the condition of the fashion and apparel industry has gotten worse over the last year. Compounding all this bad news is the ongoing pressure on retailers […]

Retailers Look to Employees to Provide a Great In-Store Experience

We’ve been talking with our customers, with the press (Chain Store Age, Retail Times) and analysts about our recent global retail survey where we found that retailers are anticipating big changes to their store formats. We also highlighted that retailers were unclear on the changes in the type of work that is going to be […]

Study Shows Retailers Overlook Employees When Changing Store Formats

Late last year Avanade and EKN conducted a survey of retail executives about the changing nature of their stores, what changes they expected to see in the next three years, and what challenges they were experiencing in managing those changes. Our first look at the charts sent us back to the raw data to see […]

The Role of ERP in Retail Has Changed

The role of ERP in retail has changed from an integrated system for conducting day-to-day operational tasks to providing a dynamic, unified, and strategic view of the retail business. The need for omnichannel customer demand, one view of product, and integrated financial and physical supply chain across all channels has meant that retailers need an […]

NRF 2017: Applying Innovation and Virtual Reality to Retail

With the holiday season over the retail world now enters its prediction season; everywhere you turn you can see lists of the top retail trends of 2017. While some of those predictions are less likely to happen than my resolution to give up wine for the month of January others are already happening. Rather than […]

3 Digital Workplace Productivity Tools for Retail Store Environments

A question I often ask retailers I work with is “How many hours per day, on average, do your store assistants and managers spend with customers?” The answer to this question, and the discussions that follow, are insightful and throw light on the productivity challenge facing retailers. Over the past decade, most retailers have invested […]

The Value of Customer Experience in Retail

No one invests more in customer experience than retailers. They are at the front of the experience economy improving store layouts, creating unified commerce experiences, and investing in employee training to provide the emotionally satisfying experiences that create loyal, engaged customers. Investing in experience is a tricky thing though – individual retailers often spend money […]

How to Digitalise and Elevate the In-store Customer Experience

As customers’ retail experience becomes less physical and increasingly virtual, how should you as a retailer with a bricks-and-mortar store, an ecommerce site, social media presence and a mobile app respond and differentiate? Customers buying online have access to a rich set of information – price comparisons, reviews, blogs, videos, etc. All that vanishes the […]