Why front-end customer service relies on backend operations

The way consumers use digital platforms is changing at warp speed. Thanks to a rise in smart devices, more people are browsing, comparing and purchasing goods online. To take advantage of this changing behaviour, retailers need to ensure that their technology is capable of catering for the digital age. Most importantly, this means providing a […]

Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics Gains Foothold with Fashion Retail

For many years, the fashion and apparel industry relied heavily on intuition and limited available data to predict pre-season, in-season, and post-season customer demand. But as every industry turns to data analytics to gain a better understanding of omnichannel customers, the fashion industry has followed the trend and is now turning towards data analytics to […]

How Technology is Changing the Backend of Retail

Some retailers are leading the way when it comes to digital customer experiences. Instore, they’re using RFID technology and smart mirrors to show shoppers relevant product information. They’re using augmented reality so that people can virtually try clothes on. Online, they’re investing huge amounts of money in making sure that their e-commerce platforms are interactive, […]

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 […]