SalesTech Star

Disruptions Give Retailers a Chance to Master All Channels

Companies that adapted quickly to COVID-19 are investing in omnichannel sales and marketing platforms for the long haul, ISG Provider Lens™ report says

Retailers around the world are adopting omnichannel technology platforms to seamlessly link all shopping experiences for better customer and business outcomes, according to a new research report published by Information Services Group (ISG), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ Retail Platforms Global report finds many companies launched major modernization projects following changes in shopping behavior triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. When pandemic lockdowns began, retailers adapted within days to a rapid shift to e-commerce, activating new sales channels such as curbside pickup, lockers, social commerce and voice commerce. Omnichannel platforms are designed to integrate these and other shopping modes for greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.

“Integrated, omnichannel sales and marketing has become a must-have,” said Sunder Pillai, leader, Retail, for ISG. “Retailers are increasing their IT budgets and working with providers to get a comprehensive view of supply and demand and a unified customer profile.”

“Integrated, omnichannel sales and marketing has become a must-have”

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Omnichannel sales platforms are designed to let consumers move seamlessly from one channel to another, such as e-commerce to in-store shopping. When customers are able to do this, they spend more and tend to be more loyal, the report says. Platform vendors offer several new capabilities that enterprises need to achieve this. These include “headless” commerce platforms, which allow retailers to quickly integrate and disintegrate sales channels with a click.

Companies also want the ability to track customers’ activity across sales channels, consolidate real-time product and inventory data and use new information sources, such as online search data, to improve merchandise planning, the report says.

AI-driven algorithms are essential for making sense of the volume of data now available to retailers, ISG says. For example, it would be difficult to do merchandise planning based on hundreds of demand factors, in real time, using manual or spreadsheet-based assessment.

“Data and analytics are powerful competitive tools for retailers,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Consumer behavior is changing, and companies need to make the right decisions quickly.”

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The report also explores other issues retailers face, including integrating omnichannel platforms with legacy and third-party applications, changing pricing in real time according to customers’ willingness to pay and using AI to analyze brick-and-mortar store layouts.

The 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ Retail Platforms report for global evaluates the capabilities of 26 providers across two quadrants: Omnichannel Commerce Platform, and Merchandising Planning and Management.

The report names Oracle and SAP as Leaders in both quadrants. It names Adobe, Blue Yonder, commercetools, Manhattan Associates, RELEX, Salesforce and SAS as Leaders in one quadrant each.

In addition, Spryker is named as a Rising Star — a company with a “promising portfolio” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition — in one quadrant.

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