The new year is expected to bring major increases in operational requirements related to fulfillment and digital functions, but are food retailers ready for it? A survey from industry insights firm Incisiv, titled "Digital Complexity: Thriving in Unpredictable Times," is shedding light on the fact that many brands feel unprepared to deal with these new challenges.
The survey, which was conducted in partnership with Fluent Commerce, commercetools and Contentstack, further found that 69% of retailers plan to increase their online SKUs, 67% will increase the number of digital assets they utilize and 65% expect the number of store-fulfilled digital orders to increase over the next 12 months.
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“As digital demand regresses to the mean, and with increasing macroeconomic uncertainty, the fight for the shopper dollar will intensify over the next 12 months,” said Gaurav Pant, chief insights officer at Incisiv. “Delivering on the fundamentals of inventory availability and anywhere fulfillment is critical and there is still a lot of work to be done in this area. Building a personalized and relevant shopper experience is where the leaders are focused.”
While the number of digital assets will grow 24% in 2023 and digital orders will increase 16%, some 39% of retailers said their current store fulfillment platform will not meet their needs and 40% believe their personalization platform also won’t meet their needs. Additionally, less than half of retailers believe they can effectively manage the growth of their product returns, 43% said they will be effective in managing their online SKU growth and 32% think they can effectively manage the variety of their digital assets.
Michael Scholz, VP of product and customer marketing at commercetools, said: “There's more to running a successful business than just ensuring you're two steps ahead of having the products consumers want and need. They need the flexibility and scalability to provide the experiences customers want today, and tomorrow.
“Retailers need an agile and flexible commerce portfolio and an ecosystem of best-of-breed technology, such as MACH (Microservices, API-First, Cloud-Native and Headless) solutions,” Scholz continued. “These enable businesses to unlock infinite opportunities, effectively tackle these new challenges and future-proof their business against changing market forces.”
“The stark reality of e-commerce marketing is that content is non-negotiable: To win and hold customer attention, content must be everywhere, and it must always be evolving,” said Neha Sampat, CEO of Contentstack. “Marketers need tools that support this reality, such as MACH-based technology that sets marketing departments up for speed, freeing teams from dependency on IT, and enabling agile, collaborative, and scalable processes."