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Study Shows Retailers Not Prepared To Manage Digital Operations

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Incisivan industry insights firm that helps retailers and brands navigate digital disruption, has released the findings of an executive survey, titled “Digital Complexity: Thriving in Unpredictable Times.”

Conducted in partnership with Fluent Commerce, commercetools and Contentstack, the survey found that retailers expect major increases in operational requirements around fulfillment and digital-related functions in 2023.

With the pace and complexity of operations in digital retail rising rapidly, most brands feel inadequately prepared to deal with these new challenges. The survey also found that fewer than half of retailers believe they can manage all aspects of their digital operations over the next twelve months.

“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, 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.”

To adapt accordingly, retailers need to focus on the capabilities that impact them the most and must upgrade omnichannel, specifically in areas of digital fulfillment, content management and personalization.

Key findings of the research include:

  • Retailers expect the complexity of their digital operations to increase over the next 12 months:
    • Eighty-one percent of retailers expect their product returns to increase; and
    • Sixty-five percent of retailers expect the number of store fulfilled digital orders to increase.
  • Most are underprepared to effectively manage them:
    • Forty-six percent of retailers stated they will be effective in managing the growth of their product returns; and
    • Thirty-five percent of retailers stated they will be effective in managing their store order fulfillment.
  • Retailers were forced to invest in commerce and fulfillment capabilities during the pandemic just to stay in business. Content and campaign management was given far less attention and now retailers must catch up. For instance:
    • Thirty-nine percent of retailers stated their current store fulfillment platform will not meet their needs; and
    • Forty percent of retailers stated their personalization platform won’t meet their needs.

“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, 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.”

Click here to download the complete findings from “Digital Complexity: Thriving in Unpredictable Times.”

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Featured Photo Barons Market Flagship Store
Point Loma Community
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