May 17, 2020

UK grocery retailers struggling with the pace of customer demand

Retail Supply Chain
customer demand
supply chain infrastructure
supply chain demand
Dale Benton
4 min
 UK grocery retailers struggling with the pace of customer demands
Research has revealed that most retailers are struggling with the pace of customer demand.

In a study released by Blue Yonder, a leading provider of pr...

Research has revealed that most retailers are struggling with the pace of customer demand.

 In a study released by Blue Yonder, a leading provider of predictive analytics and automated decisions for retail, 90 percent of grocery managers within the UK have issues meeting customer requirements.

A quarter of managers feel they fall short on delivering a true omnichannel experience, while just over a third of grocery managers and directors in the UK actually feel there are too many decisions to make and decisions are not being made fast enough.

And it doesn’t end there, one in five feel they do not deliver the product at the speed the customer expects.

In the new grocery marketplace, an ability to make fast decisions is the benchmark for success.

Customers expect speed and convenience from grocery retailers; speed in delivery times, in getting the product they want from the shelves in the store, during the payment process, and in comparing prices and options across the market.

The research revealed that many grocery managers and directors feel their ability to match the requirements of the customer is hindered by the decision-making speed in the supply chain:

·     Nearly 30% of all respondents say decisions in the supply chain are slowing down their decision-making, leaving them unable to keep pace with their customers. The UK’s supply chains are the worst with 38% feeling they are the weak link.

·     34% in the UK say this is down to their supply chain legacy infrastructure.

·     35% in the UK feel leaner processes in the supply chain would best enable them to meet the needs of the customer at the speed of their expectations.

Professor Michael Feindt, founder of Blue Yonder, says: “No retailer will survive if they do not adapt their decision-making – whether in the supply chain or on the shop floor – to match the new clock-speed of the customer and keep pace with their expectations.”

The research also found that grocery retailers feel decision-making speeds are slowed by too many manual decisions in the process. They also believe that better data availability (84%), data analysis (71%) and automation (67%) can help them speed up and make the best daily decision making. The research also found a full 100% of directors believe AI and machine learning is either already changing retail, or will change the future of retail.

Professor Feindt continues: “Grocery retail is dealing with many changes and threats.  The digital behemoths have shifted the rules of engagement, providing shoppers with options of 24/7 shopping on any platform, delivered when they want it.  Combine this with digital transparency of pricing and the rise of the convenience discounters and the world is a very different place with margins getting ever tighter. This makes it vitally important that grocery retailers are able to deliver the same, if not better, customer experience which requires the right replenishment and pricing strategies, while also making it mission-critical to reduce waste.

“Only those retailers who understand the importance of advanced machine learning algorithms and big data will survive and thrive in grocery retail into the future”

The research also found that grocery retailers feel decision-making speeds are slowed by too many manual decisions in the process. They also believe that better data availability (84%), data analysis (71%) and automation (67%) can help them speed up and make the best daily decision making. The research also found a full 100% of directors believe AI and machine learning is either already changing retail, or will change the future of retail.

Professor Feindt continues: “Grocery retail is dealing with many changes and threats.  The digital behemoths have shifted the rules of engagement, providing shoppers with options of 24/7 shopping on any platform, delivered when they want it.  Combine this with digital transparency of pricing and the rise of the convenience discounters and the world is a very different place with margins getting ever tighter. This makes it vitally important that grocery retailers are able to deliver the same, if not better, customer experience which requires the right replenishment and pricing strategies, while also making it mission-critical to reduce waste.

“Only those retailers who understand the importance of advanced machine learning algorithms and big data will survive and thrive in grocery retail into the future”

 

Blue Yonder. Best Decisions, Delivered Daily. 

Blue Yonder is the leading provider of cloud-based predictive applications for retail. Every day, we deliver decisions to our customers that boost revenues, increase margins and enable rapid responses to changing market dynamics

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Jun 21, 2021

Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain

supplychain
IBM
Pandora
omnichannel
2 min
Jewellery retailer Pandora teamed with IBM to streamline supply chains as sales of hand-finished jewellery doubled across ecommerce platforms

Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery. 

The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales. 

A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.

Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs. 

Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption. 

"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added. 

 

Pandora’s pivot to digital 

The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand. 

“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”

Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”. 
 

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