German retailers expect the impact of digital sales channels on their business to increase strongly. This is just one result of a study commissioned by Wincor Nixdorf, among others, from the leading European market research company, Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC). This study, “Omnichannel commerce in Germany”, delivers current data and facts on the omnichannel strategies pursued by German retail companies.
Paderborn, Germany, 2014-7-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Against the backdrop of the strongly growing influence of digital sales channels, more than 80% of retailers assign the highest priority to the expansion of their e-commerce activities and the development of links between e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar stores. Their investment plans reflect this orientation: 45% of retailers intend to invest in IT solu-tions and services for cross-channel integration within the next two years, and another 37% plan to do so within five years. These invest-ments will focus primarily on mobile applications for smart phones and tablets – solutions that are on the investment agenda for 72% of the surveyed retailers by 2018 at the latest. The implementation of CRM solutions is likewise planned during this time by 57% of retail compa-nies. “An individual omnichannel strategy is not just a nice-to-have op-tion for today’s retailers, it’s a clear must,” concludes Dr. Katrin Schleife, the PAC study’s analyst.
The study also discovered that in adapting their IT structures for e-commerce, retailers have developed a “surprisingly clear” tendency toward the use of a central IT platform that assists them in controlling and orchestrating the individual applications and processes. “De-central links between individual applications across innumerable interfaces can have significant negative effects on performance, maintainability and in particular the ability to develop the solution further – and for these rea-sons, standardization and homogenization of business logic and data is key to reduce complexity,” explains Nicolas Pelletier, Head of Product Line Retail Software at Wincor Nixdorf. Wincor Nixdorf’s solution for omnichannel retailing was developed with this insight in mind: TP Appli-cation Suite uses a single data source and a common logic across all channels, enabling reductions in complexity and the integration of new applications in the future.
Migrating to an omnichannel approach is a big challenge for a retailer. This is why around 70% of those surveyed are hoping for support from their IT service providers, both in developing their omnichannel strate-gies and in adapting internal processes and organizational structures accordingly. “To do this successfully, a service provider has to have ex-tensive industry and segment-specific know-how and the ability to pro-vide support at every stage of the project,” says Thorsten Braun, who heads up Wincor Nixdorf’s retail organization in the D/A/CH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).
Yet despite the future importance of e-commerce and omnichannel strategies, retailers don’t believe that the death knell has sounded for stationary retail. In fact, 98% of them are convinced that in the future, their bricks-and-mortar stores will play a key role in customer contact. However, it’s also clear to them that the image of the store is changing – from a pure sales channel to a support element for their digital busi-ness. According to the study, in the future the store will play a stronger role as a showroom and a touchpoint for picking up and paying for items that have been ordered online.
English version of the study will be available here in a few days.
Information on the study: The study “Omnichannel commerce in Germany – integrated shopping concepts are the future of retailing” was based on a survey of approxi-mately 100 decision-makers in German retail companies with more than 50 employees. All the surveyed companies already use at least two sales channels, of which at least one is digital, or say that the significance of the second sales channel for their business is growing.