Far from cutting back on brick-and-mortar, nearly half of retail execs (48%) surveyed plan to add stores, according to a Retail TouchPoints report, Metrics that Matter to Retail CXOS. The survey of 169 retail executives, including more than 70% with C-level or VP titles, reveals how businesses are transforming into nimble, collaborative organizations better positioned to appreciate, analyze, and respond to the rapidly evolving preferences and behaviors of consumers.
E-commerce also is a focus, with 45% of respondents planning to grow it. Forrester Research has forecast a compound annual growth rate of 9.5% for U.S. e-commerce through 2018, yielding approximately $414 billion and accounting for 11% of total U.S. retail sales.
Retail TouchPoints also found that half of retail executives believe cross-business collaboration is a challenge. While 97% of retailers are budgeted to grow in 2015, 57% are investing in inventory management solutions to reduce cost, and 42% of retail executives feel their role in selecting technology solution providers has increased significantly.
- 62% rate corporate business goals highest among organizational priorities. On the bottom, 5% say pleasing Wall Street.
- 65% cite changing consumer behavior as the greatest challenge, external or internal, that prevents business goals from being being achieved.
- 64% have implemented charitable giving programs, shaping their company’s role as a corporate citizen. And 53% have environmental protection and energy conservation initiatives in place, while 46% have (undefined) sustainability initiatives in place.
- 33% are seeking merger and acquisition opportunities.
- 39% plan to decrease footage in existing stores, with 25% planning to increase square footage.
- 24% plan to divest stores.
- 44% are launching e-commerce sites and 34% are opening stores in new global markets. Only 13% say budgetary constraints prevent their global expansion.
- 45% of retailers plan to add social media analytics in 2015.
- 52% rank buy online/pickup in-store (BOPIS) as the most important inventory fulfillment models to implement.