Press Release

Demanding Shoppers Highlight Need for Speed from Retailers

- Research identifies need to bridge the gap between customers’ expectations and retailers’ capabilities -

LONDON, 22 October, 2014

Manhattan Associates is highlighting that the success of the retail economy depends on closing the chasm between consumers’ expectations and retailers’ capabilities when it comes to receiving their purchases quickly.

Recent research by the Supply Chain Commerce Solutions provider reveals that customers want same-day delivery (48 per cent) but only one in five retailers currently has the ability to fulfil orders this quickly.

Manhattan expects this growing gap between consumer demands and retailers’ capabilities will continue to widen. The study found that 37 per cent of UK shoppers expect to use two-hour click-and-collect services in the next six to nine months; however, retailers struggle to deliver – just one in four can currently offer this service.

UK shoppers ranked “speed of delivery/collection options” as just below price and product choice in terms of importance in the purchasing process. Those retailers that can’t fulfil quickly may lose out to the speedier competition, but the real winners will be those that can execute on the fulfilment promise profitably. Fulfilment of orders from inventory already in the store is viewed as critical to this process. However, only 32 per cent of retailers are planning to implement ship-from-store processes to accelerate deliveries in the next six to nine months.

“Growing customer demands and faster fulfilment options put extra strain on both stock levels and the bottom line. Too many retailers lack real time visibility of all inventory and are treating their channels in isolation. Our research found that almost one in four (37 per cent) still treat their channels separately,” said Craig Sears-Black, UK managing director of Manhattan Associates.

“One-third of retailers struggle to make a profit on deliveries and fall into the ‘profitability gap’. They’re trying to meet customer demands but doing so in the face of rising costs that erode profitability. The only way to solve this is for retailers to have a single inventory pool, which allows order management systems to tap into any stock holding, at any location and assess the viability and profitability of using it to fulfil a specific order. In their focus areas for the next 6-9 months, retailers are recognising that they need to become much smarter in the way they approach the order fulfilment process,” continued Sears-Black.

The research by Manhattan Associates questioned 2,000 people and 100 UK retail professionals about their offline and online shopping preferences and preferred fulfilment options and capabilities.

About Manhattan Associates

Manhattan Associates brings companies closer to their customers. We design, build and deliver market-leading Supply Chain Commerce Solutions that drive top line growth by converging front-end sales with back-end supply chain execution and efficiency. Our software, platform technology and unmatched experience help our customers around the world adapt to the challenges of the omni-channel marketplace. For more information, please visit www.manh.co.uk.