Retail, as an industry, is always changing, but today the advancement of digital and mobile innovation is creating disruption across the industry. The role of the store is evolving, shifting, and becoming more integral in the digitally-influenced buying journey.


Raghav Sibal, Manhattan Associates’ Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, looks at how, for retailers to adjust, store associate roles are transforming as they are being asked to do more than ever before.


With omnichannel initiatives such as buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) in full swing for almost every multi-channel retailer, the ability to execute on the promises of great experiences and fast, free delivery are putting tremendous pressure on retail fulfilment systems and teams to answer the bell profitably.


As consumers, when we order online for in-store pickup, we are giving merchants a tremendous opportunity to engage with us to sell more than our original order. In fact, 46 percent of us will buy more when we arrive at the store to pick up our item. However, in order for us to purchase more, our experiences need to remain smooth and efficient. We want a single transaction and receipt and a single order to review later in our app or online — no matter how many items we added to the original order. For most retailers today, the fairly simple omnichannel experience described here is onerous to execute and nearly impossible to do so as a single transaction for their customer. They simply do not have systems designed for this kind of engagement.


Retailers committed to a unified commerce experience need systems and tools that have been optimised and engineered specifically for omnichannel demands. They need a cloud-native, services-based architecture that enables exceptional scaling and provides maximum flexibility when new types of engagement are demanded — not another application on top of the legacy system.


A single application that gives complete command and control of the customer buying experience and all store inventory and fulfilment functions is required. From mobile checkout to guided fulfilment and inventory location notification, associates are made more helpful and more efficient. From encouraging individual selling goals to monitoring the health of the store activity, managers are more keenly attuned to the customer experience and driven to improve it.


Manhattan Associates has launched an Adaptive Network Fulfilment (ANF) ROI calculator. The ROI calculator will assist Australian and New Zealand retailers to measure how optimising fulfilment, delivery and store use can help their business maximise margins and profitability in the digital commerce marketplace. To access the omnichannel fulfilment ROI calculator, please click here.