Gartner Analyst and fellow retail team member Joanne Joliet this week published the latest in our series of COVID-19 research designed to give meaningful insights for retailers grand reopening. COVID-19 has highlighted the criticality of stores in delivering unified commerce. Unlocking the potential of the stores will be the key to retail unified commerce success post COVID-19.
The Role of The Store
While physical stores contribute the largest source of sales and revenue for retailers, the role of the store in unified commerce has historically been underestimated — until now. The COVID-19 pandemic illuminated that for most retailers, their channels were actually still largely siloed, impacting fluidity and their ability to sell and execute across channels. For segments with less established digital commerce channels like grocery, luxury and discounters, the shuttered physical stores weren’t in a position (or able to pivot) to fulfill the demand from online orders. Furthermore, the few retailers who don’t have an online connection to customers or can’t conduct digital commerce were completely frozen. This crisis is a catalyst for digital transformation, one that retailers can’t continue deferring or ignoring to finally move to unified commerce.
From Crisis, Comes Opportunity
Retail CIOs, in partnership with the business, should use this crisis as an opportunity to:
- Redefine the physical estate
- Ready the workforce
- Move the merchandise
- Enhance service & experience
Gartner clients can leverage the downloadable PowerPoint slides for use in building a grand reopening strategy: