In retail, trust depends heavily on a retailer’s ability to deliver value, and merchandising excellence including inventory management are at the heart of that ability. Having the right product on the shelf, and getting it into the customer’s hands at the right time and by the customer’s chosen fulfillment method, represent a huge trust-building opportunity. Mastery of inventory will be a critical imperative for retailers in 2022 and beyond.
Mastery of Inventory: Digital Progress is Lagging
Gartner research shows that retail’s digital progress is lagging, both externally and internally (Gartner clients see 2022 CIO and Technology Executive Agenda: Retailers Differentiate Through Stores but Struggle with Composability). The current approaches used in retail will not only make retail less digitally efficient internally, but will also keep the industry on a trajectory that makes it impossible to implement newer business models that create value using digital technologies and channels. Examples of these business models include on-demand services, subscriptions, digital ecosystems and marketplaces, products augmented with digital experiences, and digital data monetization. Going forward, IT investments need to be focused on evolving and embracing business models that respond to rapidly changing consumer behaviors and consumer expectations of retailers’ trustworthiness.
Retail Predictions for 2022 and Beyond
The analysts on the Gartner retail team developed findings that underpinned 3 retail predictions for 2022 and beyond:
- By year end 2025, sales initiated through live commerce will account for more than 20% of global e-commerce sales for nonfood multichannel retailers.
- By year end 2026, at-home replenishment as a service will surge to at least 5% of multichannel grocery retailers’ total revenue in developed economies.
- By year end 2025, all global multichannel fashion retailers will use AI and automation to create more targeted assortments, reducing item choices by up to 30%.
Gartner clients can read the full report here: Predicts 2022: Mastery of Inventory Is Critical to Drive Customer Trust for the Future of Retail