There’s an interesting story in the New York Times about how Nordstrom is driving strong same store sales with a supply chain and inventory system that allows online customers from Nordstrom.com to see what’s in each store online. The customer can then drive to the store and see the product live, or can have the product shipped to them from the store.
What? You can’t do that with every major, high-end retailer?
The vast majority of multichannel retailers (as they’re called, although any retailer that’s surviving or succeeding must be a multichannel retailer) run each channel separately. “Traditional retailers have a traditional way of doing things” as Adrianne Shapira, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, points out in the article.
A large share of the innovation you’ll see in Retail and E-commerce will be in more efficient supply chain and inventory management. These improvements that seem to be behind the scenes will drive the blurring of online and physical, and play a key role in change and innovation in the coming decade.