Slow Motion

Retailers slow on social, mobile, local ("SoMoLo") response, study finds

ATLANTA -- Retailers are failing to keep up with consumer demands with regards to social, mobile and local or "SoMoLo" options, according to a recently released study.

In a survey of 150 retail executives from a variety of channels, 46% said their customers expect the option to place orders via smart phones, but only 38% of those same retailers currently offer that functionality, according to David Bruno, director of commerce studies for RedPrairie, Atlanta.

Additionally, only 22% offer customers the ability to browse and purchase items from social media sites, while reporting that 38% of their customers expected this ability.

"Retailers are under immense pressure to enhance the SoMoLo shopping experience," Bruno said. "While retailers understand they have some catching up to do, until now there has not been research available to pinpoint the disconnect between consumer expectation and retailer initiative."

Commerce in Motion, a program designed and sponsored by RedPrairie, commissioned the study, which attempts to study consumer habits and gage retailer response to new shopping and payment technologies.

In other RedPrairie news, the company introduced a new e-commerce service that uses "cloud" or third-party hosts for any number of technological needs. It announced the product last week at the National Retail Federation's annual "Big Show" in New York.

The solution integrates several software modules on a single enterprise platform that previously were only available as separate solutions in the cloud, including "Store Center," "Call Center," "e-Commerce," "Business Intelligence" and "Embedded Order Management."

"Retailers today have multiple e-commerce sites, call center applications, and of course retail stores that all need to connect with the customer where, when and how they want to shop," said Patrick Maley, general manager of commerce, RedPrairie. "The multiple, best-of-breed, cloud-based solutions cobbled together to deal with these challenges have not been able to keep up with the transaction volume that today's retailers can generate through their emerging all-channel strategies."

The new solution "breaks down the brick wall between direct channels and retail stores," he said, a move that will allow retailers to more effectively compete with e-commerce businesses.

"RedPrairie Commerce Cloud" connects the global supply chain to the store network and online presence to help retailers provide a quality customer experience, Maley said.

Also, RedPrairie announced that its "Enterprise Workforce Management" solution is now in more than 45,000 stores and foodservice outlets worldwide. The number represents a 30% growth over a year's time.

Company officials attribute the increase to the continuing evolution from a traditional retailer focus on time and attendance to a broader view of labor across the entire enterprise.

RedPrairie provides supply chain, workforce and multi-channel retail solutions. Its products are installed in more than 60,000 customer sites across 50 countries.