What insights did you share?

Consumer preferences are continuously changing. What’s “in” one minute is out the next. So, in order to keep up, retailers must build and sustain a complex supply chain network. But in managing this network, retailers face a significant hurdle: inventory visibility. To overcome this challenge, retailers must adopt end-to-end supply chain visibility technology.

What resonated most with the audience?

As consumers continue to shift to online and mobile shopping, e-commerce sales will only grow. In order to keep up with demand, especially around the holidays, retailers must continue to increase their shipping capacity. To do so, some retailers are leveraging new distribution methods—including ship-from-store. But for others, it’s been most strategic to plan and recruit year-round for seasonal positions. This includes providing financial incentives for returning seasonal employees and offering attendance-based incentives.

What new thinking emerged?

Despite continuous fluctuation in consumer preferences, at the end of the day, consumers want one thing: reliability. Therefore, only once retailers have established consistent shipping practices should they roll out advanced fulfillment capabilities, including buy online, pick up in store and next-day shipping options. Otherwise, they run the risk of failing to deliver against consumer promises.