77% of U.S. Retailers Rank Inventory Planning & Visibility as Leading Omni-Channel Capability, Prioritizing It Ahead of CRM and Promotions

EKN Benchmark Report on Omni-Channel Readiness Reveals That Retailers Are Still Trying to Strike the Right Balance Between Operational Success and Seamless Customer Engagement

RANDOLPH, NJ--(Marketwired - Jan 19, 2015) - Retailers are currently in the homestretch of the busiest and most critical holiday season but have they lost their on the customer? According to a new research study from EKN, retailers' attention has centered on inventory planning and visibility, while customer relationship management and promotions has taken a definite backseat. EKN's Step-by-Step Approach to Improving Omni-channel Customer Profitability[1], sponsored by Symphony Teleca, is based on a survey of more than 80 U.S.-based retailers to understand and benchmark mid-market retailers' maturity in terms of omni-channel execution and customer profitability.

EKN's benchmark shows that effective omni-channel engagement flourishes in a personalized and responsive customer environment online and in-store backed by omni-channel building blocks such as customer engagement, Big Data analytics, performance management and organization & cultural alignment. Highlights from the report include:

  • Retailers still struggle with the basics. Retailers still have trouble getting the basic "blocking and tackling" issues right. More than 1 in 2 retailers rated inventory visibility across all channels as the most significant omni-channel capability, while understanding customers and how they engage with the retailer across channels is a distant second.
  • Omni-channel shoppers are 23% more profitable, yet no one owns the customer relationship. 3 in 4 retailers cannot identify Omni-channel customers. Omni-channel shoppers are 23% more profitable than single-channel shoppers, yet few retailers have a dedicated executive in the organization with clear ownership of customer relationships and omni-channel execution -- which means that retailers aren't capitalizing on their most profitable customers.
  • 70% of retailers don't measure customer-focused KPIs. 7 out of 10 retailers still focus on traditional Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as total sales, sales growth and gross margin. These retailers do not measure more customer-centric KPIs such as Customer Lifetime Value, customer profitability and online customer engagement.

"Omni-channel engagement is not just about the constant visibility of inventory," said Sahir Anand, VP Research and Principal Analyst, EKN. "IT and line of business must strike the right balance between operational issues such as inventory visibility and maintaining a clear focus on consumer insights and personalized customer services across all channels. As the report indicates, retailers have a lot of work to do, but the prize -- increased customer conversion and profitability per customer -- is well worth it."

EKN's in-depth study includes comprehensive analysis and recommendations for achieving an optimal balance between operational planning and customer-centric engagement. The report also discusses the current technology adoption trends, analytics capabilities and key metrics.

Click here to download the report. To learn more about how to participate in future EKN surveys or inquire about access to the EKN Advisory Board Committees, please contact David Weinand at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.[2][3]

About EKN
EKN (www.eknresearch.com[4]) is a research and content service that was built based on feedback and advice from retail executives. Part of the Edgell Communications family, EKN is a subscription-based portal that provides retailers with access to the site's powerful decision-support and data analysis tools, allowing them to leverage EKN's industry-leading database of original research, user-generated vendor indexes and market trends. EKN also lets members share insights and real-world experiences through ongoing peer forums, both virtual and in person.


  1. ^ Step-by-Step Approach to Improving Omni-channel Customer Profitability (ctt.marketwire.com)
  2. ^ Click here (ctt.marketwire.com)
  3. ^ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (www.marketwired.com)
  4. ^ www.eknresearch.com (ctt.marketwire.com)

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