Understanding the value of cross-channel capabilities is now necessary to serve the global $1. 9 trillion e-commerce landscape, yet it’s something that many companies are struggling with. In fact a new report, Charting Course for Global Commerce by 1WorldSync, found that 53% of retailers and suppliers experience a knowledge gap within their organization when it comes to understanding it

Key findings suggest that a majority of retailers and suppliers are not fully prepared to meet the varied demands of modern customers. Channel readiness is a significant struggle throughout the supply chain as e-commerce continues to evolve. Other data highlights include:

  • Future investment plans don’t address current e-commerce weakness: Forty-five percent of retailers and suppliers have lost more than $1 million in revenue due to cross-channel commerce challenges, and more than one in ten (13%) have lost more than $3 million.
  • Lack of content solutions hamper success: Half of retailers and suppliers do not use a third-party content provider, which hinders their ability to syndicate product content across channels and platforms.
  • Merchants lag when it comes to cross-channel commerce: Fifty-one percent of retailers cannot support mobile commerce, and 80% don’t integrate product information management across web, mobile, applications, and physical stores.

“In the dynamic world of digital commerce, retailers and suppliers are facing significant issues capitalizing on the opportunities within different channels and geographies,” says Nihat Arkan, CEO of 1WorldSync.

“As the space has evolved, there are more regulations to comply with, more channels to be present on and more partners to trade with than ever before. Before both sides of the retail equation can truly master omni-channel commerce, they have to ensure their digital investments address their current challenges,” Arkan adds.

Market Leaders Show the Path Forward
While many retailers and suppliers surveyed struggle with different aspects of the retail experience, there are clear lessons to be learned from market leaders (defined as companies that complete 51% or more of sales online). For companies looking to learn from these market leaders and upgrade their e-commerce capabilities, top action items include:

  • Invest now in cross-channel capabilities: Sixty-five percent of market leaders have dedicated more than 30% of their commerce budget to digital and mobile commerce expansion in the last year. Today, 73% of retail market leaders can fully execute mobile commerce, nearly 20% more than market laggards. Investments here help in the short and long term.
  • Engage with a third-party content provider: Eighty percent of market leaders use a third-party content provider, which is undoubtedly one reason this group reports greater visibility between trading partners.
  • Migrate to the cloud: Ninety-five percent of supplier market leaders use a cloud-based product information system, which simplifies the online sales process and enhances supply chain efficiency.

“Early adopters of retail technologies that make cross-channel commerce more efficient and streamlined have become clear market leaders,” Arkan notes. “Because of the breadth and scale of today’s e-commerce environment, managing product content while investing in infrastructure that can adapt to future market demands should be a major priority for every company in this space. The key lesson for the rest of the market is that investments in technology that centralizes data and better enables retailers and suppliers to be more connected pay off.”