Survey: Retailers focus on fulfillment for 2021

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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In the upcoming year, retailers want to ensure customer satisfaction by getting them products accurately and quickly.

According to the 22nd annual “2021 POS & Customer Engagement” survey from Retail Consulting Partners (RCP), 85% of surveyed North American retailers have ranked growing and enhancing digital commerce as a top business priority in 2021, followed by expanding and enhancing the customer experience (67%) and improving/optimizing the supply chain (52%). 

Taking a closer look at specific respondent 2021 priorities in the areas of POS and customer engagement, the survey reveals retailers are taking a fulfillment-centric approach to serving their shoppers. 

Top POS priorities
•    Add/enhance order management system integration (67%)
•    Omnichannel capabilities/integration (52%)
•    POS software upgrade/replacement (52%)
•    Mobile POS (33%)
•    POS hardware upgrade/replacement (30%)

Top customer engagement priorities
•    Additional customer delivery/pickup (52%)
•    Customer identification/personalization (41%)
•    Customer mobile experience alignment (41%)
•    Real-time retail (33%)
•    Empowering associates with mobile tools (33%)

The survey also asked respondents about their growth plans for 2021, and found that more than half (56%) plan to open brick-and-mortar stores. Other leading responses included regional fulfillment centers (48%), store-within-a-store (44%), pop-up shops (26%), and dark stores/dedicated online fulfillment (22%).

“Retail has never been more transparent and the customer experience is center stage. Flawless execution of omnichannel capabilities and last-mile delivery or pickup is the expectation and key differentiator driving loyalty for most retailers,” said Ryan Grogman, a managing partner at RCP.