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Survey: Cross-Channel Retail Environment Important for Winning and Keeping Customers

News Editor | Jan 16, 2007 73 views 2 Comments

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Sterling Commerce Survey Finds that 8 in 10 Consumers See Importance in Choice Offered by Multi-Channel Retailers; Option of Returning Online and Catalog Purchases to the Store is Particularly Important

New York – Jan. 15, 2007 – As retailers review the success and speed bumps of the 2006 holiday season, Sterling Commerce has released the results of a recent survey showing the importance of cross-channel efficiencies in accommodating increasing customer demands. The survey, conducted earlier this month, found that 80 percent of respondents felt it was important to have a choice of shopping online, in a store or by telephone when choosing a retailer. The survey also found that 90 percent of respondents said it was important to be able to return merchandise to a physical store location regardless of how they purchased the item.

Sterling Commerce shared the findings of the survey at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Convention and Expo in New York this week. Sterling Commerce is located at booth #1913, and more information on the company and survey is available at http://www.virtualpressoffice.com/kit/stercomm.



“Because of the ease with which an increasing number of retailers are allowing consumers to interact with them across channels, consumers are developing extremely high expectations,” said Robert Garf, vice president at AMR Research in the September 2006 report, “Retailers Invest to Efficiently Fulfill Cross-Channel Customer Demand.” “As a result, there are operational challenges that have serious competitive implications for retailers and their suppliers. Retailers must close the gap between importance and performance in order to improve the overall customer experience.”

While many retailers have an online presence, not all multi-channel retailers have found a way to synchronize their often disparate order and fulfillment processes. Customers experience an inconsistent shopping experience and retailers are at risk of damaging their brand image. Many retailers are still struggling to provide a seamless customer experience where a customer can elect to buy, pick-up and return anywhere. In fact, only 22 percent of the survey respondents said it was very easy to return catalog or online purchases to a store.

Providing a cross channel return option can not only positively influence the initial buy decision, but the store return can easily translate to an exchange or, even better, an incremental sales opportunity. Fifty-five percent of respondents said that when they return an item they are likely to get a replacement for their returned item and would spend time looking around the store to see what other merchandise is available. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they were somewhat likely to purchase additional merchandise during a trip to a store to return an item.

“Achieving cross-channel excellence is the next evolution in multi-channel retailing, and is a difficult process to execute well because it often crosses internal organizational and process silos,” said Steve Poplawski, retail industry executive at Sterling Commerce. “Retailers look to Sterling Commerce to simplify cross-channel execution because only Sterling Commerce can deliver the solutions needed to help retailers optimize the customer experience and drive operational excellence across the end-to-end supply chain.”

Sterling Commerce solutions for retailers include an end-to-end order capture/management solution that allows retailers to provide a differentiated cross-channel customer experience by enabling consumers to buy, pick-up, and return anywhere. The company’s best-of-breed supply chain execution suite drives operational excellence by enhancing visibility, optimizing execution, accelerating exception recovery, and dramatically improving the management of inventory, transportation, and distribution assets. All Sterling Commerce solutions are based on a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and leverage the company’s unparalleled experience in data integration and network management to streamline implementations, drive speed-to-benefit, and enhance adaptability for future change.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted on behalf of Sterling Commerce by the Opinion Research Corporation in January 2007. Using random-digit-dialing techniques, telephone interviews were completed with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults 18 years and older. The survey has a sampling error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points, at a 95 percent confidence level.

About Sterling Commerce

Sterling Commerce, a subsidiary of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), has more than 30 years of leadership and expertise in helping FORTUNE 500® customers thrive in a global economy by optimizing the performance of their business communities. With nearly 30,000 customers worldwide, the company is one of the world’s largest providers of multi-enterprise collaboration solutions. Sterling Commerce has unparalleled experience in the retail, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, financial services, healthcare and telecommunications industries. For detailed, up-to-date information about Sterling Commerce and its solutions, visit http://www.sterlingcommerce.com.

Cabela’s Incorporated Increases Customer Satisfaction with Multi-Channel Capabilities from Sterling Commerce

Outdoor Retailer Manages Demand from Multiple Channels and Gains Global Inventory to Meet Customers’ Increasing Demands

Columbus, Ohio – Jan. 15, 2007 – Sterling Commerce, the multi-enterprise collaboration company and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) subsidiary, announced today that Cabela’s Incorporated (NYSE: CAB), the World’s Foremost Outfitter® of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, leveraged Sterling Order ManagementTM to support its most successful holiday season to date. By providing the retailer with a replacement for its aging legacy order management system, Sterling Commerce provided a flexible application that could be configured to meet the retailer’s unique needs, including providing a global inventory view across all demand and fulfillment channels. Sterling Commerce provided Cabela’s with greater inventory visibility and better allocation of retail demand while helping it meet and exceed customer expectations.

Cabela’s, headquartered in Sidney, Neb., recently completed its implementation of the Sterling Order Management suite, software that manages the lifecycle of a customer order across the extended supply chain. The solution provides a multi-channel order repository as a “single source of truth” for orders and inventory, along with the ability to globally schedule and source orders based upon configurable business rules. This has enabled Cabela’s to use the solution as a hub to integrate its disparate systems to manage and monitor orders from multiple channels and coordinate fulfillment across multiple stocking and fulfillment locations, including stores, warehouses, suppliers, and partners.

“We’re in a highly-competitive market, and to have the right tools in place to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction is paramount to our success,” said Larry Popps, MIS director at Cabela’s. “Sterling Order Management enables us to make sure the right inventory is available when our customers want it – no matter what channel they use to reach us – and that has helped make this holiday season successful.”

The Cabela’s multi-channel retail model – leveraging catalog, the Internet, and destination retail stores – strategically positions the retailer to meet its customers’ ever-growing needs and expectations. Sterling Order Management supports all of Cabela’s retail channels to help the retailer provide its customers with a unified shopping experience regardless of the ordering channel or the fulfillment mode utilized.

About Cabela’s

Cabela’s Incorporated, headquartered in Sidney, Nebraska, is the world’s largest direct marketer, and a leading specialty retailer, of hunting, fishing, camping and related outdoor merchandise. Since the Company’s founding in 1961, Cabela’s® has grown to become one of the most well-known outdoor recreation brands in the world, and has long been recognized as the World’s Foremost Outfitter®Through Cabela’s well-established direct business and its growing number of destination retail stores, it offers a wide and distinctive selection of high-quality outdoor products at competitive prices while providing superior customer service. Cabela’s also issues the Cabela’s Club® VISA credit card, which serves as its primary customer loyalty rewards program. For more information about Cabela’s, visit http://www.cabelas.com.

About Sterling Commerce

Sterling Commerce, a subsidiary of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), has more than 30 years of leadership and expertise in helping FORTUNE 500® customers thrive in a global economy by optimizing the performance of their business communities. With nearly 30,000 customers worldwide, the company is one of the world’s largest providers of multi-enterprise collaboration solutions. Sterling Commerce has unparalleled experience in the retail, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, financial services, healthcare and telecommunications industries. For detailed, up-to-date information about Sterling Commerce and its solutions, visit http://www.sterlingcommerce.com.

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2 Responses to Survey: Cross-Channel Retail Environment Important for Winning and Keeping Customers

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