LONDON — June 6, 2012 – Hitachi Consulting UK, a recognised leader in delivering proven business IT strategies and technology solutions, has today issued a strong warning to retailers that adopting a strategic multi-channel approach is the only way to stay competitive in today’s market place. As such, Hitachi Consulting recommends starting with the customer to understand how they want to engage with the products or services offered, followed by re-orienting the operations to deliver this engagement and then looking at how technology can facilitate that re-orientation. This is much more than another IT platform initiative and must span people, process and technology change across e-commerce, in-store, customer services, marketing materials and social media.
In order to achieve this goal, modern retailers will need to ask hard questions of themselves, as traditional organisational boundaries and responsibilities will be challenged, according to Hitachi Consulting. All areas of the business - buying, supply chain, merchandising, marketing, retail operations, IT and finance will be affected in the pursuit of delivering a seamless customer experience and consistent brand message.
Many retailers are now offering online retailing but Hitachi Consulting believes that harnessing and integrating all available customer propositions, such as email, telephone, catalogues, direct mail, advertising and social media, as well as improving the in-store customer experience, will provide trading capabilities to take retailing far beyond the traditional high street.
Chris Gates, director of retail at Hitachi Consulting UK comments:
“Multi-channel retailing goes much further than the internet alone: it’s about forming meaningful relationships with customers in a way that will have a positive effect on the bottom line and generate greater customer loyalty.
For example, we applaud the announcement that Tesco is planning a £1 billion improvement programme that will span both its online and bricks and mortar presence, that John Lewis is placing their multi-channel strategy at the heart of its business model and that Boden is applying its famous customer service obsession to embrace the change across its traditionally catalogue oriented business. We strongly urge more retailers to adopt a multi-channel approach as it’s simply not enough to think that an online ordering service alone will enable businesses to maintain a competitive edge. Today’s consumers are highly discerning, demanding and media-savvy, and will therefore gravitate towards retailers that can offer an all-round multi-faceted shopping experience.”
About Hitachi Consulting Corporation
As Hitachi, Ltd.'s global consulting company, with operations throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Hitachi Consulting is a recognised leader in delivering proven business and IT strategies and solutions to Global 2000 companies across many industries. With a balanced view of strategy, people, process and technology, we work with companies to understand their unique business needs, and to develop and implement practical business strategies and technology solutions. From business strategy development through application deployment, our consultants are committed to helping clients quickly realise measurable business value and achieve sustainable ROI. Hitachi Consulting's client base includes 25 percent of the Global 100 as well as many leading mid-market companies. We offer a client-focused, collaborative approach and transfer knowledge throughout each engagement. For more information visit www.hitachiconsulting.co.uk.
About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd., (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 320,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2011 (ended March 31, 2012) consolidated revenues totaled 9,665 billion yen ($117.8 billion). Hitachi will focus more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems, environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and social and urban systems, as well as the sophisticated materials and key devices that support them. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi.com. .
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