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3 Biggest Challenges in Retail: How to Adapt

Blog Post
We’ll dive into the three biggest challenges retail and eCommerce businesses are dealing with this year.
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Retail and eCommerce businesses are faced with tough challenges every year. But with the added pressure of Covid-19 and the economic slowdown in 2020, 2021 is shaping up to be a little more difficult and unique than previous years.  

In this post, we’ll dive into the three biggest challenges retail and eCommerce businesses are dealing with this year and offer some suggestions to help you adapt.  

Implementing Omnichannel 

Omnichannel is easily one of the biggest trends of 2021 — but as a survey by McKinsey discovered, things aren’t going as smoothly as many businesses hoped. In fact, ⅔ of their survey respondents admitted that omnichannel implementation is one of the biggest challenges of the year.  

This isn’t necessarily a surprising outcome, as inventory optimization and order fulfillment takes a lot of moving pieces to get right. What may come as a surprise, though, is how simple the solution is.  

By implementing an omnichannel order management system (OMS) like Radial’s, you can tackle all of these tasks from one place.  Inventory in all fulfillment centers and stores can be viewed in real-time, and teams can use any fulfillment method (like BOPIS and ship-from-store) to get that inventory where it needs to go. As a result, you can continue operating your stores and warehouses as they are while offering a seamless omnichannel experience for customers who use multiple channels to shop.  

Delivering Orders Quickly 

Customers expect their orders to arrive quickly. But “quickly” doesn’t mean what it used to. Now, 90% of retail shoppers expect their orders to arrive within 2-3 days of their purchase, per a report from McKinsey.  

Unfortunately, delivering orders in this time frame isn’t always possible. Sometimes inventory isn’t available when an order is placed. Other times, the inventory is located hundreds of miles away from the customer or reserved for shopping channels the customer isn’t interested in (i.e. in-store only).  

Whatever the reason, partnering with a 3PL like Radial can help you shorten your order cycle time. Using our fulfillment centers, you can scale your inventory beyond your current capacity and spread the inventory strategically across multiple locations. You can fulfill customer orders via BOPIS, BOPAC, ship-from-store, and standard delivery methods. And you can pin down the fastest and most cost-efficient route for every delivery, by connecting to our expanded network of carriers. 

Battling Cybercrime 

Cybercrime is a constant threat for retail and eCommerce businesses, especially now that online shopping is growing in popularity. Unfortunately, fending off cybercriminals isn’t getting any easier. Not only are fraudsters differentiating their attacks, but they’re also using enhanced technology, like AI, to outsmart security systems.  

This doesn’t just put your bottom-line at risk, though. Since your customers provide you with payment information and personal details — like their name and address — to make a purchase, it also poses a significant risk to them.  

To keep up with the evolution of fraudulent activity, you need to combine the intuition of humans with the speed and accuracy of machines.  

With a full-service fraud management solution, Radial enables retail and eCommerce businesses to detect and deal with fraud easily. Using consortium data, machine learning, and human intuition, the solution approves more than 99% of transactions. And with our zero-liability promise, you’re financially protected against any malicious activity that happens to slip through the cracks.  

Despite the challenges you’re facing — including cybercrime, order delivery, and omnichannel implementation — this year offers an exciting opportunity for your eCommerce or retail business. The trick is to find and partner with brands that can help you make success in 2021 a reality.