JDA Tackles Omni-Channel Challenge with Cloud Offering
January 22, 2013 Alex Woodie
JDA Software showed that it’s hip to omni-channel times with the release of Customer Engagement Cloud, a new solution designed to help its traditional retail customers transform themselves into “omni-channel” retailers.
In case you missed it, omni-channel was the big buzz word at last week’s National Retail Federation (NRF) conference in New York. The term omni-channel is the next iteration of multi-channel, and refers to the new ways in which retailers are responding to the new ways that consumers are buying stuff.
Whereas a multi-channel retailer had to worry about satisfying demand originating from the Web, mail order, phone, and brick and mortar outlet, he didn’t necessarily care if all of those channels were fully integrated. Today’s omni-channel retailer, on the other hand, wants a fully integrated fulfillment strategy, which means delivering goods to smart phone-toting users wherever those goods might be in the supply chain–in warehouses, in stores, or anywhere in between.
This omni-channel strategy presents challenges and opportunities to retailers. For the average national retailer, gaining visibility into the location and availability of tens of millions of items in real time presents numerous challenges. On the other hand, retailers who can deliver the greater inventory transparency and flexibility in ordering stand to gain more business among the mobile set compared to retailers whose data is stuck in channeled silos.
JDA’s response to the omni-channel challenge is a hosted solution called the Customer Engagement Cloud. JDA says the cloud solution addresses several aspects of omni-channel retailing, including:
JDA CEO Hamish Brewer put the omni-channel opportunity into perspective for retailers with this statement:
“The retail industry is at a critical juncture in its history. Consumers today–empowered with mobile technology–have instant access to information that shapes what they buy, when and where they buy it, and at what price. These connected consumers determine which retail enterprises succeed and which fail. With JDA Customer Engagement Cloud, we have developed a comprehensive approach to address this challenge now, helping retailers to avoid becoming a victim in this rapidly changing retail environment.”