Retail Supply Chain in an Omni-channel Environment: The African Challenge
It’s becoming increasingly challenging for retailers to satisfy the high demands of the omni-channel consumer in Africa.
As much as urbanisation is sweeping across the continent at a rate of 3.61%, which makes it the fastest growing region in the world, the supply chain is still an issue as suppliers have to deal with delivering goods and services using an underdeveloped infrastructure, amongst other issues.
With the rise of mobile, retailers need to look at more effective ways of implementing supply chains in a way that manages the expectations of consumers, thereby making shopping online as well as at a physical store as seamless as possible.
Some retailers are offering online consumers multiple options:
- to shop on the company’s website, and
- pay for the items at the stores as well as collect them there
This solves two problems:
- Theft of banking details online
- Theft of goods ordered while in transit to the customer
Another challenge faced in this area is Analytics.
Globally, 70% of respondents have stated that the analytics tools that they are currently using only provide insights about their prior performance. On top of this, 70% have expressed that existing supply chain analytics are really slow and take too long to provide answers. Making decisions rapidly and accurately using outdated, traditional systems is near impossible.
It really is time for Africa to rethink this.
- Traditional supply chain tools are not on par with the new, digital world and cannot keep any business competitive.
CRM and Content Management solutions are now being used to extract raw data from the digital sources to give insight on online customer interactions relating to research and purchases. This helps retailers create better and more personal end-to-end experiences, which will be sure to increase the omni-channel consumer’s satisfaction and loyalty.
Global retail leaders have taken this a step further with OmniCommerce, providing a seamless experience across all channels. The benefits of this system include consistent experiences, flexible delivery, inventory visibility and availability in the retail market.
With Africa being hailed as a continent rich with opportunity, retailers need to make more of an effort to marry physical and digital platforms. There is no avoiding the omni-channel environment and the need for an improved supply chain is great.
The bottom line is:
if a supply chain is not based on relevant data, it will not be competitive. Real time information fuels success and helps a business make better decisions.
SAP Supply Chain Control Tower provides real-time information across the supply chain to track events and react immediately to ensure your customer service is maintained.
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