Nearly Half of Global Merchants and Suppliers Have Lost at Least One Million Dollars in Revenue Due to Cross-Channel Commerce Challenges

New 1WorldSync study uncovers top challenges faced by merchants and suppliers when executing cross-channel commerce and provides insight into solutions

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The demands of today's global commerce landscape pose an incredible challenge for merchants and suppliers. As the global $1.9 trillion e-commerce landscape continues to expand, companies are facing difficulties successfully managing cross-channel commerce across continents, supply chains, and software systems, and are losing revenue as a result. Some even doubt the value of investing in these capabilities.

In fact, 53 percent of merchants and suppliers experience a knowledge gap within their organization when it comes to understanding the value of cross-channel capabilities, according to 1WorldSync's Charting Course for Global Commerce, released today.

To further understand the challenges and opportunities in navigating today's multi-channel sales environment, 1WorldSync, the leading multi-enterprise product information network, surveyed 400 merchants and suppliers from Europe and the U.S. with more than $500 million in annual revenue. The survey found that merchants and suppliers are not prepared to meet the cross-channel demands of today's customers, and while there are clear market leaders, no company has perfected multi-channel commerce.

Merchants and Suppliers Face Significant Roadblocks in Navigating Cross-Channel Commerce Key findings suggest that a majority of merchants and suppliers are not fully prepared to meet the varied demands of modern customers. Channel readiness is a significant struggle throughout the supply chain as e-commerce continues to evolve. Other data highlights include:
  • Future investment plans don't address current e-commerce weakness: Forty-five percent of merchants and suppliers have lost more than $1 million in revenue due to cross-channel commerce challenges, and more than one in ten (13 percent) have lost more than $3 million.
  • Lack of content solutions hamper success: Half of merchants and suppliers do not use a third-party content provider, which hinders their ability to syndicate product content across channels and platforms.
  • Merchants lag when it comes to cross-channel commerce: Fifty-one percent of merchants cannot support mobile commerce, and 80 percent don't integrate product information management across web, mobile, applications, and physical stores.
"In the dynamic world of digital commerce, merchants and suppliers are facing significant issues capitalizing on the opportunities within different channels and geographies. As the space has evolved, there are more regulations to comply with, more channels to be present on and more partners to trade with than ever before," said Nihat Arkan, CEO of 1WorldSync. "Before both sides of the retail equation can truly master omnichannel commerce, they have to ensure their digital investments address their current challenges."

Market Leaders Show the Path Forward While many merchants and suppliers surveyed struggle with different aspects of the retail experience, there are clear lessons to be learned from market leaders (defined as companies that complete 51 percent or more of sales online). For companies looking to learn from these market leaders and upgrade their e-commerce capabilities, top action items include:
  • Invest now in cross-channel capabilities: Sixty-five percent of market leaders have dedicated more than 30 percent of their commerce budget to digital and mobile commerce expansion in the last year. Today, 73 percent of merchant market leaders can fully execute mobile commerce, nearly 20 percent more than market laggards. Investments here help in the short and long term.
  • Engage with a third-party content provider: Eighty percent of market leaders use a third-party content provider, which is undoubtedly one reason this group reports greater visibility between trading partners.
  • Migrate to the cloud: Ninety-five percent of supplier market leaders use a cloud-based product information system, which simplifies the online sales process and enhances supply chain efficiency.
"Early adopters of retail technologies that make cross-channel commerce more efficient and streamlined have become clear market leaders," furthered Arkan. "Because of the breadth and scale of today's e-commerce environment, managing product content while investing in infrastructure that can adapt to future market demands should be a major priority for every company in this space. The key lesson for the rest of the market is that investments in technology that centralizes data and better enables merchants and suppliers to be more connected pay off."

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