Omni-channel retailing is transforming the shopping experience for consumers and retailers with the use of big data.
The future of retailing will bring simplicity to consumers but create complexity for retailers, according to Business IT and Logistics Professor Booi Kam.
“Imagine a lady leaves her umbrella on the train and rain is forecast for later that evening,” he said.
“She is able to track its location at a station somewhere, and uses a 'crowdsourcing' app to have it returned to her in the office before she leaves for the day
“We are already seeing these types of logistics transactions happening and I expect this to continue for products and personal services.”
Kam is the lead educator of RMIT’s free online course Business Futures: Understanding Omni-channel Retailing and Supply Chains starting on Monday 20 March.
He predicts the future of retailing will include much more emphasis on technology and data such as the use of crowdsourcing apps, drones and driverless cars.
These will create a lot more flexibility and convenience for customers and blur the lines between online and offline.
“For businesses, it means a fundamental change to the way they think and operate,” Kam said.
“Businesses that adopt an omni-channel model will have the competitive edge."
Omni-channel retailing involves the implementation of one technology solution that collects customer data, effectively manages stock and communicates across all channels to provide an integrated seamless shopping experience.
Businesses such as Argos and John Lewis in the UK, Macy’s in the United States and the Good Guys in Australia are examples of omni-channel retailing and supply chain at its best.
How can I learn more about omni-channel retailing? RMIT’s free online course Business Futures: Understanding Omni-channel Retailing and Supply Chains starts on Monday 20 March.
This course will:
- explain how omni-channels have changed consumers’ buying experience and altered the dynamics between suppliers, retailers and consumers;
- discuss the key concepts of supply chain management in the space of omni-channel retailing;
- investigate new technologies to suggest options for last mile delivery;
- assess the issues presented by omni-channels on contemporary supply chains; and
- analyse omni-channel logistics issues and identify workable solutions for logistics and supply chain problems.
Learn about emerging business trends – this course is one of three in the Business Futures series from RMIT hosted through FutureLearn. In every course, you will be guided by academics from the College of Business. Plus you’ll hear from successful online entrepreneurs about how they’re adapting to these trends.
Story: John Fergusson