The Christmas season delivery schedule is one of those things that while it only happens once each year, can put a dent in the reputation of the supply chain everywhere. When UPS underestimated the volume of packages that it would need to deliver on the last day before Christmas, these packages left sitting in the sorting facility on Christmas day put frowns on the faces of entire families.
Omnichannel is all around us and consumers are taking advantage of at least a part of it. At the same time they are being frustrated by the lack of integration between the increasing number of shopping tools they have at their disposal. The gap between identifying what they want to buy in the online world and making that purchase in a store is cavernous. So what does the normal consumer do? They buy online.
Retail store sales transactions are tiny snippets of data that capture the details of customer transactions. It's a simple concept. But the magnitude of the information that can be pulled and extrapolated from those transactions make them one of the most intriguing sources of data in the retail world.
We've heard about and talked about the challenges that surround omnichannel markets. Many companies are struggling with understanding the concepts, and that's understandable because it affects nearly every company whether retailer, supplier, or manufacturer, and it creates potential competitors at multiple levels of the supply chain.
Every transaction rung through an electronic cash register creates more than just a customer. It creates a series of data records that tells a story that is important beyond its use as a financial record to the purchaser and the retailer. Properly used, POS data can provide a history, the present state, and a prediction of the future. But those are only possible if the data is collected, stored, and provided to the right people in a timely manner.