COVID-19’s Impact on the Retail Supply Chain

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The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has exposed gaps in the ability of retailers to mitigate supply chain imbalances and offer an omnichannel customer experience, among other challenges in the retail industry.

That is according to Sameer Dhingra, director of retail and consumer packaged goods at Google Cloud in Asia-Pacific and Japan, who noted that these challenges have strong implications on the infrastructure and platforms that retailers are using to gain visibility into their supply chain.

Elaborating on the challenges, some of which had affected retailers in consumer segments such as cycling goods that saw a surge in demand amid the pandemic, Dhingra said with the purchase cycle no longer linear and the push towards e-commerce, retailers would need to have a “giant supply chain”.

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They will need to have real time visibility across the value chain so that they are able to manage fulfillment as well as customer experiences,” he added, calling for retailers to rebalance supply chains that had been distributed and fragmented.

Meanwhile, growing consumer demand for product customization and personalization is driving the shift towards mass customization, which will have an impact on supply chains, Dhingra said. “That is a big challenge for retailers because it means that you need to look at the supply chain and manufacturing very differently.”

With more consumers preferring to engage with responsible and sustainable businesses, the importance of having sustainable sourcing, procurement and retailing has also emerged…   ComputerWeekly


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