BDO: Omnichannel a Top 2014 Retailer Growth Strategy

BDOCHICAGO-With mobile and online sales projected to grow further, retailers will continue to develop their e-commerce and mobile-commerce businesses this year, according to a survey of retailer chief financial officers by research firm BDO USA.

Thirty-four percent of the retailer financial chiefs who responded to the survey said they will continue to invest in their e-commerce and mobile-commerce platforms in order to compete with online-only retailers such as Amazon. The survey also found that 64 percent of the finance chiefs expect online sales to increase this year, compared to 74 percent with the same expectation in last year’s survey.

Thirty-four percent said they expect their online sales to be consistent with last year.

The retail finance executives said they believe e-commerce will remain a profitable channel in 2014. They also projected an overall increase of 8.2 percent in online sales.

With the recent security breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus in mind, 27 percent of the chief financial officers said they would invest most of their capital in information-technology systems this year. Eighteen percent said they would invest most of their capital in e-commerce channels, and 12 percent said mobile commerce would get most of their investment.

Natalie Kotlyar, partner in BDO’s Retail and Consumer Products Practice, said retailers expect e-commerce and m-commerce to continue delivering big returns, but that they would also have to invest in safeguards to maintain this future growth. “All the moving parts—mobile apps, websites, supply chain IT systems, brick-and-mortar—need to be carefully coordinated for companies to hold their own in this fiercely competitive landscape,” Kotlyar said.