Posted by Adrian Bridgwater, Guest Blogger

Technology analyst firm IDC has laid down its “Worldwide Retail 2014 top 10 Predictions” findings. The study reflects the state of retail market developments driven by both the supply chain backend and the consumer-facing front end of business.

What appears clear from the outset is that line of business retail systems will now “transform” towards omnichannel commerce for omnichannel customers.

According to IDC, one-fifth of the retail community is already embarking upon a transformation project to reengineer their systems to support a more cloud-connected version of ecommerce and supply chain management. This momentum will also carry directly forward into merchandising and marketing.

Cloud-centric Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) will drive central operational activities including forecasting, allocation and product replenishment for the omnichannel retailers undergoing this business transformation.

There is money to be made here in this new retail economy; IDC predicts that by 2016, leading omnichannel retail practices will improve same-shopper-sales through “immersive commerce” techniques that will drive additional revenue growth of 1.5% and margin growth an additional 3% -- big figures in terms of the big picture.

According to IDC, those other so-called “national retailers” will feel threatened by the progressive new ecommerce-empowered retailer. This means that by 2016, as many as 50% of the old school retail operators will start to invest in technologies to empower distributed order management, enterprise inventory visibility and workforce management to enable same-day fulfilment.

On the whole, the news is extremely positive. IDC postulates that ecommerce and store platform replacements that enable mobile, integrated and interactive experiences will support a 10% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) in commerce investment through to 2017.

In line with these undeniable market shifts, NetSuite will host a dedicated ‘Retail Industry Track’ as part of SuiteWorld 2014 from May 12 -15 in San Jose, CA.

Retail tracks at SuiteWorld will include sessions entitled Merge the Physical and Digital with NetSuite Order Management; Seamless Commerce and the Future of Retail; Drive Visibility Across Your Retail Enterprise with Reporting, Saved Searches and Analytics; Boost the Power of Your Promotions and also, Supercharge Your Retail Supply Chain Using Workflow, Scripting and Web Services.

Case studies in this track include Williams-Sonoma Goes Global with NetSuite and a customer panel entitled: Innovation and Transformation Drives Growth for Today's Retailers.

NetSuite SuiteWorld sessions will make it clear to all attendees that the ability to adapt to whatever is most relevant to the customer right now is the key principle of omnichannel retailing -- and this theme will be a top characteristic of 2014's leading retailers.