We’ve just published this year’s edition of “The State Of Retailing Online 2019: Omnichannel, Marketing, And Personalization,” a report we conduct annually with the National Retail Federation (NRF). This research summarizes how retailers and digital business professionals are thinking about and investing in their stores and online businesses. In this year’s study, we focused on omnichannel fulfillment, personalization, and digital marketing.

Here are some key findings:

  • Stores are growing but so are eCommerce expenses. Fifty-four percent (yes, more than half) of retailers we surveyed plan to open new stores in 2019, but eCommerce sites are becoming more expensive to operate.
  • Omnichannel is a work in process. Inventory accuracy and planning systems that forecast demand are still challenges for retailers, but retailers are investing in order management systems to support inventory accuracy and order routing this year.
  • Personalization poses a challenge for retailers. Retailers still face hurdles with respect to personalization: limited data, infrequent visits even from their best customers, and product catalogs that are too small to drive incrementality or any lift in conversion.
  • The digital marketing landscape is changing for retail. The fastest-growing channel among retailers? Social marketing, which to most retailers means Facebook (including Instagram). Privacy gurus may be wary of Facebook, but retail marketers are clearly not.

Find more detail on these and other conclusions about omnichannel, personalization, and marketing in the full report.