Feature Cluster “Digitalization and omni-channel retailing: Innovative OR approaches for retail operations”
• 大类 : 管理科学 - 2区
• 小类 : 运筹学与管理科学 - 2区
Retailing is a large and growing sector of the economy in most countries, both developing and developed. It is a dynamic sector in which changes in markets, firms, and products occur rapidly. In particular, the past few years have seen one of the biggest disruptions in retailing. This is driven by a changing shopping behavior that enables customers to interact differently during their shopping journey. In this setting, retailers are themselves enabling a seamless shopping experience across channels and applying new technologies and approaches to serve customers (e.g., home delivery of grocery products, warehouse automation, track-n-trace technologies along the supply chain). Customers are getting more demanding in terms of information systems and fulfillment options. For example, a seamless shopping experience across online and bricks-and-mortar channels requires setting up fulfillment options for “buy online and pickup in store” and buying instore and getting home delivery. Another example is the impact of digitalization and data availability on decision making. During store visits, customers are collecting information not only based on the offers in the shelves, but also using mobile devices to compare prices, alternative offers of competitors or of the retailer in the webshop. Furthermore, platform players have entered into the retail market connecting consumers to brick-and-mortar-only stores. In particular, in developing markets in Asia and Latin America this segment is growing fast with players such as GoJek in Indonesia and Rappi in Latin America, and multiple platform initiatives by Alibaba in China.
Omni-channel retailing and digitalization result in considerable challenges for the management and optimization of retail operations. The recent challenges have been mainly discussed in empirical research to identify the new phenomena. Now, the continued demand of quantitative insights, their practical need, and the growing availability of data motivates an increasing number of scientists and practitioners to intensify OR-based research on demand and supply-related issues in retail and consumer goods industries. This special issue is particularly targeting contributions concerned with quantitative model-based analysis, OR applications and OR-based decision support systems for the retail and consumer goods industry. Topics should be based on the industry background of retail or consumer goods and address innovative topics and applications.