10th Annual iQmetrix Summit Keynote: The Store as a Fulfillment Center with Bashar Nejdawi

For our final keynote session of the 2014 iQmetrix Retail Summit, we had the pleasure of learning from Bashar Nejdawi, Executive VP at Ingram Micro and President, North America, Ingram Micro Mobility about the changing role of phsyical stores.
In-store pickup and drop ship options are becoming increasingly common in retail and they speak to the need for better connectivity between online and in-store channels. Major retailers are now treating stores like warehouses and offering expanded inventory visibility to consumers – driving online sales and increasing consumer convenience.

Bashar shared an in-depth look at how various fulfillment models can enable shipping programs like ‘Ship from Store’ and ‘Click and Collect’ to boost conversion.


The business that we're in is one of the most exciting.
Bashar Nejdawi

According to Bashar, the reason why this subject of retail and store fulfillment is so compelling is that most of the change we have seen in our business has been because of the store - the retail business.

By the end of this year, our business in retail distribution is going to more than double. Sometimes you have to sit back and take a look at what's really happening and rethink the approach. The dynamics about the consumer and society are changing to such an extent that behaviors are really different. We all have to innovate. All of this innovation is part of what we need to be engaged in and rethinking our approach. In the next 5 years the mobile store as we know it today won't exist. What is it going to look like and how should we prepare?

In the next 5 years, the mobile store as we know it today won't exist.

There will be 212 billion connectable devices globally by 2020 (IDC). It's a big number. That's where the growth is coming from and where the innovation needs to happen. We will be at almost 6 billion smartphones by 2019 and world wide subscriptions are going to triple.

Bashar emphasized that the way this whole smartphone category has taken off has been huge. The smartphone is no longer just a phone. He recounted that one of the most amazing things when recently talking to his mother back in Jordan was that she wanted to go get "a phone that is smart." The way Bashar's mother is using this phone today has basically changed everything for her. She got rid of her land line and is a great example of how behaviors change. 


The phone has become a hub of your personal digital ecosystem.

Here's a glimpse at where our industry is headed:
  • Tablets - size matters. Almost everyone on Bashar's plane the other day was using a tablet. Not mainly business people but kids using it for entertainment. What we are using these devices for is going to be a huge game changer. It's all about the screen. 
  • Wearables - 129% global sales growth in 2014. 59% of those sales are wristbands. Over half of wearables sold in 2018 to be smartwatches (CCS Insight).
  • Mobility Smart Home - connected home. A huge number of connected devices for the home will be coming through the channel.
  • Mobility Entertainment - includes speakers, headphones etc. 
  • Mobility Cases - 75% of U.S. smartphone users have a case on their phone (NPD). 17% growth of mobile phone case unit sales in 2013. 
  • Mobility Power - 8 billion mobile devices globally requiring power solutions by 2019 (ABI Research).
  • Mobility Care - insurance, warranty, upgrade/exchange, in-store repair/replacement, recycle, data-wiping, copy, migration, content delivery, training and customization.
On a parallel path, the consumer retaill experience is evolving at breakneck speed (often due to mobility). Commerce is taking place through mobility devices. This ties into the change in consumer behavior and 1.) a Culture Shift to instant gratification (think Uber), 2.) Borrowing - owning little, consuming more (ex. Rent the Runway) and 3.) Personalization and Customization - in-store testing, ordering tailored version (ex. cellphone cases).
What does this mean? Our upsell innovation to date has been lacking. The evolution of the mobility retail store needs to include connected accessories, engaged sales teams, enlightened demos and fast access to meet store demand. The retail store has to account for this new environment and social movement.
Bashar predicts that the next 3 - 5 years will be all about stores working together as fulfillment centers - product replenishment from other stores - fulfill demand, building retail profiles and introducing endless aisle.


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