Challenges met by the Retail Industry and New Opportunities

The retail industry has had its fair share of challenges from rapid market changes to high employee turnover rates. However, the industry has faced a fast-growing pressure of narrow margins in the past three years. With a high number of employees leaving and stores closing, retail markets are clearly struggling to adapt.

Therefore, if businesses aim to develop the skills needed to bridge gaps and thrive, analytics and innovation should be of prime importance.

The retail industry’s increasing gaps and challenges

Product placement and customer engagement are becoming increasingly relevant for retailers. Buyers are engaging with small retail stores via online, mobile-friendly models. Social media is also playing a dynamic role where the meme culture and hashtags are driving younger customers towards purchase. This makes marketing and strategy consulting all the more crucial for retailers to adopt.

Technology is re-routing the way retailers used to work. Brick-and-mortar retailers also need to manage their data digitally to a certain degree. More and more customers prefer to pay online, choose online and order online. In fact, one of the unforeseen advantages of COVID -19 was the digitisation of processes for millions of mid-sized firms.

Retail as an industry, is moving towards deeper customer-based analytics, where product pricing, placement, positioning and inventory management is critical for competitive advantage. The retail owner today, needs to understand behaviour, buying tendency and budgeting of its customer base with higher accuracy.

This makes it crucial for retailers to ensure they are protecting and safeguarding consumer data. In a survey conducted by IBID, 8 out of 10 consumers are ready to share personal data to earn loyalty points, and 7 in 10 will do the same for earning special discounts and offers.

Thus, creating Personalised Customer Experiences can make a customer’s buying journey more valuable. These experiences entail product placements, order selection, pickup, and much more. 74% of shoppers believe that sharing personal information helps to create personalised experiences and offers.

The road ahead paved with expertise

Entrepreneurs heading mid-sized retail firms can look toward a promising and prosperous future.

Atticus Advisors believes that data plays a huge role in aligning your business strategies.

A 30-year-old retail chain in Mumbai had to close 70% of its outlets due to margin pressures in COVID-19. Now, with the use of data and strategic advice, they are in the forefront of spreading multiple franchises before the end of the month.

A similar story comes from an FMCG distribution company in Coimbatore, which started as a two-person company. But it is now using data analytics and forecasting to scale to 7 cities and 4500 retail network outlets in one and a half years.

The use and interpretation of data can pave the way to understanding consumer behaviour. Identifying product mixes, optimising store inventory, planning rewards and discounts, etc. and other strategies will determine the shape of the retail industry as a whole.

In conclusion, partnering with management consultants can connect you with the expertise needed to realign your business strategies

Data, and Consulting together will shape the businesses of the future.

Dr. Sanjay Lunia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *