Do you notice that your buying habits have changed significantly in the past year? They are probably carrying it. Recent research has found that retail has experienced rapid change like no other. Many people are sticking to their online purchasing habits, developed during the Covid-19 virus outbreak, as they aren’t able to go shopping right now.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that, given the extraordinary events that have taken place over the past year. By the time the Covid-19 pandemic reached global proportions, shopping habits were already shifting to the internet. Suddenly, the way people live and interact around the world has changed. In rapid succession, deployment, fine-tuning, and adaptation were completed for a completely different system of commerce.
The retail industry today is what?
In order to stay engaged with current and prospective customers, retail outlets must continue to adjust their services to meet changing needs and expectations.
A wide range of opinions exist on the best approach to this ongoing reality. On the other hand, everyone seems to be in agreement on one issue. More than 70% of retailers think that the future of retail technology will be heavily influenced by digital transformation.
CEO Mauricio Vianna recently engaged in an insightful Q&A session about digital transformation in the retail sector. As CEO, Mauricio possesses vast knowledge and expertise with consumer goods corporations such as those found in the Fortune 500. By creating the recently launched FMCG Hub, he leads his organisation in continuing efforts to innovate in this sector.
The insights provided by Vianna and his team are especially valuable because of the shift in global buying habits. Many retailers are performing a postmortem after the pandemic appears to be winding down. They are conducting current analyses, but they are also looking toward the future. In Vianna’s view, it is a time of recovery, but she sees a great opportunity for innovation and transformation as well.
What retail brands need to keep an eye on in the next six to twelve months are the latest digital trends.
the amazing Mauricio Vianna As a result of the pandemic, we have seen a transformation of the retail sector accelerate. Several changes have been brought about by this, including the evolution of consumer behaviour, reductions in delivery costs, and the implementation of contactless payment methods.
While we are also seeing a significant increase in the number of retailers putting an emphasis on the omnichannel experience, which considers the customer experience as a whole rather than treating each touchpoint as a separate entity, we’re also seeing a rapid increase in the number of retailers putting a heavy emphasis on that experience. There is nothing but fluidity and holism in this process.
The omnichannel approach is both data-friendly and customer-centric. It provides us with information and insights that we can use for further study. It empowers us to not only improve the customer experience, but also to contribute to the company’s overall value. As consumers become more selective about the media they expose themselves to, companies that have yet to allocate resources to developing or extending the reach of an omnichannel experience risk falling behind.
How has direct-to-consumer strategy changed over the past year, and are brands underestimating the changes?
If DTC is to succeed, a supply chain strategy must be established. This is costly, and development will take time. To properly manage supply chain risk, businesses should also attempt to balance their customers’ expectations with their supply chain strategies. In order to be able to actually meet expectations, this is absolutely essential. Demand for increased speed and convenience has increased in the last year.
Take delivery in six to eight weeks is definitely not the new normal. Consumers are becoming increasingly impatient. If poorly managed, it can have a serious impact on the supply chain.
Some businesses are having trouble keeping up with the organisation of their back-end operations to provide the desired experience. Another group of people is concerned about building up unsold inventory and the consequences this will have on their business. Brands must find new ways to bridge the gap between consumer expectations and what brands can deliver. There are ways to help with that.
A retail strategy focused on storefronts should be able to leverage digital transformation.
A company that wants to offer an improved omnichannel experience to the consumer can use digital transformation to achieve it. Retail stores might be how you acquire a large portion of your customers. Omnichannel, however, is still critical for keeping customers connected. In addition, it’s a good choice for keeping your brand on the shortlist of reliable brands.
If you want to keep your customers, you will need to offer different channel choices to them. All the options you select must all be tied together into a cohesive strategy. Thus, it follows that brick-and-mortar retailers should have e-commerce integration as well. Your brand will be able to deliver a unified and seamless consumer experience with the integration.
When it comes to digital transformation, your storefront locations can utilise augmented reality, sensors, and catering to the internet of things in order to create an enhanced in-store experience and also increase efficiency in your back-office operations through automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
What channels do brands need to pay attention to in the digital space?
Web, application, bot, social media, and WhatsApp are the primary channels I’ll mention. But new channels appear every day. No matter how you slice it, there’s no escaping it. Retailers must be attentive to new channels, especially those which are still being developed, or risk becoming obsolete. Your company’s strategy and processes for new channels, no matter what new channel appears, will have already been integrated.
It is important to comprehend the channel’s role when a new one appears. To know whether the idea makes sense for the consumer journey is an advantage. It’s also beneficial to have a general understanding of data collection and the associated services in each channel. After that, it is important to identify the best strategy for integrating it into your brand’s overall ecosystem.
The reopening of the country does not mean retailers should return to “business as usual.” Regardless of the reasons for the changes we’ve seen over the past year or so, customers clearly value them. Instead, FMCG brands should be concerned with how they can offer more omni-channel services and deal with issues they may face with the supply chain.
Image credit: Karolina Grabowska from Pexels; Thanks!