The retail industry is one of the sectors which always keep fluctuating and truly amazing with large-scale disruptions every single year. The industry indeed relies on customer interests and preferences while depending upon various other factors. Thus, it is important to get a better understanding of these trends that are disrupting the retail industry,
Here top 5 trends to be seen driving new imperatives in 2023:
- Consumers changing Shopping Behaviour and increasing Expectations: The global pandemic has completely changed the way consumers shop and how retailers respond to that change. Also, as soon as economies reopened, we saw how innovations emerged out of necessity during the pandemic. The shopping patterns of consumers will always evolve as the way they engage with a retailer. But retailers still face challenges in aligning their channels to a consistent shopper or customer experience which in turn makes it difficult for them to get into new service models, such as recycling and subscriptions, rental models, and direct-to-consumer. On the top of it, the consumer also expects personalization, and which needs to be aligned to their demands and expectations.
- Affecting Supply Chain: The sudden shift in consumer behavior has overall impacted the supply chain and urged retailers to realign their success models, streamline their assortment, and improvise the supplier network chain to fulfil consumer expectations and demands. Supply chain disruptions are for real and may continue for a while and retailers should be ready for that dislocation of supply logistics. Retail supply chains will need to be reconfigured because of these global disruptions. An effective retail supply chain management could be lead us in increased profitability.
- Economic uncertainty: The country inflation state also creates a huge impact on consumer spending power. The cost-of-living crisis affecting consumer?s disposable income, in turn retailers ultimately are reducing their sales and revenue, It is an unprofitable affair since consumer is either trading down or looking for alternative options. However, the transition is easily visible, and inflation is affecting costs for retailers. With increased costs, retailers are struggling with squeezing from the consumer expectation side. The retail inventory planning and management can help some leading companies define assortment, placement, pricing, promotions, and product lifecycles for maximum profitability at a time when productivity and profitability matters the most.
- Attracting and Retaining Talent: To meet customer?s demands and expectations, retailers should adapt to the operating procedures like labor, buying, forecasting, and merchandising. Across sectors, it’s been increasingly challenging to attract and retain the best fit people. Whereas in this sector for retailers it is quite ssential to establish modern and interactive workplaces where employees have the right tools, automated workflows, and the right set of data to do their jobs. Today, there are multiple advanced human resource technologies that allows businesses to recruit, onboard, educate, and retain employees. The ultimate goal is to turn front-line staff into loyal brand ambassadors who can manage customers to drive long-term loyalty. For the operational team, the day-to-day experience should be supported by sophisticated technology and a modern user experience.
- Mapping ESG and Sustainability Goals: Sustainability is something that is adapted by every business process that a retailer undertakes to make all the efforts to attract a customer. Retailers require better transparency, and this represents a growth opportunity. It’s actually more than just compliance and reporting, and the focus should result oriented. Sustainability is actually a tactic to increase sales margins. Some consumers are willing to pay more for sustainably and ethically sourced products. Retailers that have standardize processes and enable their teams with the right AI and Machine Learning tools will react immediately and build a blueprint for agility to serve their customers with the experience they prefer. Meanwhile, retailers who can leverage the power of a retail platform will know how to sustain in the business.
– The author is Senior Sales Director, Oracle Applications