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Key insights and trends from Retail Week 2019

By Zoe Perl April 1, 2019

The retail industry is facing a revolution, traditional business models are stalling and retailers are facing their biggest disruption in years. But with this revolution comes great opportunity for those who are agile enough to embrace it.

Retail Week 2019 was full of insights of what leading retailers are doing to embrace the revolution and thrive, not just survive in today’s competitive environment. Here’s Appointedd’s run down of the top three talking points from the event.

Biggest challenges currently facing retailers:

Retailers are currently battling their way through an abundance of challenges as a result of an evolving marketplace. Consumer demands are changing, digital technology is becoming ever more prominent and the on-going battle within the market is forcing high-street retailers to re-evaluate their strategy, and quick!

Business leaders from retailers including; Ocado, Moss Bros and Morrissons believe the biggest challenge high-street retailers face is understanding the increasingly diverse wants and needs of the modern consumer, identifying the need to evaluate and adapt their strategy to remain competitive.

Retailers are facing the same problems they always have, but they now have to cope with an array of additional pressures in the market and ultimately, retailers fall into trouble when “they sleep walk into strategy” – Debbie Hewitt from Moss Bros.

Here’s how the market heavy weights recommend facing up to these challenges:

  • Learn how to fully manage and utilise the resources you have and make sure they’re operating at their full potential
  • Adapt your model and the way you do business. This includes analysing and elevating your customer journey and customer touchpoints
  • Always listen to your customers and ensure you understand their complex wants and needs. Consumers’ buying habits are changing and the ability to continually meet their demands will dictate retail success

Back to basics:

Trust. Retailers have to gain the trust of their customers to succeed. Nurturing customer relationships and building trust within your brand is crucial if you want consumers to realize success.

Dixons Carphone boss, Alex Baldock said; “gaining customers’ trust is essential for retailers. Investing in colleagues is not optional, it is at the heart of why someone would walk into a store”. Front-line staff will always dictate the level of service that is delivered and building trust starts with continually delivering great customer service.

Data is equally as important as meaningful customer relationships. Effortlessly capturing your customers’ data and using it to communicate the right message, at the right time and in the right way can be the difference between surviving and thriving in retail. Harnessing business critical data can allow businesses to identify trends and shape their strategy accordingly, making informed decisions on how to build strong customer relationships and generate business growth.  

Surviving vs. thriving in retail

“Above all else – put the customer first, otherwise you’re dead” – Kim Winser, Be Inspired

Retailers have a responsibility to think about why the customer chooses their product and their brand. What makes the customer choose to visit a specific retailers website, or to walk into their store and purchase something? Retailers’ are continually working to understand their customer journeys and how they can make it as frictionless as possible, removing any hurdles which may affect conversion and revenue.

Appointedd has seen market leaders embrace innovation, using technology to drive digital change and find ways to provide a seamless, online-to-offline experience that consumers are demanding.  Based on insights from Retail Week, the retailers who are embracing new strategy, implementing data projects and focusing on delivering personal, connected journeys are embracing the revolution and thriving in retail.

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