Tag: Future of retail

retail sector

Why Sweden’s Retail Sector is Captivating International Retailers

Sweden is considered as an ideal market by several international retailers, primarily due to factors including highly skilled labor force, sophisticated consumers, innovation and technological advancements, smooth business procedures, and stable economy of the country. Sweden has been consistently ranked as one of the most competitive, globalized, and productive countries in the world despite having a relatively smaller population. Furthermore, the country’s dominance in the Nordic marketplace raises the attractiveness of retail sector investments in Sweden. The country also has the highest retail sector attractiveness when it comes to establishing new business ventures, and international retailers continue to selectively expand in the Nordic region at a slightly faster rate when compared to Europe’s key cities at an aggregated level. Moreover, Sweden’s central location and strategic gateway to Northern Europe have also made it a convenient logistics hub and place for consolidated business operations.

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retail sector

Why is Sweden an ideal market for international retailers?

Strong retail sector growth

Fueled by steady population growth and rising disposable income, the Swedish retail sector has enjoyed consecutive growth over the past two decades. Growth in both private consumption and retail sales is stronger in Sweden than most of the European countries and is forecast to outperform most of these countries in the next few years. Swedish consumers have increased retail spending for more than a decade and retail sector sales account for nearly 40 percent of the total household expenditure.

Rising population

Sweden’s population is growing steadily, especially in the urban areas. Net immigration, increasing birth rates, and low mortality are key factors that are contributing to this growth. This trend of rising population is expected to continue in Sweden, creating a broader set of audience for the retail sector companies here to target and serve.

Growth of e-tail

Online sales account for a sizeable portion of the total retail sector sales. Items including consumer electronics, clothes, and books tops the list of most sold of items through e-tail. The consumers in Sweden also indulge in shopping from international sites, especially in the case of fashion items and accessories.

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Shopping tourism

The fashionable lifestyle and five-star culinary adventures are garnering the attention of travelers from around the globe to Sweden. Also, tourism is the fastest growing industry in Sweden. This has had a significant impact on retail sector and shopping culture in the region. Revenues from international visitors have doubled in the last five-years and visitor volumes have increased faster than the European average. This trend can be observed in Stockholm, where luxury brands compete for the affluent traveler’s attention.

Growth of e-tail

Online sales account for a sizeable portion of the total retail sector sales. Items including consumer electronics, clothes, and books tops the list of most sold of items through e-tail. The consumers in Sweden also indulge in shopping from international sites, especially in the case of fashion items and accessories.

Opportunities for different retail segments

Sweden is well suited to new retail concepts and there are several opportunities available in most segments in the retail sector. The retail market here is unregulated, proving to be highly favorable to international retailers. However, as the global retail industry has expanded rapidly into new markets, the Swedish and Nordic markets have been relatively untapped by international retailers. Traditionally, domestic, and Scandinavian brands have dominated the country, but in recent years new brands have entered the market with further expansion plans. There have been a number of new openings during the last five years. There is also an increasing interest from premium brands among retail sector consumers in the region. Additionally, several international food and beverage players are also increasingly entering the market.

Favorable logistics hub

Sweden ranks top as one of the most trade-friendly and logistics efficient nations in the world by smoothly moving goods and connecting manufacturers and consumers with intentional markets. Sweden is the preferred choice when companies consolidate distribution and warehousing activities in Northern Europe to one central location. From Sweden, major cities in Sweden, Denmark and Norway are accessible by road transport in less than 12 hours, while Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and western Russia are accessible within 24 hours. Several Swedish locations are used by foreign retail sector companies for centralized distribution in Northern Europe.

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CPG industry trends

Emerging CPG Industry Trends in Asia

The rapid economic growth in Asia has resulted in increased consumer spending. Over the next decade, we can expect continued economic spend in Asia especially as the middle class widens. The economic, industrial and social reforms have transformed the lifestyle and consumption patterns of consumers in the region.  Various changes in the demographic, economic, and technological landscape in the CPG industry in Asia have also given rise to new CPG industry trends. Lured by the growth prospects, several foreign companies have already begun planning their market entry strategies into the Asian CPG industry. For such companies, it is vital to scrutinize and be watchful of the CPG industry trends and formulate strategies accordingly.

To gain a competitive edge and survive in the fiercely competitive Asian market, foreign companies must take a holistic approach inclusive of critical CPG industry trends and opportunities. Learn how our solutions can help!

CPG industry trends in Asia

CPG industryRise of ecommerce

One of the most disruptive change experienced by CPG companies in Asia is the emergence of ecommerce. Ecommerce, which is well established in the West, is gradually expanding routes to the FMCG sector in Asia’s developing markets. Increased access to the internet and smartphones are fueling are presenting a valuable opportunity for brands to target and deepen their relationships with customers. Over the last year, CPG industry sales online saw a steady growth globally, with China being one of the prime contributors to this growth. This change in consumer shopping preferences will greatly impact the CPG industry in Asia.

Growth in premium goods segment

Luxury goods are becoming highly popular among Asian consumers, fueled by urbanization, higher GDP, and changing lifestyles. Although this was relevant earlier in the fashion industry, the premium segment is becoming one of the most attractive CPG industry trends to watch out for. Demand for premium FMCG goods is growing particularly in regions like China, where the demand for luxury purchases are on the rise even in smaller cities and rural areas.

While the opportunities in Asian’s emerging markets are exciting, the market terrain in these countries is complex and dynamic. Get in touch with our experts to learn how we can help you navigate the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities coming your way.

Changing demographics

The aging population is a growing concern in Asian countries. By the year 2050, a good majority of Asia’s population will comprise of the elderly, soon making it home to the oldest population in the world. Such shifting demographics will imply significant change to the CPG industry trends in the region. The demand for certain goods are likely to increase in the long-run while the demand for some currently well-performing segments are bound to decrease. Such CPG industry trends must be considered for companies planning their market entry strategies into Asia.

Strong home-grown brands

Home-grown brands in Asia enjoy a strong and loyal customer base and will continue to dominate the CPG industry in the region. Some of these brands have even mastered effective customer targeting, flexible distribution, social media marketing, and customer engagement. Local brands understand regional consumers and mostly follow low-cost strategies while focusing on efficiency.

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Competitive pricing analysis

Winning in the German Consumer Market: Top Retail Industry Trends to Track

retail industry trendsRetailing in Germany is going through major transformations as consumers are increasingly becoming accustomed to the new retail trends in the market. Although the German retailers are widely known in the international markets, especially in the US in the context if their entrance into the North American market, the domestic German retail sector is also as sophisticated and competitive as other international markets with their own unique set of challenges and opportunities. In this blog, experts at Infiniti provide comprehensive insights on the current German retail industry trends.

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Top retail industry trends in Germany

Discounters emphasizing on customer experience (CX)

In some key German retail outlets also known as ‘no-frill discount stores’, pallets of products go straight from the backroom to the sales floor. However, with the changing retail industry trends in Germany, these retailers are beginning to emphasize more on improving customer experience in retail. Furthermore, supermarkets in this region have been investing heavily into private brands in order to steal the market share from discounters. As a result, the boundaries between traditional supermarkets and discounters are becoming less clear in the German retail sector.

Increasing value of omnichannel retail

Increasing mobility and a greater number of informed customers are making digitization one of the popular retail industry trends in Germany. As a result, German retail companies have increasingly identified the need to possess the agility that comes with an effective omnichannel strategy. However, most of these retailers lack a sense of direction that is required to make their omnichannel strategy successful. The industry is now waiting to see if these retailers will develop clear strategies and begin investing more into their omnichannel strategies or refrain from selling online.

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Introduction of Amazon fresh

There is some indication Amazon Fresh may be scaling its operations in the United States, but it is a relatively new concept to German consumers and is now being piloted in a few large cities like Berlin and Hamburg. Amazon Fresh delivers groceries directly to consumer homes in temperature-controlled bags. This year online sales in Germany saw a rise compared to the previous year, but it remains to be seen how consumers will respond to specifically ordering groceries online.

The aging German shoppers

The German population is growing older and this is making a significant impact on the retail industry trends in the market, affecting how retailers sell. To cope up with the changing retail industry trends, German retailers are rethinking store layouts, making product packaging easier to read, and putting benches in stores, all in an effort to better serve older customers and enhance their customer experience.

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supply chain challenges

Top Supply Chain Challenges Facing CPG Companies

The Consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is already experiencing a seismic change due to challenges including rising raw material costs, stalled demand, declining profits, skyrocketing retail pricing pressures and the never-ending shift in consumer preferences. Furthermore, the changing consumer preferences is bringing about new supply chain challenges for CPG companies. Companies selling consumer packaged goods must effectively identify and mitigate supply chain challenges coming their way in order to drive growth by reaching new customers and channels.

Leaders of consumer products companies need to strike a delicate balance between cost, quality, product innovation, and market growth, all while maintaining margins. Request a free proposal to know how experts at Infiniti can help you achieve this.

Supply chain challenges for CPG companies

supply chain challengesConsumer demand for variety

Modern consumers are highly demanding. As a result, there is a constant urgency among players in the CPG industry to offer new products that match the changing consumer preferences. This translates to more SKUs and shorter product lifecycles. Th consequent complexity in product development, sourcing, production and fulfillment will add on to the supply chain challenges faced by CPG companies. Reacting to changes in consumer preferences would mean that the CPG supply chain needs to be agile enough so that the required adjustments can be orchestrated end to end across the supply chain.

Venturing into new markets

Experts at Infiniti research are of the opinion that the fastest growing CPG companies are those that choose to compete in the fastest growing product categories and geographic territories. Investing in the right markets is one of the key drivers for growth, which comes with its own set of supply chain challenges. Furthermore, overcoming key supply chain challenges in terms of flexibility will help companies in the consumer packaged goods industry to easily penetrate new markets and create potentially new delivery models and fulfilment channels.

Get in touch with our experts for more insights on how CPG companies can overcome critical supply chain challenges.

Digital transformation of supply chains

Amidst the rising popularity of digital innovations and enhanced customer experiences, it is no surprise that digital transformation is one of the critical agendas for top executives at leading global CPG companies. However, this cannot be rolled out successfully unless their back-end infrastructure is not capable enough to ensure timely delivery of goods.

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Market research analysis

How Market Research analysis helped a Big-box Retailer Fine-Tune Their Processes to Adapt to the Changing Retail Dynamics in the US

As e-commerce and specialty stores grow in appeal, big-box retail stores are gradually losing relevance. The numerous store and company closures across several categories over the last decade is a key indicator of the shrinking demand for big-box retail. One of the prime reasons for this is that customers are no longer keen on being anonymous shoppers in large retail stores. Consequently, big-box retail companies must shift their strategy from competing on access and selection to providing better discounts and staging greater consumer experiences. Moreover, the proliferation of ecommerce stores in the US that are able to offer a wider option when compared to brick and mortar stores, consumers are becoming more inclined to use these platforms for making a purchase. All these factors are making it highly challenging for big-box retailers to grow and retain their customers. This is where the benefits of leveraging a market research analysis comes into play.

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Market research analysis

Business challenge

The client: A big-box retailer with stores across North America

Industry: Retail & CPG

A major big-box retail chain observed a steady decline in their store traffic over two consequent quarters. They were facing predicaments in identifying the exact reasons for the sudden reduction in the footfall. In an effort to increase their store traffic, the client even invested aggressively into promotional campaigns. However, they failed to achieve the desired viewership and conversions. This also had a great impact on their overall sales and profitability, with the net profits plunging by at least 15% each quarter. The client approached Infiniti Research to identify the critical reasons for their reduced footfall and traffic and also identify strategies to get back on track with the help of our market research analysis.

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Furthermore, by leveraging our market research analysis solution, the client also wanted to tackle other key challenges including:

Build brand loyalty

As consumers today have a wide range of options to choose from, they tend to switch between different online and offline platforms to make a purchase. With Infiniti’s market research analysis, the client wanted to identify the factors affecting consumer purchase and brand loyalty and build appropriate strategies to retain their customers and turn them into repeat shoppers.

Identify the right marketing channels

The client’s previous promotional strategies failed as they failed to identify where their target customers are before investing in marketing campaigns. Using Infiniti’s market research analysis solutions, the client was keen on grouping different customers based on their purchasing behavior and create targeted marketing campaigns to attract these segments.

Create promotional strategies

With the help of our market research analysis, the big-box retailer also wanted to understand their competitors’ promotional activities and strategize their own promotions and discounts accordingly. They also wanted to learn how their big-box retail counterparts are withstanding competition from new players such as ecommerce and specialty retailers.

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Solutions offered

To help the client tackle the above-mentioned challenges, the experts at Infiniti Research conducted a comprehensive retail market research analysis. The market research analysis involved qualitative and quantitative market research for augmenting sales and targeting the right audience for the big-box retailer. The experts at Infiniti also carried out a market trend analysis in order to understand the change in market trends that are affecting the sales and profitability of the business. The industry best practice assessment undertaken as a part of the market research analysis also provided the client details about the strategies adopted by their peers in the market to withstand competition from ecommerce and specialty retailers and retain their customers. The market research analysis also included a customer satisfaction and loyalty assessment through which the client was able to gain a better understanding of what their customer expectations were and their gaps in fulfilling them.

Results obtained

By leveraging Infiniti’s market research analysis, the client identified that one of the key reasons for the declining footfall was the lack of personalized in-store experience and offers. The market research analysis study helped the big-box retailer understand the promotional tactics adopted by their counterparts and formulate similar offers that were most viable for their business and at the same time attract more customers. They were also able to identify the right promotional channels where their target customers were most active and undertake targeted marketing campaigns to drive more sales. As a result of these targeted campaigns, the big-box retailer also observed a rise in the number of repeat shoppers.

By leveraging our market research analysis, the client consequently saw an increase in their profit margin by 25% within 6 months.

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challenges in retail

Headwinds Facing the US Retail Market Right Now

The US retail industry is fairly consolidated and heterogeneous. Although it is one of the biggest retail markets in the world, it is also the most competitive. The top ten retail companies in the US retail market is known to hold one-third of the total market share. Furthermore, the enormous transformation in the sector has brought about new challenges in retail industry. Amidst the constantly evolving market factors, retailers are finding themselves in an uphill battle to profitably increase growth and market share. While retailers may expect increased spending by consumers in the near future, preparing for uncertainty by anticipating and responding to potential retail industry challenges has to be a large part of their overall strategy.

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Challenges in retail market in the US

challenges in retailAttaining operational efficiency

Managing complexities and coping with the changes are some major challenges in retail right now. Yet, in order to bring efficiency to their tasks and processes, companies in the US retail industry must identify ways to deal with complexities and cope with the dynamic market conditions. Today, businesses that are running their operations based on spreadsheets find that it does not allow them to be scalable and grow with the business. Therefore, efficiency in managing their operations is vital for retailers to thrive and overcome the key challenges in retail.

Technological challenges

Most retail companies in the US continue to use outdated technologies. Although many of them understand that using outdated technologies will only add on to the already existing challenges in retail market for them, they often fail to find the required investments needed for an upgrade. Evolving technologies, including automation and business intelligence, have immense potential to transform the day-to-day operations of a retail store. Automation can ensure substantial operational cost reductions when applied to routine and repetitive tasks. It can also provide greater visibility and decision-making support to the retail business owners and operators.

Only by combining streamlined business processes, seamless cross-channel customer service, and personalized marketing campaigns can retailers expect to create buyer experiences which can combat the fickle nature of the modern consumer. Get in touch with our experts for more insights on how to overcome challenges in retail markets with our solutions.

Direct to consumer channels

While retailers are planning their stores for the future, manufacturers are increasing the challenges in retail through direct-to-consumer channels. This helps manufacturers to not lose any extra margin to the retailers. Furthermore, these channels enable them to collect data about customers, which allows them to engage with customers in a personalized manner, driving brand attraction and customer loyalty.

Control over accounts payable process

Retailers engage with several different suppliers. Manually managing the constant flood of invoices makes having control over the accounts payable process difficult for retailers. Such challenges in retail companies lead to a direct impact on the financial forecasting of the business and ultimately affect their bottom line. Partnering with industry players helps retailers to empower fewer resources to manage the accounts payable process while simultaneously increasing process accuracy, accelerating invoice processing, and optimizing payment timing to allow them to take advantage of vendor offered discounts.

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future of retail

Future of Retail: Top retail industry predictions for 2019

2018 was a year of growth for the retail industry as several brands saw accelerated growth rates due to tax cuts and low unemployment. According to the retail industry analysis by experts at Infiniti Research, 2019 will be a precarious year for players in the retail sector. As the stock market is in flux, the future of retail is expected to be dominated by steepening tariffs. Furthermore, another intriguing retail market trend is emerging markets are taking on a greater share of global growth. However, these challenges could also present several opportunities for savvy retailers who are willing to face the winds heads on. Here’s our take on the key predictions for the future of retail in 2019 and also how retailers can stay prepared for the upheavals in the market.

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Top predictions defining the future of retail

future of retailConsumer centricity to go mainstream

Putting customers at the center has been one of the key factors of focus for most companies in the retail industry today. But most companies have realized that holding a strong market position involves more than merely monitoring and connecting with customers on social media. The future of retail will revolve largely around the use of advanced technologies like Voice of Consumer (Voc) analytics. Such retail industry trends will allow retailers to determine what their customers want and deliver it with speed and at scale. Data will play an integral role in the future of retail to meet customer needs and expectations.

Impact of increasing tariffs

The retail industry will begin to see the real impact of the Trump administration’s tariffs on the Chinese exports which will increase steadily this year. A major portion of the burden of these rising tariffs will ultimately fall on the U.S. shoppers. A detailed retail market analysis undertaken by our experts also reveals that companies will be soon be faced with making decisions to determine the categories and products where they raise prices and push the cost increases onto the customers, and where they need to absorb the cost increases themselves. This may result in retailers evaluating whether it makes sense to exit certain categories which they are not able to sell profitably. The future of retail in the UK and EU will also face similar challenges.

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Algorithms will take control

As the future of retail is now largely being driven by innovative tools to leverage consumer data, 2019 will be a year where retailers increasingly leverage data to make decisions relating to what to offer to the customers. While data has long been available to retailers, its true potential wasn’t realized until the retail industry learned the hard lessons from some popular e-commerce websites, whose assortment decisions are made exclusively using data and bots. The data available can be used to build tailored assortments and target customers effectively to drive conversions.

Learn more about the opportunities and challenges in the retail industry

Read more about the role of customer intelligence in the future of retail:

Role of Customer Intelligence in the Future of Retail

Retail industry analysis

Market Scan: Retail Industry Analysis and Market Updates

The retail industry is increasingly colliding with adjacent consumer-focused sectors, as a result, the industry continues to undergo constant disruption. Amidst all the retail industry trends and changes, one thing that remains consistent is the fact that consumers are becoming more powerful and retailers are trying to do all it takes to meet the changing customer demands. Last year left the retail industry with a lot to digest including a strong U.S. economy, the holiday season that delivered record-breaking sales, some high-profile bankruptcies, and other global trade and economic challenges. Our retail industry analysis reveals that although in 2018 the retail industry was bolstered with a strong labor market and elevated disposable personal income; the economy may face some headwinds this year. This means that 2019 will be a year of transformation for retailers and they will require to make some bold moves to make distinct space for themselves in the market.

Our retail industry analysis has helped several global brands understand their current market dynamics and strategize their moves to outperform their peers in the market. Request a free proposal to know how our solutions can help your business.

Retail industry analysis 2019

Retail industrySupply chain as a differentiator

Our retail industry analysis reveals that retailers are increasingly leveraging supply chain to differentiate their services. However, a major challenge here is to make the supply chain more predictable, less costly, and faster. Top companies in the retail industry believe that supply chain improvements can be a significant growth driver for the future. Rather than investing in retail industry trends like automation and smart packaging, it is important for retail companies to now think about using wider supply chain strategies for accumulating long-term competitive advantage.

The changing retail value chain

The value chain across the retail industry is becoming increasingly compressed. Our retail analysis experts have identified that several retailers are accelerating their merchandise cycles and moving their supply chains closer to their target customers. Retail companies are also making efforts to deploy advanced technologies that improve the process of connecting with their customers.

Moving away from transactional thinking

Earlier retail businesses revolved around isolated transactions where customers were bombarded with discounts and offer messages, the primary intent being to increasing sales. Today, retail brands are highly focused on delivering exceptional customer experience and are also using it as a tactic to compete better in the market. A retail industry analysis by experts at Infiniti Research revealed that a good majority of brands are using customer experience as a strategy to boost both their online as well as in-store sales. This is one of the primary reasons why retail giants like Walmart is thriving despite several others shutting shop. The company has rolled out several initiatives to streamline in-store customer experience by using advanced technologies like touch screen, search kiosks, and allowing customers to use mobile phones to scan products. Several other top retailers are undertaking similar measures to redefine the shopping experience for customers.

We live in the age of customer-centricity where your customers expect fluid, delightful, and useful experiences from your brand. But do you have what it takes to deliver this? Request a free brochure to gain insights into our service portfolio and learn how we can help your business better under the needs of your target customers.

Pop-up luxury retail stores

Several luxury retail labels are trying to lure millennials and Gen-Z customers due to their shifting priorities and heightened spending trends. Earlier, a pop-up was merely seen as an interesting concept that allowed brands to ‘test’ a retail presence or launch a new product. It also helps generate social media buzz, although short-lived. However, the recent evolution of pop-up fashion stores holds greater intrigue by offering fresh concepts on constant rotation. They are now used as a means to grab customer curiosity and engage with them. In an age where social capital goes hand-in-hand with monetary profits, such initiatives become highly useful for brands.

Nurturing post purchase

In a move towards achieving customer centricity, retailers are giving increased importance to last mile customer experiences. Companies are even going to the extent of acquiring delivery platforms to fulfill their delivery obligations on the same day and promote customer delight. Post purchase nurturing is a long-term growth strategy aimed at giving a better success rate in the future.

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