Even though the age of ‘retail doom’ has been making headlines for the past couple of years, recent retail shopping trends and consumer spend patterns show that customer still favor brick-and-mortar stores over online channels. And this is expected to be one of the dominating US retail industry trends even in 2020. According to experts at Infiniti Research, the US retail industry is experiencing reinvention and transformation at an unprecedented speed. Due to this, the future of the US retail industry will be as challenging as it will be rewarding. In this article, our industry experts discuss some key questions that need to be answered by companies in the US retail industry right now in order to effectively prepare for the future.
Are you meeting target customers online and offline?
Brand loyalty is something that companies in the US retail industry can no longer rely on even if they have a well-established brand name. In fact, our recent US retail industry analysis shows that over 50% of millennials and Gen Z consumers are attracted to smaller and more innovative brands rather than blindly making a purchase based on a strong brand name. Against this backdrop, it becomes even more important than ever before for brands in the US retail industry to engage with their consumers, especially on digital platforms. Digital channels are now one of the most important channels for retail growth and are believed to influence retail sales to a considerable extent. Experts at Infiniti Research also believe that digital channels will not only influence online sales but will also play a significant role in promoting offline sales. Providing omnichannel shopping opportunities is the way ahead for US retail industry companies, especially with e-commerce giants like Amazon venturing into the offline space, giving brick-and-mortar companies a tough competition.
Are you prepared to cope with the diversifying strategies of other retailers?
Several top retailers in the US retail industry have already begun expanding their business into other sectors such as healthcare. Moreover, non-retailers have also ventured into the retail business. For instance, a popular fitness company has now ventured into the healthy food business and fitness products retail. Most companies are now aiming to cross-industry boundaries and venture into territories that will help them expand their brand and at the same time capture greater consumer attention and market share with these cross-industry ecosystems.
Is your business positioned to win the talent war?
Traditional talent profiles will no longer be enough for players in the US retail industry to survive retail disruption. As retailers are increasingly focusing on becoming service and experience providers, talent that are highly skilled and have expertise in new industries will be paramount. For retail companies finding best-in-class talent may prove to be tough given the fact that other lucrative industries such as IT or finance tend to be more appealing for most in-demand talent profiles. Furthermore, the retail sector is generally perceived to be old fashioned and slow, making it even more difficult for US retail industry companies to hire from a competent and skilled talent pool.