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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.

Infiniti possesses over 15 years of experience in helping retailers to increase business agility and decrease operating costs. Request a free proposal to know more about how our solutions can help overcome the key challenges in retail markets.

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Most retail companies in the US continue to use outdated technologies. Although many of them understand that using outdated technologies will only add on to the already existing challenges in retail market for them, they often fail to find the required investments needed for an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.

Learn more about how Infiniti’s solutions can help overcome challenges in retail.

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.

Is your business prepared to meet the challenges in the future of retail? If not, request a free proposal to know how our tailor-made solutions can help you.

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.

Gain more insights into our solutions for the retail industry. Get in touch with our experts.

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Biggest Challenges in Retail Industry Right Now

challenges in retail industry

Customers today are no longer forced to make a purchase decision by comparing a few options that are available. Rather, they are now bombarded with dozens or even hundreds of options to choose from. Therefore, one of the key challenges in retail industry is for companies to differentiate themselves from the other players and consequently improve their visibility in the market. Furthermore, waning brand loyalty as customers tend to switch from one brand to another based on what best serves their requirements now proves to be a unique challenge for modern retailers. They now need to find innovative ways to appeal to both existing and potential customers.

In this blog, retail industry experts from Infiniti Research highlight some of the biggest challenges in retail industry this year and how reliable retail industry data coupled with effective market intelligence solutions can help oust such roadblocks.

We understand that businesses face several challenges in retail industry while identifying and curating high-value customers to develop marketing strategies and maximize profitability. Request a free brochure to know more about our solutions for the retail industry and how we help clients identify market trends, opportunities, and challenges in retail industry.

Challenges in retail industry 2019

Consumers moving to multi-channel buying experiences

Technology has been a major boon to retailers and customers alike, however, they also play a major role in propelling the challenges in retail industry. As consumers are seamlessly moving between online and brick and mortar platforms for shopping, they are becoming more open to retailers who can facilitate these transactions. So, companies that want to thrive in this sector must heed to such retail industry trends and focus on creating top-notch customer experience across all platforms.

 Demand for impeccable customer experience

Brand loyalty largely depends on the customer experience. The level of effort taken to enhance customer experience is directly proportional to the customers’ likelihood to engage in repeat purchases with a brand. However, this is currently one of the key challenges in retail industry as creating a significant customer experience requires retailers to dive-deep in customer details in order to understand their customer better. Providing personalized experiences by identifying customer preferences could contribute to delivering great customer experiences.

Siloed marketing infrastructure

Effective marketing today requires companies to engage with their target customers across various platforms. Multi-channel communications are essential in driving the creation of seamless customer experience. But this could also prove to be one of the major challenges in retail industry because with so many different channels customer data could be siloed. In case all the elements of the marketing department are not working in synergy, chances are that customers could be overwhelmed with conflicting or repeat messages.

To gain a competitive edge in the retail industry despite several ongoing trends and challenges, it is vital to adopt a data-driven approach coupled with the right solutions that can transform this data into meaningful insights. Request a free proposal to learn how our market intelligence solutions can help overcome challenges in retail industry.

How Infiniti’s solutions can help retailers overcomes these challenges?

Creating a winning proposition in today’s complex retail environment requires a superior business strategy, resourceful operations, attractive merchandising, targeted marketing, and the use of reliable technology. We provide strategic market intelligence solutions and help our clients identify challenges in retail industry and use their key performing metrics to facilitates quicker decision making and better customer service. Get in touch with us to know more about our market intelligence solutions for the retail industry.

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IR14

Retail Industry Overview: The Present and Future of Retail

Retail industry overview

The retail industry is going through a major transition and with the latest trends and innovations in place, it is safe to say that there is no looking back for retail industry companies. Furthermore, personalization and customization in products and services are some of the popular retail industry trends that are all set to go mainstream. Companies that revamp themselves with the changing market dynamics will be successful in grabbing the big buck in the long run. That being said, this retail also happens to be one of the most challenging sectors today. Apart from this rising competition in this market, this market is highly volatile and dynamic, making it a tough task for retail industry companies to be in line with the changing market landscape. Let’s take a better look at the retail industry trends challenges and opportunities that will have a major impact on the sector:Request Proposal

Retail industry trends

The retail industry is characterized by its highly dynamic trends that keep changing constantly. Businesses who want to have an edge over the other players in the market must keep a close watch on the changing customer needs and the most innovative and simplest ways to meet these needs. Here are some of the top retail industry trends to keep track of:

Visual search

Visual search makes use of machine learning to identify and recommend products online based on matching attributes like shape, color, pattern, or even texture. Here, a shopper has to just snap a photo of the desired product to generate relevant search results rather than a typing out a word-based search query. Such trends on e-retail platforms are making shopping an easier and smooth experience for customers, posing a major challenge for offline retailers.

Augmented reality

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With each passing year, retail industry companies are finding new, innovative ways to infuse technologies like augmented reality into the shopping experience across all channels. This technology can be used to allow customers to see products in 3D. Such retail industry trends are highly useful for businesses dealing in home furnishings or interior décor. Customers can look at how a particular product would look within their space, and then make purchases.

Omnichannel retail strategies

Investment in omnichannel strategies is one the most important retail industry trends to look forward to. Research shows that an average consumer today owns 3.64 connected devices and often consult these devices prior to making a purchase. Consumers may look at an item on their iPad and might complete the purchase on their mobile phone, or they may search for an item on the web and pick it up in the store. The ubiquity of connected devices will prompt consumers to demand a seamless experience across multiple touchpoints. So, most retailers today are increasingly looking at tapping into these demands of customers by operating on omnichannel platforms.

For more insights on the trends awaiting the retail industry, check out our blog on the future of retail.

Retail industry challenges

Here are some of the key challenges faced by modern retailers and ways to overcome them:

Keeping up the changing customer demands

Customer preferences are fast changing, and often retail industry companies find it difficult to keep up with the increasing pace of changing customer preferences. Most retail industry companies are slow to adapt to changing consumer preferences. One of the main ways retailers can overcome this challenge is by training the staff to interact more with the customers and identify their tastes and preferences. This can help companies to rigGet More Infohtly identify what the customers want and expect from the brand and alter their strategies accordingly.

Customer data silos

Marketers try to reach out to customers using different platforms. Such multi-channel communications are indeed vital to engagement, which, in turn, drives the creation of the perfect customer experience. However, a notable drawback of such efforts is that it may result in customer data becoming siloed. If the entire marketing department is not communicating effectively and working together, customers can become overwhelmed with conflicting or repeat messages. Overflowing marketing communications can have an adverse effect and drive customers to competitors offering a clearer and more congruent message. Retail industry companies can overcome this predicament by collecting reliable data on the channels that their target customers are most active on and focusing a majority of their marketing efforts on this channel.


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IR24

5 Big Challenges Facing the Retail Industry

The retail industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. With more number of retailers slowly expanding their business from brick and mortar to online retail stores, there is no looking back for players in this industry. But on the flip side, the retail industry is not entirely a bed of roses. Companies in the retail industry constantly endure various hindrances to improve their profits and simultaneously stay relevant in the market. One of the major challenges for players in the retail industry is to adapt themselves to the constant shifts and twists in the market.  Furthermore, savvy shoppers even tend to spend a lot of time researching their purchases – and consider the entire customer experience before actually making a purchase. With increased exposure to the internet and social media, retail customers are not gullible anymore and are spoilt for choice. This puts retailers in a ‘do or die’ position to survive in the market. But the hurdles for retail stores does not end here. We have curated five of the biggest challenges that companies in the retail industry need to pay heed to right now:Request Proposal

Top retail industry challenges

Digital disruption

Customer behavior is changing rapidly. While ecommerce has its effect on brick-and-mortar stores, the market trends indicate that customers prefer purchasing most products in-store. However, customers are using the Internet to do reconnaissance work – that is, search online for product information, compare the best prices, and identify complementary products. While e-commerce now accounts for approximately 10% of all retail sales, estimates by various industry experts suggest that web-influenced physical store sales are about 5X online sales.

In-store experience

Modern customers are extremely choosy owing to a large number of options they have in hand. What could differentiate companies in the retail industry from one another is the in-store experience that they provide the customers. Shoppers want remarkable experiences when they enter a store. They want to enjoy personalized experiences, interact with products, and engage their senses with creative sights, smells, tastes, and touch. Virtual reality, showrooming, and other experiential retail strategies can position companies in the retail industry at the top of their category when experiential retail is done well. Trailblazers like Sephora, Nordstrom, and Anthropologie serve as great examples for retail industry players to improve their customers’ in-store experience.

IR29

What’s Causing the Margins to Shrink in Fashion Retail?

fashion retailThe fashion industry has undergone significant changes over the past few years. Today, fashion is much more than just functional clothes; it is an expression and extension of oneself. It is the same idea that is driving purchases in the fashion industry. An average person now owns more cloth than what they used to a few years back. The increase is not only seen in volumes but also in variety, as people will have a collection for partywear, formals, casuals, beachwear, and sportswear. The rise of e-commerce has also contributed to the growth of fashion retail. Such impressive growth of the apparel industry has also brought about its fair share of challenges to the retailers. With so many apparel options available across thousands of brands, it becomes hard to predict customer preferences. The fashion retail industry is also facing challenges such as:  Contact US

Top Challenges in Fashion Retail

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