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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.

Whether you want to gain access to the market or world-class R&D competence and innovation, our specialists will provide you with data, information, and advance market intelligence solutions for everything you need to know about the retail sector in Sweden.

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.

Based on your company’s special needs, our experts can provide tailor-made solutions to overcome your key business challenges. Get in touch with our experts to know more.

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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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.

Competitive Intelligence Engagement: How Infiniti Enabled a Renowned Home Care Products Manufacturer to Respond Flexibly to Varying Market Situations and Ensure Sustainable Growth

The growth of the global homecare products manufacturing sector, which is a part of the retail sector, is mainly driven by the rise in purchasing power of consumers, improvements in their disposable income, and a rising global population. A recent study on the retail sector indicates that the demand for home care products is expected to increase in the Asia Pacific region (APAC). This is mainly due to population explosion, changing lifestyles, and the demand for new homecare products. Moreover, factors such as rising end-user expenditure and the high sales growth percentage of consumer goods are expected to contribute the growth of the home care products market. Also, the increasing demand for eco-friendly products and the rapid rate of technological innovations are fueling the demand for home care products.

Let’s take a look at some of the critical factors curtailing the growth of the global home care products market:

  • Innovations in product development: The world we live in is consumer-driven, and product development and innovations are moving at a lightning pace. Therefore, to stay relevant in the retail industry, home care products manufacturers have to keep up with the rapidly occurring changes. Since companies compete with each other to be the first to market a product with a new concept, the temptation to compromise on quality can be huge. However, manufacturers need to be stringent when it comes to adhering to regulations and avoid cutting corners.
  • Time-to-market: To improve the time-to-market, companies manufacturing homecare products need to develop more structured approaches to manage innovation. However, devising and implementing strategies that keep a steady stream of new product innovations in the pipeline is essential for manufacturing success.
  • Environmental concerns: Maintaining sustainability and adhering to environmental regulations can be expensive for manufacturing firms. This makes it a necessity for home care products manufacturers to be aware of these costs when outlining their quarterly budgets.

Some of the other challenges for the global home care products industry include resource constraints, economic recession, climate impacts, and political instability. The combined effect of these factors, which have already taken center stage in the global home care products industry is not easy to manage. Hence, maintaining the right balance between quality and price is the most prominent concern for players in this sector. As a player in the home care products manufacturing space, you may be well-informed about these challenges. To gain a coIR_RFPmpetitive edge in this market space, it is best recommended to consider implementing competitive intelligence solutions as it will assist in defining your future growth opportunities.

The Business Challenge:

The client– A prominent home care products manufacturer

Objective- To identify the growth opportunities in the home care products manufacturing space, based on a detailed analysis of the competitors and market developments.

The client, a reputed home care products manufacturing company with several manufacturing units spread across the globe, wanted to implement strategies that’ll help them in identifying the fluctuations in market situations. The client wanted to leverage the use of Infiniti’s competitive intelligence solution to better understand the intent and ability of their competitors. The client was also interested in determining the extent of the risks to which the enterprise may be exposed. Also, the client wanted a detailed report on the entry barriers, new opportunities, threats, and competition in the home care products market.

Results- Devised an effective strategy to help the client respond flexibly to varying demand fluctuations in the home care products market.

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The Journey:

The competitive intelligence experts at Infiniti carried out an extensive research comprising of interviews and discussions with leading stakeholders across the home care products market space to help the client improve business efficiency. The experts at Infiniti further compiled information from a wide array of secondary sources such as paid industry databases, company presentations, and industry forums to help the client understand the competitive scenario.

The Solution and the Business Impact:

Infiniti’s competitive intelligence engagement helped the client in improving their decision-making process. Our solutions also enabled the client in understanding the market plans and behavior of their competitors to devise effective business strategies. This engagement also helped the client in responding flexibly to the constant fluctuations in the market. Moreover, the client was able to gather information about its competitors, including the information about new product launches, the competitor’s sales strategy, and their revenue. Such detailed information made it easier for the home care products manufacturer to capitalize on the strengths as well as weaknesses of their peers.

The Future:

With the rapid changes in market dynamics and companies overseeing rapid changes in products and competitors, implementing competitive intelligence has become mandatory for companies across sectors. This can be attributed to globalization, the short span of the product lifecycle, and other such factors. Hence, generating competitive intelligence has become essential to gain a competitive edge in a highly sophisticated business space. Moreover, a well-designed competitive intelligence engagement can help businesses in the strategic planning process, as well as in determining of intent and ability of its competitors. Therefore, those who cautiously anticipate future challenges and opportunities to address them proactively, will be better positioned to succeed in this complex market space.

A must-read case study for strategy specialists and decision makers looking to develop an understanding of the home care products market.


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Keeping up with the Customers: What Retailer Need to Do

retail industry trends

Is there a difference in the way you shop today when compared to probably a decade back? For most of us, the answer would be a definite ‘Yes.’ The retail revolution and technology have together turned the tables for customers, making shopping a more exciting and hassle-free experience. And today’s customers are far from being gullible to retail tactics, a click of a button is all it takes to get all the information that they require about a particular product or a retailer. Also, surging competitive pressure from online as well as offline stores is one of the prominent retail industry trends that is putting immense pressure on retailers to act now and bring in innovations and make room for themselves in the market. Furthermore, trends such as demographic changes, multichannel and mobile commerce, personalized marketing, the distribution revolution, and emerging retail industry trends and models are further expected to have a significant impact on the industry. For  retailers  to cope up with these changes by making the right leaps and bounds in their business, here are some of the things they need to do:IR_Brochure

The era of ‘digital shoppers’

In the US alone, the e-commerce business is growing at an impressive rate of over 18% a year. One of the retail industry trends that have taken the sector by storm is the rise of mobile shopping. Mobile technologies are expected to influence every stage of the customer’s shopping journey — ranging from personalized promotions prompted by geotargeting, in-store research, and price checks, as well as payment capabilities that offer checkout options beyond waiting in line.  Retailers must acknowledge such retail industry trends and identify how they can use mobile technologies to complement the in-store experience for their customers.

Personalized marketing

The best marketing tactic to reach out to a customer is to build a connection and make them feel valued. The good news for retailers is that the consumption of content on digital media is on the rise, which makes targeting personalized content to specific customers easier.  Although mass advertising will not disappear overnight, its influence is undoubtedly waning. Companies in the retail industry can make use of sophisticated algorithms and predictive models that analyze transaction data and retail industry trends to push the right products to the right customers.

Create cost-cutting roadmaps

In this highly competitive market scenario, cost-cutting is the way forward to widen the profit margins. Retailers must address three cost levers: the indirect costs of goods not for resale, direct product costs, and labor costs. By tackling these levers, companies in the retail industry can reduce 20 to 30 % of their costs. Retailers must figure out all those aspects of businesses that are adding to the unnecessary expenses and formulate ways to cut down on them.

Data and analytics for decision making

Retailers today have access to a significant amount of data. Forward-thinking retailers are making use of the available database to facilitate effective decision making. The use of advanced analytics is one of the most promising retail industry trends that will help retail companies in making decisions and offers that are targeted and localized, as well as delivered in real time. It is not just about the marketing, but analytics can help companies create value across the whole business such as tailor assortments at the store level, to anticipate changes in customer traffic patterns, and to determine optimal distribution routes, inventory levels, and allocations.

Revamp assortments and product offerings

There is an ample number of players in the market. Therefore brands must give the consumers a good enough reason to choose them over the competitors. To attain this, companies will need to offer in-depth product expertise and unique product education to the customers that would make them feel that they are deriving more value. Retail enterprises must also develop products and services for specific groups that will drive retail spending.

To know more about how retailers can keep up with the latest retail industry trendsAsk an analyst

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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


Why Is Web Scraping for Brand Monitoring Essential in the Retail Industry?

Modern businesses possess a humongous amount of data – both structured and unstructured. As far as a business is concerned, data plays an instrumental role in driving growth, development, and innovation within the company. But the data that enterprises possess comes handy only if they are structured and the company can derive value from it. This is where web scraping comes into the picture. Web scraping helps in extracting unorganized data and converting them into organized and manageable formats. This is especially useful if your brand is being talked about on multiple platforms or ways (social media, expert forums, comments, etc.), in which case you can set the scraping tool algorithm to fetch only data that contains reference about the brand. As a result, marketIR_Brochureers and business owners can gauge brand sentiment and tweak their marketing campaign to enhance visibility.

How can retailers use web scraping in their business?

Web scraping has been revolutionizing the use of big data in business. The retail industry is one of the most benefited sectors with this tool. Here are some of the applications of web scraping  that retailers can use for brand monitoring :

Determine pricing strategy

The growth in the number of players in the market is resulting in retailers competing hard with one another to stay ahead of the growth curve. Using web scraping techniques, companies can crawl price comparison sites’ pricing data, product descriptions, and images to receive data for comparison, affiliation, or analytics. This gives retailers the opportunity to trade their products at competitive prices and increase profits.

Track online presence

In this digital era, prospective customers research online about a company’s brand value and the products before making a purchase. Hence, it is essential for modern businesses to establish an online presence. Web scraping helps firms to achieve online brand intelligence and monitoring by providing a crystal clear picture of product performance, customer behavior, and interactions.

Detect fraudulent reviews

Product reviews have become a testimony which most customers consider before making a purchase. However, not all the reviews written about a particular product might be authentic. Web scraping helps companies to identify opinion-spamming, thus figuring out fake reviews. It further helps in reviewing, streamlining, or blocking reviews, according to the business needs.

Online reputation management

With social media going mainstream,  the online reputation can either make or break a brand. So, it is vital for businesses to continuously undertake brand monitoring on digital platforms. In web scraping, a web crawler identifies demographic opinions such as age group, gender, sentiments, and geo-location, helping retailers learn about both the impactful as well as vulnerable areas for online reputation management.

Advantages of web scraping for the retail sector 

Web scraping provides some significant benefits to companies in the retail industry  :

  • Provides improved customer insights
  • Helps to monitor competition
  • Allows companies to stay informed about latest comments about the business on social media
  • Mends the communication gap between customers and the brand, thereby improving the consumer satisfaction

To know more about web scraping for brand monitoring in the retail sectorAsk an analyst

4 Hottest Retail Industry Trends to Watch out for in 2018

retail industry trends

The retail industry is one of the most profitable industries in the world, flocking its way through success year on year. All thanks to the never-ending desire for ‘retail therapy’ among customers. The rise of new players in the market has resulted in a radical shift in the mindset of this sector from ‘caveat emptor (buyers beware)’ to ‘caveat venditor (sellers beware).’ Today, retail enterprises have come to terms with the fact that their survival solely depends on their ability to provide innovative offerings to customers and differentiate themselves from the other fishes in the sea. The past few years have witnessed several retail industry trends that have redefined the shopping experience. Advanced retail technology has truly revolutionized the retail industry.
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Top Retail Industry Trends 2018


What is in Store for E-commerce Packaging in 2018?

With each passing year, ecommerce has started swallowing up a significant chunk of the retail market share. Several players in the online retail space have managed to garner customers’ trust and establish themselves in a short span of time. In order maintain this customer base in the future, it is a requisite for companies to ensure that their offerings, right from the packaging of the product to the delivery stage, are streamlined to meet the customers’ expectations. Customers form an impression about a product on the retail shelf through its packaging; this is exactly what the packaging of the goods does for ecommerce companies. Any damaged or frayed packaging could lead to severe dissatisfaction, and loss of trust in the company from the customers. This makes ecommerce packaging solutions one of the critical factors that require serious consideration from online retail platforms. Thinking of ways in which you can make ecommerce packaging solutions more effective for your business? Here are few trends that you can look up to for some packaging inspiration:IR_Brochure

Frustration-free CPEX

The difficult packaging of products could end up putting customers into a wrap rage, especially in situations where they are eager to get their hands on the product ordered. Good ecommerce packaging solutions aim at making unboxing of products a pleasant experience for the customers. Taking this into consideration, popular ecommerce players such as Amazon have introduced frustration-free CPEX (Customer Packaging Experience). This ecommerce packaging solution packs the products into specifically designed frustration-free packaging directly at their facilities. It means that customers will receive the same product that they find on a retail store-shelf, the only difference being it would be in much better packaging.

Unique design features

When a packaging displays unique packaging designs, it elevates the brand in the eyes of the customer. Ecommerce packaging solutions can incorporate uniqueness in packaging either in terms of functionality or decoration. The basic idea is to make the process of receiving the package more exciting for the customers. When customers feel that they are getting more value and a differential experience, their morale towards the company would simultaneously rise.

Big data design optimization

Ecommerce packaging solutions must aim at optimizing packaging infrastructure with storage in mind. This would help the company to gain efficiency in large fulfillment warehouses. A typical example is incorporating RFID tags and barcodes on the packaging, which allows to speed up the process of picking and packing items from the shelves. Ecommerce companies can use packaging analytics data to help increase efficiency at all stages of packaging development.

Personalized packaging

When customers get equally excited and happy about the packaging – you know that you have just raised the bar for good packaging. Personalized packaging is not new to the retail industry; however, they were previously adopted only by luxury brands. But thanks, to personalization software developments, the experience of personalized packaging can be implemented into businesses in an affordable way. Ecommerce packaging solutions that aim at creating a unique experience for customers must consider adopting personalization measures to make the customers feel a connection to the brand. This would eventually enhance the overall experience and delight of the customers.

Sustainable packaging materials

The rising demand for environmental-friendly are attracting more companies to shift to green packaging techniques. These degradable and recyclable materials also make it easier for customers to dispose them. If you are looking to go-green and appeal to customers at the same time, then sustainable packaging is the way forward.

To know more about the trends in ecommerce packaging solutionsAsk an analyst

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Marketing Strategy for a Prominent Specialty Retail Client Helps Improve their Marketing Campaigns

The global retail industry has seen a significant shift in the customer preferences in the recent years. The specialty retail industry focuses on catering to one specific retail market and comprises of products including automotive, specialty stores, and fuel retailing. The industry at large is fragmented and relies on factors such as increasing disposable income, rising consumer spending, and relative growth in the GDP to gain a sustainable growth in the market. Also, a stipulated market growth is showcased by the Asia-Pacific region as it comprises 31% of the global market share. Although the specialty retail market is witnessing a considerable growth owing to the increasing growth of middle-class population, the industry will face challenges due to certain factors including:

  • Changing customer demands: With the latest innovations in the specialty retail space, the consumers’ demands have been changing as they look for convenience in their product offerings. In this digital-era, retaining customers has become a major concern for organizations than acquiring customers. Also, the explosion of social media and mobile devices is creating awareness among the customers about the brands and products they require.
  • Supply chain: Today, the consumers are more informed than ever before and expect impeccable service. To meet the rising demands of the target audience, retailers are coming up with possible ways to minimize the operational cost without comprising the quality of the products offered. In addition, the organizations need to ensure that right products are delivered to the customers at the right time.

To address these challenges and deliver personalized offerings to the relevant target audiences, organizations are in need of a marketing strategy.IR_Brochure

The Business Challenge

  • The Client: Specialty retail firm
  • Area of Engagement: Marketing strategy

A prominent specialty retail client with a considerable number of stores spread globally wanted to refine their marketing models and develop a marketing strategy to attract customers. The client wanted to ensure that the products and services meet the customer demands and develop long-term profitable relationships with the customers. The client wanted to leverage the use of marketing strategy to respond to changes in customer perceptions and demand. The primary concern for the engagement was to identify and communicate the benefits of the business offering to the target market. Through the engagement, the client also wanted to develop a SWOT analysis to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the specialty retail space.

IR- marketing strategy

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The Journey

To compete with sophisticated specialty retailers, the marketing strategy experts at Infiniti carried out extensive interviews and discussions with leading stakeholders in the industry. To deliver personalized brand experiences, Infiniti’s marketing strategy experts also compiled information across a wide array of secondary sources such as paid industry databases, trade shows, company presentations, and industry forums in the retail industry.

The Solution Benefits and the Business Impact

The marketing strategy solution offered by Infiniti helped the specialty retail client develop a marketing campaign that resonates with the target audience. The engagement also helped the client gain actionable insights on the unique selling points and choose the right price for the products and services offered. The engagement also sought ways to position the product in the marketplace and generate better returns on the investment. In addition, the marketing strategy also assisted the client to develop a retail marketing mix to differentiate the products with that of the competitors.

The Future

The future of specialty retail industry will be marked by innovations such as mobile payment solutions. With a considerable number of mobile users, it is estimated that 70 percent of mobile users in the United States will prefer making mobile payments. In addition, on an average, the mobile payment is estimated to account for $500 million by 2020.

A must-read case study for strategy specialists and decision makers looking to develop an understanding of the retail industry 


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