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A Window of Opportunity to Win Customers in Central Europe’s Retail Sector

Retail sector

Central Europe’s retail sector: An overview

Central Europe is a highly value-oriented market where consumers strive to find new ways to stretch their budget without having to compromise on quality. Consumers in this market are constantly on the lookout for the best deals that both online and offline channels in the retail sector have to offer. In fact, in most Central European countries, promotions are becoming relatively commonplace. However, for companies in the region’s retail sector, winning consumers does not only mean merely offering mediocre-quality products at entry-level prices.

The most successful retail sector companies in Central Europe are those that are successful in finding ways to provide added value while keeping prices low. This can be achieved by improving product quality, offering a larger assortment, or providing a seamless and satisfying customer experience. Although the region is going through a phase of financial insecurity due to recent recession, this does not mean that only inexpensive products attract Central Europeans. As consumers in Central Europe are increasingly becoming omnichannel shoppers, they are educating themselves more on price and on product features. Companies in the CPG and retail sector must, therefore, ensure a consistent, value-oriented presence across channels establish a brand value for themselves in the future of retail in Central Europe. In addition, they must also act on some key priorities.

Consumers in Central Europe are in the search for the best value-for-money deals. Is your business prepared to meet the changing demands of consumers in this market? Request a free proposal to learn how our advanced market intelligence solutions can help your organization effectively tap market opportunities and stay ahead of the curve.

retail sectorInvest in ‘value for money’ brands

CPG and retail sector companies are rapidly offering higher quality or even premium products at mainstream price points. Private labels have become one of the most popular retail industry trends with several retail sector companies launching premium quality private label products and heavily investing in their advertisements. Advertisements can be used as a source to communicate emotional cues to consumers in order to make private labels an everyday household name while promoting the idea of value for money.

Expanding assortments

Companies in Central Europe’s retail industry are providing broader assortments in products to appeal better to consumes. Grocers, for instance, are providing variants including vegetarian, organic, and vegan products. Following this trend will be especially useful for fresh food and prepared meals categories. Retail sector companies can also experiment with introducing newer store formats by expanding their offerings in fresh produce, ready-to-eat meals, and grab-and-go snacks.

Wonder how you can achieve consistency and successfully adopt a value-oriented approach to win over consumer trust and loyalty? Get in touch with our experts for more insights on how we help clients across the globe to effectively achieve their business goals.

Digital technology to enhance CX

Retail sector companies and CPG manufacturers alike are investing in technology to enhance their omnichannel presence. Hypermarkets are incorporating more digital technology into their stores to help shoppers explore broader online assortments. They can also incorporate the use of digital kiosk that suggests specific items, depending on the occasion, food pairings, or customer preferences. These efforts will drive customer loyalty and offer a superior customer experience.

Final thoughts

Consumers in Central Europe are a new breed of shopper. They remember the past, were affected by the recession and are quickly trying to embrace a technological revolution. Consumers in this market are characterized by their nature to seek value for money, are extremely demanding, and expect superior technology and customer experience while shopping. As Central European consumers now have much higher expectations of retail sector and CPG companies, both offline and online, companies in the region have little choice but to innovate constantly across channels. Several have risen to the challenge; the rest should act soon or risk losing out to agile competitors.

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Retail customer intelligence

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

omnichannel strategy

Creating an Ideal Omnichannel Strategy: What Businesses Must Know

What is an omnichannel strategy?

The consumer path to purchase is no longer linear. Instead, their shopping journey has many touchpoints, both online and offline. An omnichannel strategy refers to an approach to sales that seeks to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience across various channels. Today, it has become increasingly important for businesses to operate on both online and offline channels in order to gain a better foothold in the market and to prevent themselves from losing out on important local sales leads. The bottom-line result of such a strategy is immense, as businesses that provide an omnichannel experience achieve greater annual customer retention rate, compared to companies without an omnichannel strategy.

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How to create an effective omnichannel strategy

omnichannel strategyOmni channel retailing is a great way for companies to enhance their customer experience and promote better business growth. Modern customers rarely depend on only one channel (online or offline) to make a purchase. They tend to shift between both these channels. This makes it vital for brands to ensure that they invest in an omnichannel strategy for their business. Experts at Infiniti have curated some key steps involved in creating an excellent omnichannel strategy:

Discover where the audience is

A company’s omnichannel strategy should begin with a clear idea as to where their customers are. Companies must identify which platform their customers frequent and the medium/devices that they use the most. The goal here is to have a clear idea as to where the target customers hang out, and where they normally shop.

Convert touchpoints

Converting all the touchpoints into shoppable ones is the key to omnichannel strategy. Taking care that customer has a memorable shopping experience irrespective of how they shop is the key here. Identify what other channels can be leveraged other than the offline and online stores to garner sales. For instance, several brands are now using social media channels such as Instagram and Facebook to engage with customers and even lets them shop through these channels.

Ensure smooth transition

Brands that have both online and offline presence must bridge any gaps that exist between the two channels. The ultimate goal here is to ensure a smooth transition between transactions occurring on both channels. For example, customers can be allowed to place their orders online, and then pick them up at the brick-and-mortar store of the company. This will ensure an enhanced customer experience as customers can save a lot of time.

Keeping up with the changing customer demands can prove to be challenging. Request a free proposal to know how we can help you stay updated with the market trends and build agile strategies to meet the changing demands.

Omnichannel strategy vs multichannel strategy

Multi-channel and omnichannel strategy, though quite similar, aren’t exactly the same thing. So, what is the difference, and what is its importance to retailers?

Earlier, multi-channel selling in retail took two forms:  in-store and mail-order catalogs. However, a multichannel strategy in retail now takes several forms including brick and mortar, pop-ups, catalogs, telephone, online store, social media, mobile apps, and third-party online marketplaces. Multi-channel retailing strategy involves selling to customers through both traditional offline outlets like brick-and-mortar locations as well as online outlets.

Omnichannel strategy, on the other hand, includes more than just the transactional channels, it refers to every interaction and touchpoint customers have with your brand. Omnichannel strategy in retailing is a more holistic approach to understanding how all of the various entities, interactions, and transactions work together to create a singular experience.

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CPG industry

Trends That Will Shape the Consumer-Packaged Goods Industry in the next Decade

Looking back, there has been tremendous and thrilling growth in the global consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. Top companies in the CPG industry have been successful in launching innovative products to meet an ever-growing array of customer needs and desires. Furthermore, we have also witnessed these companies rapidly expanding into the burgeoning consumer markets of the developing world. Making this breakneck growth was only possible and profitable through aggressively building global scale along every part of the value chain. Strategies including increased margins and weighting of portfolios toward fast-growing categories in the CPG industry have delivered stellar shareholder returns.

However, over the next decade, the CPG industry can expect tremendous changes due to the upheavals in global consumer and supply markets. For instance, Asia is expected to take over the West as the main consumer market, which means that companies in the CPG industry will be expected to display new levels of value and innovation. In this article, we profile some of the potential future CPG industry trends that will have a significant impact on the competitive advantage of companies operating in this sector.

The upheavals in global consumer, retail, and supply markets over the coming decade threaten to wreak havoc on established business models and marketing approaches. Request a free brochure to know how our solutions can help you stay prepared.

Global CPG industry Trends

CPG industryNew consumers in emerging markets

In the years to come, the growth of emerging markets will continue to outstrip the growth of the developed world, and that too by a wider margin. Emerging countries in Asia including China, India, and Indonesia currently have a significant share of growth in the global CPG market. This share is expected to show a rise over the next decade. As a result, the global middle class will expand dramatically. However, it would prove highly challenging for players in the CPG industry to meet the demands of these customer groups. Success in winning over these customers will require adequate market segmentation and innovation to meet their needs.

Rise of the digital consumer

Technology has undoubtedly played a major role in the growth of the CPG industry. It will be truly disruptive in the coming decade. Companies in the CPG industry will face some major strategic questions in identifying how to win in this new digital world —including how to build a successful business through online retail channels, how to build brands and categories in a socially networked world. They would also need to gain a better understanding of how to exploit technology-driven opportunities to understand consumers more deeply and connect with them more often.

Request a free proposal to learn more on the changing trends in the global consumer packaged goods market and how we can help you formulate strategies to meet the changing consumer expectations.

Shift to value

A recent study by the experts at Infiniti Research suggests that over 50 percent of consumers in the US have been driven by the financial crisis to seek more value offerings. This shift can have a major implication on the consumer packaged goods industry’s profit formula. Much worse, it could even erode the pricing power of brands. Companies are employing a variety of strategies to address such CPG industry trends. Some brands are rationalizing their price lists to help retailers control SKU proliferation. Others are even riding the shift to value by running joint promotions with private-label brands in adjacent categories.

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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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Market Intelligence

Into the Future of Retail: What Shopping in the next Decade Will Look Like

Given retail’s steady migration to platforms other than brick and mortar, and the latest advancements in retail trends, it looks like the future of retail is all set to drop a bombshell of tech trends. These promising technological innovations will turn the tables for the customers’ ease of shopping and revolutionize their entire shopping experience. The consumer retail trends are already fast-changing and are prompting several retailers to quickly tap the changing needs and act accordingly. Furthermore, the retail sector is going through a fundamental change as players in this sector are identifying new ways to use data and intelligence.Get More Info

What does the future of retail look like?

The retail industry is evolving at an accelerated rate as a result of the proliferation of technologies and dynamic consumer behavior. Here’s a roundup of what the future of retail will look like in the next decade:

AR powered shopping decisions

Ever walked into a furniture store and imagined how a particular piece of furniture would look like in your house? Well with technology like AR and VR defining the future of retail, you wouldn’t have to leave things to your imagination anymore. In fact, augmented reality (AR) helps you use a smart mirror or screen to visualize the piece of furniture in the store in the room where you want to put it in your house. This advanced technology will also enable customers to see how clothes would look on them without having to actually do multiple trials of garments.cta ir

Personalized store experience

Retailers are now contemplating ways to use IoT devices, beacons, and mobile apps to provide users with a more personalized experience. These devices will be used to recommend and help customers to find the products that would best suit their needs and taste. This is one of the retail trends that are sure-shot at garnering increased customer loyalty and satisfaction. The use of such devices will be an essential part of the future of retail.

Robots to restock shelves

Prompt restocking is one of the major issues that retailers face as it becomes difficult to continuously monitor retail shelves, especially in the case of big retail stores. The future of retail is determined to eliminate such problems with the retail trends such as the use of robots. These robots roll through the aisles checking for misplaced items and empty shelf space. They then alert employees to order more. These robots will also make the future of retail more relaxed and easier for both the retailers and the customers.  Contact US

Goodbye long checkout lines

Don’t we all just hate waiting in long checkout lines to get to the billing counter? Guess what, the future of retail is about revamping these hardships for customers. In-store cameras work with AI to scan the customers’ cart and automatically charge their respective account directly. This completely eliminates the requirement for customers to stand and wait for their turn to reach the billing counter. Amazon Go has already adopted such retail trends into their operations, which helps customers to skip the checkout line.

Ultra-fast delivery

Retail trends are gradually shifting from the two-day delivery norm to same day delivery. This trend is expected to soon become a standard norm in the future of retail. With ample of options available in the market, modern customers are in no mood to wait several days to get their packages delivered to them. In fact, research suggests that in the next decade, most customers would prefer to opt out of services that do not provide them with same-day delivery options.

More number of smaller format stores

If you thought that small format stores would soon be a thing of the past, you might have to give that idea a second thought. In fact, small format stores are expected to be a prominent trend in the future of retail. Many retailers are now inclining towards an inverse approach to becoming smaller in size and cater to niche customers rather than trying to compete with the large Ask An Analyst_IRcatalog of online retailers and endless aisles of big format stores. Retailers can easily target young, affluent city dwellers with small format stores in downtown locations.

Tapping into the millennial mentality

The future of retail will greatly revolve around the tastes and preferences of the millennial crowd. A general trait observed in millennials is the increased brand loyalty and belief in virtues such as transparency, authenticity, and social responsibility. These virtues are rapidly becoming a norm in the retail industry and will soon become a non-negotiable. Young consumers want to know everything about the products that they purchase. So, brands that are genuine, down-to-earth, and honest in their communication will stay in the game.

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Connected Car Technology

Top KPI Metrics to Squeeze More Dollars From Your Retail Store

For a long time, retail stores have been using pretty straightforward KPI metrics to measure their performance. The performance was usually measured in terms of physical transactions, including costs, margins, stock turnover, and like-for-like sales. Such KPI metrics typically omit the customer relationship side of the business or individual segment potential. At a time when the retail industry is highly competitive, they have to look at various facets of their operations to improve themselves and deliver superior results. So what are the top KPI metrics retail stores shouldIR_Brochure focus on to improve their productivity?

Sale per square foot

Total sales/total surface area in sq.ft.

Real estate expenses are one of the most significant spend areas for retail stores. Retail stores usually pay out large sums of money for the lease, rent, or purchase of prime real estate locations. Thereby, it is crucial for them to generate maximum revenue from the available space. Sale per square foot is an essential retail KPI as it can benchmark performance of small retail stores against larger ones. Additionally, the metrics also tells a lot about the effectiveness of the store layout and the performance of the sales personnel.

Average customer spend

Total sales/number of transactions

One of the most obvious goals of a retail store is to get customers to spend more. Average customer spend calculates the average amount customers are spending during each purchase. Average number of units per transaction (UPT) is another form of this KPI metrics. These metrics depend on the type of retail stores as customers’ spend will be higher in an electronics store, whereas UPT will be higher in grocery stores. Average customer spend can be helpful for retailers to segment their customers in order to plan their sales and marketing efforts accordingly.

Conversion rate

(total transactions/total shopper traffic) *100%

The conversion rate is a simple metrics which calculates how many visitors have been converted into a shopper. For data capturing purpose, sensors from the door counter can keep track of total number of visitors and number of transactions can be retrieved from the POS system. Analyzing conversion rates can provide insights into staffing requirements and promotional efficiency. Retailers can gauge their promotional campaigns based on the conversion rate. A low conversion rate usually signifies poor marketing effort or inadequate performance from sales associates.

Year over year (YoY) percentage change in sales

((sales for time period this year/sales for time period last year)-1) *100%

Financial goal or wealth maximization is the goal of every business in existence. The same holds true for retail stores as well, since retailers measure year over year percentage change in sales to assess the growth rate. However, retailers should be careful while using this KPI metrics for performance measurement as it does not take into account shopper behavior changes, economic fluctuations, or other external factors.

Sell through rate

Number of units sold (time period)/starting on-hand inventory for the period

Sell through rate is the ratio between the number of units sold in a particular period and the starting on-hand inventory for that period. This KPI metrics gives an overview of the amount of inventory a retail store is able to sell in a given period. A higher sell-through rate indicates better performance as the retailer is able to sell most of its stock and maintain an optimum level of inventory. Sell through rate becomes even more critical for seasonal merchandizes as retailers want to sell most of the stock before the season ends.

Year over year (YoY) percent change in shopper traffic by time period

((traffic for time period this year/traffic for time period last year)-1) *100%

YoY change in shopper traffic provides an insight into the reasons why shopper traffic is fluctuating. For instance, a positive change in the local economy can steer shoppers towards the retail store. Additionally, it can also help retailers plan inventory and sales personnel to cater to the demand of the changing shopper traffic.

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Related posts

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


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