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.
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Retail industry analysis 2019
Supply 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.
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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