Let's set the baseline: Retail has changed, continues to change, and will be in flux for many years to come.
Ok...duh. Been there, heard that. But what exactly is causing the disruption? How is it affecting modern retailers? And what can modern retailers do to adapt to—and even embrace—this seismic shift?
As a growing brand or retailer, you’re keenly aware of the transition that began with the internet age and continues with a constant stream of new technology and concepts. And with the rise of the Millennial generation, there’s been a profound change in consumers’ attitudes and expectations around shopping. This, coupled with the abundance of inexpensive, readily available merchandise from around the globe, means you’ve got disruptions at every turn.
Here are ten ways retail has changed forever:
1. Consumers are buying more online for price, convenience, choice and habit.
2. Consumers are brand savvy, yet less brand loyal than ever.
3. Consumers often know as much or more than sales associates.
4. Consumers expect a seamless omnichannel shopping experience.
5. Consumers expect personalized and relevant interactions with brands.
6. Consumers like to engage directly with brands on social media.
7. Consumers trust reviews and opinions more than ever.
8. Consumers expect brands to be optimized for mobility.
9. Consumers demand security, speed and ease at checkout.
10. Consumers want immediate gratification.
Whew! Sure sounds like consumers expect a lot now, huh? With the retail cycle moving 3-4 times faster than prior decades, it’s critical that retailers remain agile and proactive in order to compete for market share. The good news is there has been a lot of positive change of retailers as well:
• Cloud computing means retailers can access store data anytime, anywhere.
• Retailers can now inexpensively deliver personalized communications at scale.
• Retail technology solutions are more affordable and abundant than ever.
• Shifts in retail real estate trends have opened up new cost-effective options.
• Retailers can stay in front of customers 24/7 with mobile technology.
• Advertising costs have declined substantially with the advent of social media.
• Social media makes it easier to source and find unique products.
“The customer experience is the next competitive battleground." ~ Jerry Gregoire, CIO, Dell
Retailers who embrace these changes by shifting to an agile mindset, embracing technology, and focusing obsessively on the customer are thriving and growing, despite the headwinds. Choosing POS software that acts as a hub and provides the data-driven insight for strategic decisions is imperative. But equally important in boosting retail sales performance is the attention you pay to how you hire, train, sell, report and engage. Download our free Retail Sales/POS Report to get valuable tips and techniques from the experts necessary to sell more and thrive!
Topics: Business of Retail