Pioneers of new business models, such as Alibaba and Amazon, are launching innovations in rapid succession, such as voice ordering and real-time pricing, whilst also building scale and driving down costs. But they’ve still not got it totally right and need to continue to evolve to win.
More retail purchases are moving online, and a growing number of manufacturers now sell to consumers directly, cutting out retailers and marketplaces entirely. These shifts are happening across almost every retail category – books, entertainment, housewares, clothing, food, financial services, even energy.
Retail businesses need to become channel agnostic and place their relationship with their customers at the heart of their business models. To do this they need to break down silos, build new capabilities, and create the right digital infrastructure to support this.
The retailers left standing are those that figure out how to treat disruption as business-as-usual in an industry accustomed to slow, strategic planning. Today, even heritage retailers are starting to set and deliver selling strategies at the nearly real-time pace set by their online competitors. It’s either adapt to the new environment or step aside and make room for a competitor who can. And for those more innovative companies it is about trying new things, failing fast and winning big to remain relevant.
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