The role of the physical store is changing and the retailers that do not evolve with the times will lose. The retailers and brands that are winning are those who are transforming their stores into experiential spaces and are using technology to remove friction from in-store processes to collect valuable customer insights. Curation will also be a key winning strategy, and the most effective merchandise assortments will be the fruit of great partnerships and sharing of data, which will ensure that store assortments bring value and convenience to the customer. Learn from those whose bricks are geared up to survive the next wave of the digital revolution.
More and more businesses are partnering to leverage expertise and gain competitive advantage together. To win a piece of the pie, it is necessary to know what to build in house, what to buy, where and how to partner and then how to manage these partnerships, specifically with data transparency, all with the end goal of creating something useful for the customer.
As consumers demand more sustainable and traceable products, they will develop loyalties with retailers and brands that demonstrate strong credentials. It is more important than ever for brands and retailers to develop more purpose-driven strategies, and to design products and services for societal and environmental good that not only impact the bottom line, but foster shopper loyalty too. Having a purposeful, authentic mission through responsible practices is integral to staying ahead of your competitors.
To win in the digital age, retailers and brands must transform their workforce for the new era of retail. At times of great change, protecting the culture of your organisation becomes increasingly important, as does creating a workforce that can sustain energy and resilience. Another challenge is the war for top tech talent, which is fierce across the entire spectrum of the retail ecosystem. No matter who you are, you need the top tech talent to crush your competitors. Attracting the top tech talent and embedding a digital-first approach in your organisation will be key to winning.
Ownership of the traditional consumer-retailer relationship has fundamentally shifted. The retailers that will succeed will be those who are able to deeply understand their customer, exceed their expectations, adapt quickly to change, and become truly customer-centric by placing their customer at the heart of everything they do. Being able to democratise and weaponise your data, and using AI and machine learning where needed, is a necessary foundation for this and done properly, will be a game-changer. Businesses armed with the right data skills and understanding will win because they will be equipped with the knowledge necessary to understand their customers, make smarter decisions and provide better customer experiences.