Retail remains a hot topic in the global market. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of retail (or, at the very least, accelerated several trends many industry experts were already seeing) in an unpredictable and extraordinary manner. As the business world looks to return to a more normal state (though it remains to be seen if there will ever be a return to what was previously deemed as “normal”) there are several key topics being discussed around the state of retail.
Following on from the recent NRF (National Retail Federation) event in New York, dubbed ‘Retail’s Big Show’ and which focused on the idea of acceleration, we explore the three key retail topics that emerged from the show.
Unsurprisingly, the principal topic of the event was around Supply Chain and the challenges currently impacting the whole retail industry. With Supply Chain moving center stage, retailers are debating how it is influencing the way they sell and how they operate.
Coming from these conversations is the realization from retail businesses that greater visibility within the business is critical to overcoming the most common and challenging Supply Chain barriers. With established end-to-end visibility in place – delivered critically through an effective Decision-Making Platform – retailers can operate with more speed, greater efficiency, and enhanced data to guide decision-making initiatives and shift from reactive operations to something wholly more proactive.
We fully expect the conversation around Supply Chain to continue indefinitely into the future. You can further explore the topics and insights being discussed by Board subject experts in our blog.
As the role of technology in all the major enterprises is shifting from executors to business partners and enablers, there is increased competition to find and retain talent. This is especially true in a world where it is easier to access the job market with reduced constraints driven by remote working and changing regulations.
For retailers, this is no different. Operations teams are working in physically isolated roles, and there is a growing reliance on technology and digital platforms to ensure everyone remains connected. Additionally, workers are expecting to stay remotely based with many doubting that a full-time return to the office will be in their best interests.
Retailers and their HR teams must consider how best to effectively manage the modern workforce, with the right technology at the foundation of how to accomplish this.
The retail world is now customer-centric. Access to products and retailers is far more convoluted following the pandemic. Customers are shopping digitally now more than ever with the flurry lockdowns and forced closures of many bricks and mortar stores.
Customers, as a result, are more empowered to choose, with the ability (and often a reliance) to research products based on peer-to-peer reviews. This is having a huge impact on retailers and the way they market, the channels they choose, and their fidelity strategies. Retailers need to embrace change and appreciate the importance of the consumer is at the core of operations going forward.
Underpinning each of the topics above is one major theme – data-driven technology. Retailers must begin the process of adopting powerful data solutions if they are to adapt to the challenges and changes proliferating the market right now.
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