At the beginning of every new calendar year there appears a slew of articles full of predictions about what the Retail domain will have to contend with in the coming twelve months, together with prophecies and expectations of technical trends and challenges.
There will sometimes appear a left-field outlier of a suggestion amongst the lists, but in general they tend to concur with wider, more deeply understood technical trajectories of the most popular themes.
In recent weeks I have been engaged on customer assignments where the holistic value of an all-encompassing approach to systems integration truly demonstrates the business benefits of omnichannel. With multiple streams of purchase opportunity and associated sales fulfillment retailers need to take account of how, precisely, their omnichannel strategies not only execute operationally, but also to better understand what the data being generated by each stream can contribute to the ‘bigger picture’ of customer insight.
With the festive season well behind us, we are now in a period where retailers are announcing financial results. They are advising the waiting world of how well (or otherwise…) they’ve performed in this vital part of the trading year.
The Retail sector has often been an innovator. Take the digitisation of product data through the use of barcodes. Prosaic little graphics which we all simply take for granted today, Retail barcode usage began in the mid 1970’s and revolutionised many aspects of how goods were manufactured, dispatched, tracked and sold.
Customer centricity is a trending topic for many industries. Market analysts view this as being critical to ensuring business survival and not just an approach to achieve some competitive advantage. But what is true customer centricity and what makes one business more customer-centric than another? The answer to this hinges on the extent to which a retailer has aligned its business model and operations to the wants and needs of the consumer.
Reducing store staff to decrease costs might be the instinctive response of many retailers in the light of the recent directive to introduce the national living wage. However; this could be counterproductive says Dan Murphy from management consultancy, Kurt Salmon; in a recent RetailWeek article.
Our retail trend for May is not a new or innovative idea. Rather, it is an evolution of the oldest and most common retail focus – thinking more like the customer. Except that today, multi-channel customer engagement requires different thinking. It necessitates strategies to gather customer insight based upon their random purchasing patterns. These consumers demand a seamless shopping experience, proving difficult to pigeon-hole into traditional demographic buying groups.
It’s interesting when the untraditional take on the very traditional retail sector keeps repeating itself with aplomb. Throughout 2016 we’ve been identifying and publishing key retail tech trends on our retail blog. We’ve observed several themes repeat themselves month on month. Nevertheless, the opportunity to gain competitive advantage through the use of trending technologies has catapulted this industry into the limelight.
An early Easter a shorter than usual period between the Christmas trading rush and the traditional start of spring here in the northern hemisphere. And, once again we’ve been monitoring the latest trends in Retail technology and highlighting what has gained the most momentum over the past month. So, here goes: