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Lindsey Patterson

5 Ways to Keep up with The Changing Retail Industry

4 min read

The retail landscape has had tremendous changes in the last decade, and the face of the retail industry has changed. The decision-making process by the consumer has transformed thanks to the advent of technology which has changed the luxury shopping focus. Consumers can now use mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones to compare prices from the different retail online stores. Friends and family directly influence the shopping decisions by consumers through instant social media messaging. When a customer has a decision to make the purchase, more and more retailers are willing to deliver the product to the desired destination as an after-sales service. A growing number of retailers is making the delivery to the consumer on the same day that the purchase is made.

 

Retail observers have inferred that these changes may lead to the end of the industry as we know it. Some financial and retail analysts have made predictions that the retail sector is likely to transform in the next decade that it has in the whole of the 20th century. The traditional brick and mortar retail outlets are set to become extinct shortly according to the industry observers. However, it is important to note that just lime in any industry, change is inevitable and retailers have to adapt to these changes for them to survive and thrive. One of the biggest drivers of the transformations that we have seen in the recent past is the change in consumer behavior, tastes, and preferences. With the development of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets and the growth of internet accessibility, consumers now have a wider variety to choose from than ever before.

 

In this article, we are going to highlight the different factors to put into consideration for any retail business to thrive in the current competitive market.

 

Data collection

It is critical for the management of any retailer to have a solid ground to make vital decisions for the business’s future. One of the essential aspects of decision making is the analysis of data collected on consumer needs, competitors and employees. With the advent of the internet, market trends and predictions are easily made from analytics, and retail stores can access this data now more than ever. A retail store can track a consumer since the day they first made contact and record it using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. CRM enables the retail management to track the behavior of the consumer and what they like or dislike without the infringement of laws regarding data protection. With the help of consumer analytics, a retail store can make informed decisions based on the tastes and preferences of the customer. This will, in turn, leads to an improved consumer brand experience.

 

Keeping up with current retail trends

In the business world, there is a famous saying that goes trends end up becoming opportunities. This is also true for retail stores. Retailers can make predictions of what their consumers will prefer to be served in the future just by analyzing the trends in the industry. With such information, the management can adjust to fulfill the consumer's needs and maintain a loyal clientele. Keeping up with the trends will also help a great deal in the ability of a store to venture into new markets both locally and nationally. For instance, in the last five years, online stores have taken the retail market by storm. Retailers who failed to adjust have since struggled to remain relevant or have been driven out of business.

 

Comprehending consumer needs

Customer satisfaction is always the primary objective of any business enterprise. A retailer can use the existing systems and technology to offer the consumer exactly what they want. Consumer loyalty schemes that have been around for a while now can be paired with product information which increases product relevance to the customer. Combining information collected online and what is present in the physical store can lead to customer satisfaction.