The retail industry is continuously challenged by the availability of inventory necessary to meet consumer demand and the need to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction across any location or channel. Ensuring the resilience of the supply chain is necessary to have confidence in the retail process, but this requires that business trends and requirements for successful outcomes are considered and acted upon. For retail organizations, a steady focus on digital innovation that moves beyond transformation to modernization is necessary. Ventana Research has identified three key business trends retail industry professionals should address to achieve excellence in business processes and readiness.
One key business trend is optimizing omnichannel shopping. Selling and buying online through commerce and marketplaces is vital for success, but maximizing the potential from physical stores is still important to ensure the consistency of shopping experiences across channels. To increase revenue, retailers must meet customers where they are across all channels and unify the sales approach through direct marketing or advertising. Gaining the attention of consumers must coincide with shopping experiences that ensure product exploration and buying is seamless and satisfactory.
Personalized customer experiences that extend from agent interactions to the product experience itself encourage seamless engagements across digital channels. Customer loyalty does not come automatically and must be earned and rewarded through targeted incentives. Retail professionals should consider whether personalized recommendations that are a result of targeted digital advertising are aligned to the needs of the consumer to encourage loyalty.
Our last highlighted business trend is supply chain transparency. Inventory should be known by and available to consumers and optimized for supply chain planning. Balancing the needs from the supply chain with consideration to sustainability and ESG is essential to meet the higher expectations from consumers and the organization. Effective planning and optimization will help avoid supply chain bottlenecks and ensure fulfillment.
The retail industry is currently working through a significant economic and digital transformation that requires not just innovation but the modernization of processes and technology in how it operates to meet customer expectations. The interconnected aspects of the efficiency in customer interactions, the sustainability in how a retail entity operates works with the workforce that can support its required outcomes. By 2026, three-quarters of retail organizations will engage stakeholders influencing customer experience software buying decisions resulting in greater accountability and better resource allocation.
Retail organizations should assess business process efficiency and organizational readiness to meet the pressures of these economic and industry trends. How retailers adapt and develop a responding sense of urgency will determine whether locations and commerce sites are sustainable, profitable and are in demand by consumers. Ventana Research recommends that retail organizations adapt and transform to be digitally effective in business processes and operations. The risk in not being sustainable, progressive, resilient and ready to meet these trends can significantly impact results across the organization and industry.