2014 Market Update - Retail


Alex Bigland Industry & Commerce, Market Update

We all know that nothing slows down in the retail world in the run up to Christmas and this year has been no exception. Technology changes are in full flow, with many more projects in the pipeline for the new year. The focus for retailers is firmly on creating a true multi-channel experience for their customers and we have been busy helping them grow their E-Commerce teams.

Multi-channel (or “omni-channel”, depending on your preference) affects all departments and creating the right strategy means acquiring the people who understand the implications of wide-reaching change projects.  Many retailers are upgrading their legacy systems to cope with the demands of multi-channel and this means the best Business Analysts are needed to translate business requirements into functional specifications.

The Black Friday extravaganza exposed the limits of some retailers’ websites, whilst those who had already invested in digital transformation managed to weather the storm and have enjoyed record profit this quarter as a result. Consumers now expect a seamless experience from a website, to a mobile App, to going into a bricks and mortar store. With this comes the expectation of fast deliveries, next day Click and Collect options and being able to track where items are in the supply chain. Project Managers who understand these challenges have been key to transforming multi-channel strategy, such as re-platforming websites and putting MPOS into stores to improve customer experience.

The growth of digital within retail also means that there is now a wealth of consumer data available to retailers. Knowing how to use this data effectively to market their products and target customers in the right way is hot on the agenda for 2015. People who understand CRM strategy and BI analytics can transform a business’ efficiency and add significant value. Retailers are realising that it’s not enough just to gather data but they need to improve how they use it.

Finally, we’ve been working with global retailers who are looking to standardise their processes in their offices across the world. Some of them have focused on implementing a standard SAP system for all of their head offices, whilst others have looked to create a shared service for their IT, Finance or HR functions to improve efficiency and cut costs. We’ve been providing Transition Leads and Process Analysts who are key to creating roadmaps and process improvement recommendations for these global-scale change projects.

2015 is set to be an exciting year for the retail world. The big players are already investing heavily in digital transformation but some of the most innovative and creative ideas are coming out of smaller retailers who are moving very quickly to keep up with consumer demands. Here at Venquis, we will be here to provide the best change & transformation professionals to support all of these rapidly growing teams. We’re passionate about change within retail and look forward to keeping pace with all of the projects taking off in Q1.