Ella North and Ed Richardson Industry & Commerce, Technology, Business change...
In an age of market saturation and falling customer loyalty, retailers are focussed on the holy grail of customer attraction and retention. Companies are focussing on how to use AI to effect this. As a result, retailing today is all about truly understanding the customer – placing them at the centre of a retail proposition and building the core components of differentiation, assortment availability and service, based around customer data that will drive any retail business.
Omnichannel and online retail will continue to be driving forces this year and we are moving towards a world of ‘retailment’, where retail outlets are not purely about retail but about experience too. For instance, putting coffee shops into stores to enhance the customer experience. It is the smaller more agile companies that will initially win out as it is far easier for them to adapt rapidly to the changing consumer wants.
As digitalisation continues apace, stores will move more and more to becoming literally just a shop window; showrooms where the customer chooses a purchase which is then sent from the distribution centre straight to the customer’s home. The wholesale companies like ASOS are currently better set up to take advantage of this trend and again the conventional retailers are going to have to work hard this year to keep up.
Other 2018 Market Updates: