The past decade has seen great shifts in consumer behavior enabled by digital tools. In the past year, the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have accelerated many of these changes. Consumers’ immediate reactions to the crisis have caused a dramatic shift to online purchasing and high volatility in demand.
While the business environment rapidly changes, enterprises must leverage different assets to maintain and increase competitive relevancy. Many of the successful players are using technology as a key lever, now more than ever. This report goes beyond mapping technology startups and focuses in on how those technologies address retailers' and consumer brands' needs today.
This year has not typical in any sector, and retail has been one of the most highly impacted. On one hand, worldwide lock-downs to stop the spread of Covid-19 have forced consumers to shop differently and develop new, mainly digital, shopping habits and preferences.
On the other hand, fluctuation in demand and disruption of manufacturing and shipping capabilities have caused instability in supply chains. In some cases, these recent changes have accelerated trends that we have been tracking for years. In other cases, long-term trends have been halted or reversed.
As a brand facing commoditization, you can no longer rely solely on brand value or product qualities. Focus on connecting with consumers. Get to know their product, channel, and service preferences and deliver experience to support your products.
Getting online is necessary for growth but can erode margins, increased spending digital advertising contributes to this. To become more profitable, retailers and brands should focus on increasing conversions on digital assets, reducing costs when fulfilling online orders, and making digital ad spending more efficient.
The physical store can still add value. However, the store will need to play different roles. It can function partially as a fulfillment center, or part of an omni-channel shopping journey by showrooming products. New experiential activities can increase shopper engagement and connection to the brand.
The binary choice between traditional e-commerce and brick and mortal retail does
not meet many consumers’ needs. Alternative shopping, purchase, and fulfillment models should be explored, such as social shopping, buy online pick-up-in store, delivery lockers, subscription models, rentals, and easy returns.
Retailers can win by providing consumer's access to what they want, when they want it, quickly and conveniently. In physical points of sale, this can mean reconfiguring the store and keeping shelves stocked for speedier shopping and check-out. For digital channels, this can mean better search and filtering tools and more flexible delivery options.
Beyond simply producing healthier products, brands can address consumer demands for health and sustainability by finding solutions to make manufacturing and the value chain more sustainable, and then share this information with their customers
Demand planning and supply chain decisions can no longer be based on historical data, but rather must be identified in real-time as the market shifts. Manufacturing and supply chain processes must be flexible enough to respond to unpredicted changes quickly.
Bridging RCP companies’ mega challenges with the most exciting tech advancements have been a focus of our work for years now. The recent evolution of retail experiences and competition has accelerated due to COVID-19 and the future landscape has become an even fiercer environment.
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Original article source: deloitte.com