Our 2017 Retail Report has found that traditional retail operating models are slowly disappearing. Where the power once lay firmly in the hands of the retailer, the consumer is now the driving force in the relationship. This shift of power, combined with an ever-changing social, demographic, economic and technological landscape, is forcing retailers to get closer to their customers than ever before.
Rather than owning an asset, behaviour has shifted towards more convenient rental agreements, available on-demand and with less commitment. The sharing or ‘peer-to-peer’ economy enables people to rent assets owned by another individual.
Increasing levels of online shopping continue to test retail supply chains. More retailers may need to adopt omni-channel principles in order to thrive. However, we have found many more retailers acknowledging the challenges of becoming an omni-channel retailer.
Given the shifting macro trends, it is no surprise that the customer service bar is constantly being raised by new experiences from across the retail industry and beyond. The key to sustainable profitability is putting the customer at the heart of their operating model, ensuring consistency of offer and service across each and every touch point in the customer journey.
Today’s consumer is changing rapidly but not only due to technologically changes. Experience but also product quality, trust, and ecological concerns are making consumers more aware and more demanding. Retailers must address these drivers, using technology in innovative ways to move towards a sense of belonging that customers are seeking.