From storefronts to startups, how are retailers embracing tech to shape the future of business?
In the ever-changing landscape of retail, the mantra “adapt or perish” has never been truer. From traditional bricks-and-mortar storefronts to ecommerce marketplaces, retailers have been recognising the imperative need to embrace technology to survive and thrive in the future of business. The transformation from retailers to tech firms is a defining trend that is shaping the industry, driven by a multitude of factors reshaping the customer landscape.
The Retail Sector in 2024
The retail sector has undergone seismic shifts in recent years, and these changes are not isolated incidents. As highlighted by LinkedIn News UK, the industry experts are emphasising the idea that “Today’s Retailers are Tomorrow’s Tech Firms.” This shift is not merely a choice but a necessity, as retailers grapple with rising costs, softening demand, and the pervasive impact of technology on customer behaviours.
The challenges faced by household retail names underscore the urgency for transformation. Some have succumbed to the pressures, leading to proposed mergers, strategic alliances and the entry of new players into the market. The evolving retail landscape demands adaptability and a willingness to explore areas beyond traditional retail boundaries.
Mark Faithfull, a Retail Journalist, explains, “The very nature of retail requires retailers and brands to constantly reinvent themselves, but the key element to making transformation work is whether the core brand naturally lends itself to any new venture.”
The driving force behind this change is the omnichannel approach that compels retailers to adopt a mindset reminiscent of technology companies.
Parag M. Parekh, Chief Digital Officer at Ingka Group, emphasises that in the digital age, every company must be a tech company to stay relevant. Technology is no longer an option; it’s a fundamental component of modern business operations and strategy.
Are Retailers really listening about their future in Tech?
However, a crucial question remains: Are retailers truly listening to this change? Futureproofing requires a deep understanding of customer data and insights. Without understanding customer preferences and anticipating their future needs, any investment in tech can be a futile gamble, leading to wasted resources and customers.
Retailers need to chase down relevant data. The era of personalisation, advancements in AI, and an ever-expanding metaverse to play with have geometrically increased the amount of data and options confronting retailers. The realchallenge lies in discerning how these technologies solve real problems for customers and how best to apply them.
Leveraging data analytics to enhance customer insights is not only about the present but also a strategic move to identify future trends. The ability to analyse vast amounts of data and apply to real-life challenges can set retailers on the path to success.
Here’s the good news: That’s how we do it with ClarityOmnivue, that delivers true, accurate data that is utilised to create individually customised targeted marketing campaigns that are personalised and relevant to the customer. This greater, personalised approach when connecting with customers engenders trust and a positive digital relationship with the customer whilst at the same time, is compliant with the customer’s privacy settings.
For example, Paul Smith has achieved an average increase of conversation rates of 40% like for like marketing activities compared to previous years.
Embracing a digital, data-driven model is not just about survival; It’s a blueprint for renewed growth and resilience in the face of future uncertainties. Data emerges as the linchpin for successful transformation, serving as a catalyst for positive change and ensuring that products and services align seamlessly with evolving customer needs and behaviours.
Those retailers who embrace this transformation, prioritise data, and navigate the omnichannel landscape will emerge as leaders in the tech-driven future of retail.
Data is more than insights, it’s actionable intelligence. Contact us today.