What customers want

Retail strategies have been reactive to customer expectation, but delivering the perfect shopping mission is eroding margins.

Customer Experience, Retail, Omnichannel

Omnichannel-strategies has led to many industries having to react in real-time to customer expectations and none more so than retail. The digital world has seen all retailers pressured to deliver across many channels allowing their shoppers to get any product, on any platform, at any time and delivered in a variety of ways. It has also given shoppers unprecedented transparency to pricing across retailers, meaning that even small changes to pricing can lead to success or failure.

Many retailers now claim to offer personalised assortments and multi-channel fulfilment options such as Click & Collect and same day delivery. The reality is somewhat different and retailers have underestimated, or had a short-term view on how to deliver the ultimate customer experience across all these platforms.

Investment has been made into customer facing technology, with shiny e-commerce sites but these strategies have been knee-jerk to keep a pace with customer expectations and threats of the successful digital retailers. The reactive strategies have resulted in retailers losing competitive advantage, abandoning brand values and forsaking their profitability meaning many have failed to convert their investment into a sustainable retail business.

By promising the customer shopping on their terms retailers have found themselves struggling to keep up with the speed of operations and decisions needed to deliver on their brand promise. There is a clear speed deficit between customer expectations and retail decision making.

Retailers have a great deal of data at their fingertips, from internal data such as historical sales data, to external data on competitors, holidays, weather and trends. Retailers need to learn to use this data with advanced machine learning algorithms to help eradicate the execution gap. My next blog post will tell you a little more about how this can be done.

If you’d like more information on how you can keep pace with your customers, please get in touch.

Matt Hopkins Matt Hopkins

is a Retail Industry Principal at Blue Yonder. Matt has spent over 20 years in the Retail Industry, working in Supply Chain & Merchandising roles before joining JDA, Oracle Retail, Salesforce and SAP in senior leadership roles.