Why the Retail Industry Needs to Run Lean To Stay Competitive

The retail industry and business condition remain competitive despite economic challenges and lifestyle changes for Australian consumers. With Christmas right around the corner, retailers are likely to experience a slower period due to tighter household spending.

Lifestyle factors such as increasing fuel prices, cost of living expenses, rising mortgage interest rates, low wage growth and a static employment rate will make it difficult for the average household to spend during the holidays.

With consumers digging into their savings or opting for credit cards to support spending activity, retailers accessing their existing or new customer base need to offer more than slashed prices to meet their business bottom line.

Since the Australian economy is fueled by the consumer products and retail industry, decrease in household spending has implications for the economy at large.

The Best Run Lean

Deloitte’s Retailers’ Christmas Survey 2018 show that retailers predict a 10% increase for online sales and expect 90% of their sales during Christmas to be made in brick-and-mortar stores. With many surveyed retailers confident about sales during Christmas, Deloitte suggests this is a direct result of digital investments made last year. For retailers aiming to implement practical solutions to boost sales before the Christmas period, emerging technologies will play a vital role in improving customer experience and ensuring a profitable year.

Organisations need to be as efficient and automated as possible to run lean and adapt to economic shifts. More than ever retailers should focus on optimising their operations early.

Remaining Competitive in a Shifting Economy

While some retailers still operate with legacy software, scalable technologies will be invaluable to the retail industry, especially before the holiday season.

Retrieving real-time customer insights, data analytics, and targeting customers across channels optimises the customer buying journey both in-store and online.

Before this crucial period, retailers considering to digitally transform can look to the automation of manual processes and stock accuracy as aspects to improve both customer and employee experience. The new digital economy is disruptive and combined with less disposable income for the average Australian, retailers should be capitalising on end-to-end systems catering to the segment of one, customer centricity, digital supply chains, allowing for the creation of smart stores, and promoting and monetising new customer offers.

Prepare to Run Lean with Technology

The imminent Christmas period will impact retailers in a shifting economy. Competing in this current environment demonstrates a greater focus on customer centricity. Understanding, personalising, and utilising valuable data insights to enhance customer experience enables retailers to sell products that their customers need while running lean and focusing on the bottom line.

The article was originally published on Linkedin