Retail is continuing to struggle with changes accelerated by Covid-19. The ability to embrace and adapt to the rapidly changing industry will determine the winners.

Here are some of the struggles retailers face today:

Omnichannel approach:

By now, we’re all aware of the omnichannel journey customers go through when shopping. From discovery to transaction, the journey can start and end anywhere from online, offline, social media and more.

85% of shoppers have said Covid-19 has impacted their shopping behaviour, and it continues to change as consumers’ lifestyle shifts, technology advances, and new trends develop. Therefore, it’s important for retailers to use these changes as opportunities to create loyal customers.

Having multiple shopping channels gives retailers access to a broader audience. The key to success is providing this audience a great experience and seamless transition between these channels.

Maintaining customer loyalty:

Customer loyalty is at an all-time low with 75% of consumers trying new brands since the outbreak of Covid-19.

Personalisation has the biggest impact on customer loyalty. Traditional customer loyalty programs such as special offers and promotions are still effective but consumers expect them to be much more personalised. They want to feel valued and understood as individuals.

Harness data to understand consumers’ buying behaviour, their journey, needs, interests etc. The more you know your customer, the better you can target them with more personalised content.

Technology:

There is an overwhelming amount of technology out there to help retailers streamline and scale up their businesses: RFID, POS, Smart checkout to name a few.

Take the time to try out different products to choose the best software for your business to simplify processes, collect customer data, and improve efficiency. It should contribute to your bottom line, not increase costs.

Marketing:

A multichannel marketing strategy is one of the most effective ways to engage savvy consumers. Many methods such as email, social media adds, and posters, can help businesses improve brand awareness. However, they must all tie together in a meaningful way, distributing timely messages.

Consumers also want personalised marketing. So, retailers need to use data on previous purchases, engagement levels, and consumer needs to send out personalised promotions and marketing materials.

Inefficient marketing efforts to engage consumers will most likely result to consumers unsubscribing from email lists, removing push notifications, and seeking out competitors.

Employees:

Employees are huge assets to retailers. They are brand advocates, they engage customers, and solve problems creatively in a way machines can never do.

However, only 17% of retail managers believe their employees are motivated and engaged. On top of that, retail continues to face high turnover, leaving businesses with untrained staff.

Retailers must quickly solve this problem. One easy way is to replace large handbooks with mobile learning solutions, taught in quick bites. This will make learning more accessible and less tedious.

The business must also take responsibility for inspiring staff and guiding them through a clear career pathway.

With this, retailers will find lower turnover and happier staff, who will perform better in their roles.

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