Future of Retail – I had written about this, some trends and relevancy in 2008 here. It was a feeling of satisfaction to go back and check periodically and see that most of it was true.
With 4 years, many changes in the economy, professional life, egged on by people, I thought of giving it a shot once again. Here goes:
- With the over capacity of Malls in most places, and most Retailers playing a wait & watch game, ‘Partnership’ aka Revenue Sharing will gain momentum, at least for the next 2-3 years.
- Size will continue being relevant. Most retailers would fit into the 2000-5000 carpet and that too trying it at a couple of locations before going whole hog.
- Those who have not used the time to become efficient in the Supply Chain and merchandising area will continue to bleed.
- The last couple of years have been “Sale/Offer” Price wars driven with dates extending longer than advisable. Who will blink? The larger retailers have a planned approach, the mid & smaller trying to ape are just losing money.
- Loyalty programs except a couple, just don’t seem to work and the CRM/Brand managers end up aping the west. The need is to ‘Listen’ to the customers/prospects on a consistent & sustained basis.
- Convenience has become big, particularly with E tailers willing to bleed to acquire customers & there seems to be no game plan to combat this except get on the band wagon.
- “Social Media” the new go to tool for marketers, will continue to fail, unless it is used for the purpose it is designed.
- ‘Analytics’ a word passionately used by everyone, but there is still no decision matrix applied on the results and I see this continuing.
- Advertising will continue it’s growth because it is the easiest to utilize.
- Hiring at the Top will become economical with Deliveries & Goals linked variables; at the middle will remain constant, with processes & systems taking over; will be expensive at the bottom, competing with other industries.
- Consumers will continue to be fickle, demanding with the options and communication available.
Focus, Investment, Evaluation, Mid changes, keeping a constant eye on the bottom line would be the way to go forward.