From ancient trading methods to the use of smart phones to pay for purchases, commercial exchange has always been big business. The ability for manufacturers and marketeers to reach a wider audience and the flexibility of buying options available to the consumer may have changed dramatically, but the basic fundamentals of buying and selling have always remained the same: products, services and customers.
Although before the pandemic commercial trends continued to evolve, with growing possibilities available to promote, sell and buy online, many physical stores were actually taking a massive hit and being forced into liquidation. Other retailers were transitioning to a purely online presence, to rival solely online brands.
For example, when 2020 store closures hit the UK following Covid restrictions, some 6000 retailers were forced to permanently lock their doors. Further shutdowns continued to rock the industry in 2021, with many companies unable to ride out the destructive wave.
In Sweden, it was the clothing industry which suffered the most as a result of the Covid-19 affect, and the USA also saw its fair share of bankruptcies and closures. However, some experts say that the retail crisis may have come ‘full circle,’ with many new names actually hitting the high-street for the first time last year, potentially saving traditional shopping experiences for many consumers who prefer a face-to-face retail experience.
Furthermore, some companies who previously only operated online, actually dove in and opened pop-up or other physical stores to take their place in the consumer line-up – effectively filling those newly vacated spots.
As a retail manager, I need our stores to survive challenging times and changing trends – how can we remain relevant and competitive?
Given the inconsistency of the pandemic-related outcomes mentioned above, clearly the secret to retail success is the ability to navigate a complex labyrinth of social, economic and environmental factors, along with having the most efficient tools to pull off successful business strategies – not to mention, the ability to adapt to change and confront problems head-on.
Our advice: Data is K.E.Y.
K – KPIs
- The ability to define KPIs and indexes, set targets and real-time outcomes with leaderboards and detailed views, allows for precise performance tracking
E – Engagement
- Communicating with staff beyond legacy systems such as email, encourages increased participation and job satisfaction
- Staff surveys, competitions and campaigns are all great ways to deliver feedback and insights across the entire organisation
Y – Yield
- Leaders armed with the tools to track engagement, performance, and communication, are destined to see results
- Productivity and overall yield will hit new heights – with data continuously accessible from the palm of a hand
Data becomes a fundamental tool in improving and refining the shopping experience, and the detail and precision of data available through monitoring of online and offline shopper behaviour affords businesses invaluable insights into how to improve and streamline both e-commerce and physical retail. – Forbes.
Goalplan’s Super App
Recent talks with prospective customers have uncovered every retailer’s desire to be smarter in their working practice, ensuring strength-based activity and actionable insights.
The past week’s discussions have also heard the corporate aspirations of forward-thinking CEO’s ready to take their digital management to the next level – they’ve requested two things:
- One ‘super app’ to replace an array of tired, inefficient systems
- Centralised information – everything in one place, at all times
The aforementioned ‘detail’ and ‘precision’ are at the heart of our all-in-one platform. Our smart app has many super powers - constantly monitoring data and using embedded analytics to provide ‘invaluable insights’ with actionable outcomes.
A recent interview with one of our clients, Scandinavian Photo, described how managers benefitted from the ‘same view’ using a faster system, creating a well-connected omnichannel for customers enjoying both store and e-commerce outlets. This idea of unifying ‘physical and digital retail’ worlds, is greatly facilitated when managers can access a combined tool to leverage data.
We’d love to hear from you to find out your needs – retail or otherwise. Our growing client base includes a range of industries: banking, education, telecoms and direct sales. Let us know how we can help you here.