Retailers have always faced continuous challenges of increasing sales, maintaining brand loyalty, and delivering an exceptional customer experience. Today specific challenges outside of their control have forced retailers to get more creative and explore new options to win at the retail game.
Here, we explore just three of those challenges, and some of the strategies that retailers are utilizing to face them.
Staffing shortages = more self service technology in-store.
Whether it’s hiring or retention, the volume has been turned up on the staffing challenges retailers face, especially for temporary seasonal holiday workers. Warehouse jobs are posing competition to retailers for workers – according to Magnit, warehouse pay is 25-45% higher than retail pay nationally, and younger workers with packed schedules are simply opting out of retail work.
To counteract this challenge, brands are turning to in-store self-serve technology to serve customers. Our own experience with PC Richard & Son’s Smart Home technology has allowed customers to explore products without turning to a sales associate. Explore that solution here.
Theft, location challenges, and inventory management = the exploration of new store formats
Loss has always been a part of the retail world, but the rise in retail theft coupled with slower sales can be devastating to retailers. With one survey reporting a 26.5% increase in organized retail crime incidents in 2021, and eight in ten retailers reporting that violence and aggression associated with incidents increased in the past year, this is a challenge retailers can’t ignore. Adding to that, fewer workers are returning to the office, presenting the challenge of the appropriate store formats for Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, and the management of inventory in a world where we are all facing supply chain issues.
To help face this challenge, brands are exploring new store formats including increasing local stores, less showroom/more warehouse formats, store within a store formats, and fulfillment only locations.
A trend towards decrease in consumer loyalty = more customization and personalization
The pandemic forced consumers to explore new ways to shop, and with that, new brands.
It is now a lower bar to get a customer to switch, customers have higher expectations, and loyalty is has new rules.
In a recent survey, 73% of shoppers expected brands to understand their unique needs and expectations. 62% said they not only want but expect personalization, and that a brand that doesn’t offer a personal experience could lose its business (up from 45% in 2021).
Brands are combatting this challenge by using technologies such as AR and customizers.
Take a look at our work with Endless Pools where we enabled customers to select the spa of their choice, customize it, and then view it in their own home location, with the power of Augmented Reality.
We’re here to help you solve your retail challenges. Talk to us today!