A turbulent backdrop has framed the retail sector for some time now. A week rarely goes by without news that a much loved retailer announces store closures, profit warnings or in some cases, liquidation. Of course this isn’t the first time that retailers have had to weather storms and if we can learn anything from those times it is that those that adapt, invest and innovate will be the ones who come out on top. The supply chain is one such area brimming with opportunity for retailers to take advantage of and amidst the bleak headlines, there have been some real winners and success stories.
Here, our Business and Client Development Director, Caroline Ellis, and Commercial Director, Ben Balfour, take a look at what’s driving the future of retail and how retailers can use their supply chains as a competitive advantage.
“CVAs and profit warnings are increasingly becoming a familiar part of the retail landscape, however, whilst some are dipping into the red, for others profits are soaring. The best performing retailers are innovating and disrupting with a firm focus on the future. Typically these are pureplay online retailers or those offering a truly multichannel experience and are therefore maximising sales opportunities and brand awareness.
“Consumers want a more convenient approach to shopping. It’s got to work for them; whether that be in store or online with a click and collect model. Consumers are demanding choice and speed. For retailers, it’s a race of who can get there first while remaining profitable.”
“The development and delivery of supply chain solutions to meet these sophisticated customer expectations around experience and convenience is fundamental for retailers. Solutions must put retailers at the forefront of innovation in e-commerce, harnessing new opportunities offered by the IoT and big data to deliver an enhanced experience, boost sales and create a smarter supply chain.
“It’s about speed to market, reducing touch points and having products available on retail platforms as quickly as possible to maximise profitability and repeat sales. The consumer expects speed and convenience, as do retail customers. Having an agile supply chain partner with the ability to provide full visibility of a product throughout its end to end journey is key.
“New technology is reshaping the industry at an incredible pace and innovation should be focused on improving speed to market, accuracy and reduce costs. It’s about streamlining the process, removing complexities, providing visibility and enhancing operational efficiencies with technology.”