Of all the industries that have been disrupted by the rise of the internet and the proliferation of mobile devices, few have grappled with as much change as the retail sector. In addition to building entire e-commerce businesses from scratch, modern retail brands have had to develop new strategies for reaching their customers across a growing list of platforms and channels.
As part of a recent report predicting the year ahead in U.K. retail, Retail Week interviewed 25 industry CEOs on what 2017 has in store for them. Above all else, these leaders proved to be deeply invested in finding new ways to adapt to a rapidly changing retail landscape.
Here are three major steps U.K. retailers are taking to succeed in our omnichannel world:
1. Retailers are devoting major resources to developing a single view of each customer.
Because mobile and e-commerce have grown so quickly, many brands have faced difficulty integrating these emerging business units into existing corporate structures. In its survey, Retail Week found that just 18% of its respondents have tools that give them a single view of the customer and their stock — even though 45% listed this capability as a major priority.
As a result, U.K. retailers are investing heavily in cross-channel data management systems and aggressively recruiting the employees they need to implement them. Since many companies struggle to hire and retain digital talent, several executives said they are working to train existing employees in new skills instead.
2. Brands are reaching customers across a broad range of social networks.
While retailers could once safely assume that one or two media channels would be enough to reach most of their customers, today’s brands live in a world where consumers use an ever-increasing number of digital platforms.
Consequently, U.K. retailers are increasingly focused on mobile communications, with 28% of those surveyed saying they intended to expand their use of social media this year. One CEO, the head of a footwear retailer, even commented that their company’s PR department now targets social influencers alongside newspapers and magazines.
3. Companies are reimagining the role of brick-andmortar stores.
For all the activity that occurs online, many retail CEOs view their physical stores as places to differentiate their brands through in-person customer experiences. In fact, 16% of respondents said they planned to increase in-store customer communication in 2017.
Still, retail locations are expensive to operate. As a result, one CEO said their company will have to reconsider how many stores they should have and where those stores should be located. In order to make these decisions, retailers will need new ways of measuring the value they receive from physical locations — both in terms of in-store sales and the branding benefits that come with in-person customer contact.
Domo helps retailers tap into data like never before. From improving brick-and-mortar performance to building more engaging mobile experiences, retailers are making better decisions that drive business with real-time data insights in a fully integrated platform. Want to know more about how Domo has helped some of the biggest brands? Check out Domo’s retail page for more info.