Consumer tech retailers are at an important juncture. The demands placed upon them are varied and significant.
Expectations among consumers vary by region, but include demands for ever more engaging and personalized experiences, simplified purchasing, faster delivery, and the ability to buy from businesses with a clear sense of purpose. At the same time, the competitive and macroeconomic landscape is tough and unforgiving.
The GfK research shows that most retailers globally are targeting important changes to meet these demands. In formats, many are aiming to deliver more seamless, true omnichannel experiences. Others will focus directly on powerful growth areas such as internet marketplaces, experience stores, and new revenue streams such as retail media networks.
To enable these changes, retailers need to invest in their technology and workforces. While artificial intelligence and robotics have yet to win over some retailers, those making advancements are well placed to drive powerful outcomes. These changes will support the new formats and revenue streams, as well as major operational improvements around warehouse automation and inventory management, better pricing and faster delivery.
Workforce investments will also be critical to success. Retailers of all types plan to improve the availability and skillsets of their staff. From the largest to the smallest players, any suchendeavors will empower differentiation across customer service, experiences, efficiency gains and beyond. They will also be critical to enabling technological improvements around AI and ML, robotics, Blockchain, and augmented and virtual reality.
Finally, when it comes to purpose, consumer demand is increasing. However, retailers’ strategic responses vary by region according to their perceived responsibilities and the opportunity for profit. Nonetheless, there is clear scope for retailers in most markets to differentiate their businesses with greener products or delivery, better internal practices, or repair services and second-life sales that increase items’ lifespan.
Just as all these demands rise, market competition is proliferating. This means consumers are increasingly in the driving seat, able to select from a multitude of options. For retailers, responding well and establishing a competitive edge begins with a clear understanding of the changes. They can then invest confidently and correctly.
Omnichannel, online and offline retailers in every region are working with GfK to ensure they understand the tectonic and interconnected shifts happening in formats, technology, operations and purpose. GfK’s unrivaled market intelligence and consulting services enable them to have confidence and clarity as they shape their futures.