The Importance of Being a Forward Thinker in Retail

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You’ve undoubtedly heard that it’s a good thing to think outside the box. But what exactly does that mean, and how can it save your business the test of time?

In layman’s terms, thinking outside the box simply means to be innovative. Managing to think differently to your counterparts will ensure that you and your business stay ahead of the curve. As a

retailer, here’s why you need to think outside the box and how it can help you stay ahead of your competition

Changing Technologies

Technology has already transformed the retail industry beyond recognition – now, almost every customer is an online customer, from your teenage child to your aging parents. The end-to-end customer journey now includes online research and product comparison, and complaining about a product or service is as easy and public as sending a tweet or Facebook comment, prompting immediate action before reputational damage occurs. Where once businesses compete on price and availability, they now compete for search engine rankings and five-star customer reviews.

 

Increased Customer Expectation

The latest figures from Ovum’s global research into omni-channel customer engagement show businesses appear to be going backward in meeting customer expectations, despite efforts to move forward.

What is required is a massive cultural shift to center the organization on the customer and to deliver relevance throughout every customer journey. That requires more than the 360-degree transactional view of the customer; it demands contextual intelligence to really understand what customers are trying to achieve and the ability to support them every step of the way.

 

Competition

The threat from online competitors is leading more traditional retailers to consider embracing even seemingly outlandish technologies. This has now become a compulsion rather than a decision. If retailers don’t change with the times then they will be left behind and become outdated. Tradition offline retailers like mom and pop stores who haven’t thus far made the transition online must now explore the option.  Competition in the enterprise-class retail software field is growing constantly and if you refuse to adapt, you will be left behind.

 

Lack of Brand Loyalty

In today’s day and age, a customer is only as loyal to a brand as his last experience. Globalization has reduced the barriers of entry to most industries and retailers are now competing on an international stage.

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