Retail is under siege. Aside from the headache of inflation and how much to pass on to customers, demand is softening as spending power is eroded. Meanwhile, the industry is beginning to understand that the online channel it has been pouring investment into for years is in fact much less profitable than it expected. All this acts to up the ante – retailers have to get smarter, faster, and anticipate better to maximize market share. There is some good news though. Tech has been transformed and can now make a huge difference in supporting management judgments.
Informed decision-making supported by data science
Data science and AI-driven tools give you the power to capture opportunities and risks in advance. They work through a high volume of data and deliver enhanced insights to teams, creating more time to overlay human knowledge and experience to support key decisions. Advanced modeling at a granular level can transform inventory management.
A shared focus on future goals
A proactive approach requires establishing a shared vision for your teams to work towards. Ensuring your merchandising and planning teams' goals support the overarching company strategy will drive business in the right direction. Being able to make many more decisions much faster, and far more accurately, is no longer a nice addition – it is essential to outperform in a contracting market.
A valuable investment for the future
Saving time, money, resources, and stress by investing in solutions that fit your company's needs is valuable to profitability, relationships (both internal & external), and employee retention. This company-wide change is vital for a more agile and future-ready business.
Even when the economic background recovers, the need for retail to move faster and with greater certainty will remain. The industry remains heavily oversupplied and even with the headwinds of inflation and recession, this trend will continue. E-commerce has lowered the barriers to entry into the market and this will remain the case. The need for faster and more accurate demand forecasting will grow, alongside a rate of change that will only accelerate.