The retail landscape is changing at a rate not seen before. With the e-commerce explosion, unforeseen trends and unpredictable challenges, the strategies which worked yesterday may no longer apply. How can you be sure that you understand the changing needs of your business and customers and stay ahead of the game? Here are four key points to help retailers to navigate turbulent times.
Be relevant to home-based consumers
As we settle into WFH mode and spend more leisure time indoors, the way we shop and interact with brands is changing. We’re all looking for ways to treat ourselves at home. What does it mean to retailers? It means adapting strategies to pivot online and to prioritise marketing to a home-based audience. Retailers need to find new ways to engage customers online and to be prepared to host virtual events and livestream their services. Staying up to speed with social media is essential and brands must react to the fact that audiences are now digitally influenced.
Open up to Partnerships
Successful retailers are no longer working in isolation. Partnerships can help to spark innovation and assist the continued need to adapt to a new consumer landscape. Knowing what you’re good at as a business is great, but knowing where you need support is what will help your business thrive. Being agile extends to being open to collaboration and seeking out mutually beneficial opportunities as ways of reaching audiences further afield.
Switch-on to sustainability and long-term growth
The positive environmental impact of lockdown has accelerated consumer awareness around sustainability and has increased the desire to make ethical choices. According to the CGS Retail and Sustainability Survey, 70% of consumers consider environmental credentials as important when making purchasing decisions. Concerns over the environmental impact of retail industries are now mainstream and conscious-consumption has given rise to the need for brands with purpose. As environmental responsibility rises up on the agenda of policy makers, recognising this shift within the retail industry and society at large is crucial. Brands must put ethics at the centre of business strategy and use this to build engagement around the positive things they’re doing.
Be authentic and get personal
The turbulence of the last year has had a notable effect on all of us. Consumers are more likely to be looking for relief from this uncertainty and for ways to switch off. Whatever your service or product, it is more important than ever to undertand your audience and to connect with them at a deeper emotional level. Gain the trust of your consumer by really understanding their pain points and speaking to them more directly through personalised messaging and tailored content.