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Why challenges are strategic opportunities

Jul 13, 2021

While their businesses may look very different or serve different product areas, all retailers are trying to contend with the changing wants and needs of the universal customer.

Many of the challenges facing retailers today are shared ones. For example, e-commerce has become a must have for retailers. But the industry is quickly realising that the ability to buy online isn’t enough on its own.

Customers shop for many reasons. While those may include speed and convenience, for many shopping is a social and enjoyable activity. Yet, customers report that the e-commerce experience is regularly boring and lacking in inspiration.

For retailers then, one of the biggest challenges is making e-commerce as impactful as it can be.

Identifying a challenge is one thing. Solving it is more difficult. This is why our recent white paper doesn’t just recognise five of the biggest challenges facing modern retailers, but also offers practical tips and expert insights on how to solve them.

Retailers are approaching challenges wrong

In fact, many retailers may be approaching challenges in the wrong way. For example, when it comes to loyalty schemes many retailers focus on the perks, as well as the mechanics of collecting and awarding customer rewards.

This approach makes it harder to adapt loyalty schemes to emerging customer behaviors because the program is designed around a particular view of how customers shop. But it also ignores what truly influences customer loyalty.

Customers are not loyal to schemes or cards. Value is the biggest factor in customer loyalty. This value comes from the customer experience and customer convenience. By improving these factors, retailers can have a much bigger impact on their loyalty rates. It’s also easier to do then you might think as the strategic tips in our white paper show.

Getting to the heart of each challenge is vital for retailers to be able to solve them effectively as opposed to just treating the symptoms.

Retailers can turn challenges into opportunities

One of the biggest challenges in modern retail is uncertainty. This has been particularly the case over the last 18+ months as global events have forced new customer behaviors.

Not only have retailers had to grapple with unprecedented operating conditions, but they’re also having to try to understand which behaviors may stick long term.

There are things that you can do though to create the flexibility in your business to adapt to new requirements in a cost-effective way. Investing in the right concepts is crucial to giving your business a secure foundation to address challenges as they arise.

Remember that your competitors are dealing with the same challenges that you are. If you’re able to take action to solve them then your business will come out ahead. As such, you should think of challenges as strategic opportunities.