Composable Commerce

Is Change Management Missing from Your Retail Strategy?

Oct 04, 2022

Change is the only certainty in modern commerce. It’s not only the events of recent years that have proven this. Commerce has always been evolving. It’s just changing faster now due to technology and our increasingly connected world.

If you have always operated your business in a certain way, the idea of change can be a scary prospect. But much of this fear comes from the feeling that change is forced upon you and the resulting loss of control.

Modern commerce businesses are more likely to view change as an opportunity to keep evolving and developing to create new sales streams and business areas. This is because they invest in the right things, enabling flexibility and agility to adapt to change.

The Two Types of Change

Change often falls into two camps – iterative and disruptive.

Iterative change is the ongoing improvement of an experience. A good example is Microsoft Word. The core function of the software – word processing – remains the same, but it is constantly being improved with new features added.

Other examples of iterative change include adding useful technology to a physical retail store, omnichannel, and making an e-commerce site faster and more efficient.

Disruptive change is a total reimagination of an experience. A good example is Uber, which used technology to transform the idea of booking a taxi and disrupted the whole sector as a result.

Every business will experience both iterative and disruptive change to some degree. Almost every business will undertake iterative change to improve their operations, drive efficiency, and meet modern consumer expectations. Some will do this faster than others, which may help them to take the lead and set the bar that their competitors must try to match.

Disruptive change can be internal or external. Some businesses, like Nike and Apple, will take the lead and disrupt their sector through innovation and new business models. Others may only experience disruption created by other players – both new and emerging – and must find ways to respond.

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Iterative change is the ongoing improvement of an experience.

The Micro and Macro Trends of Change

Within these different types of change, you will also find that there are micro and macro trends.

For example, current macro trends include AI, the metaverse, and sustainability. They are the bigger societal and industry shifts. Micro trends are emerging patterns that may or may not grow into large trends. A current example would be super-fast delivery.

It’s important to be aware of these trends because some will have a major impact on how your business operates going forward. Some may be short-term but need reacting to quickly like the coronavirus lockdowns. Other trends may be in the early stages but are likely to have a long-term impact.

Your ability to manage these different types of change will have a significant influence on the future success of your business. By making change management part of your company strategy, you can invest in the systems and processes that will enable you to take on change without fear.

Discover the four other big areas your retail business should be focusing on in our new checklist. Download your copy here.