2019 has been a transformational year for retail. Technology continues to define the rules of the game and consumers are more demanding than ever. Some of the notable trends include hyper-personalization, the rise of voice commerce and experiential retail. Retailers are getting more consumer focussed and need to have a competitive advantage to survive.
“If you’re competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer focused – allows you to be more pioneering”Jeff Bezos
The retail technological investment list can go on. Retailers are now dependent on technology to improve their competitive position (Both online and offline) and increase sales. The technology can extend from in store personalisation to back end supply chain and everything in between.
Besides the fact that retailers are opening new stores and investing to improve their competitive position, there are some retailers who didn’t innovate and have paid the price. According to the BBC retailers in Britain have shut around 2,870 stores in the first half of 2019. About 16 shops are closing everyday due to the restructure and more shopping moving online.
While physical retail faces challenges it is by no means a dying industry. Online giants Alibaba opened their first physical store in europe earlier this year. If I had to make a prediction I can’t see it being their last..