Opinion: Are you ready to move quickly in 2023?
This decade began with turbulent change that triggered rapid technology advancement in our retail sector.
For some retailers, 2023 will be the year of finally recovering their lost footing. For others, it’s an opportunity to shift up a gear and take further advantage of the many advances in retail technology. Regardless of the scale of ambition, staying competitive in retail relies on being positioned to move quickly.
Here, a few of our experienced retail specialists share their thoughts on where retailers can gain the competitive edge in 2023.
Truly embracing agile ways of working
Retailers are understandably cautious of the ‘test and learn’ approach that goes hand in hand with fast product release and live feedback. But Covid-19 proved that consumers have a greater tolerance of quickly-released products than might have been expected. The test and learn approach is employed by nearly all the big technology firms, but the retail sector is very much behind the curve with its adoption.
Customers are increasingly demanding a personal experience in-store that’s not uniform for every shopper. The only way businesses can deliver on this imperative is to adopt a modular, decoupled API-led technology strategy that enables change to be delivered at the speed required in today’s incredibly competitive retail environment, where customers are setting the pace.
Simon Curtis, Chief Commercial Officer
Focus on the benefits you are trying to achieve
On my recent trip to NRF I saw many great tech innovations and solutions. Frictionless shopping solutions were everywhere, all focused on reducing the amount of effort required to get a shopper from A to B, or A to pay as quickly as possible.
However, in retail, as in many other sectors, new tech innovations can have a great story and look really enticing, but aren’t always value-focused. Take RFID (Radio-frequency identification). It’s been around for nearly 20 years but dogged with challenges over application use where the technology didn’t fit the business need.
Fortunately, RFID is now very much a benefit-led solution, and I can see multiple uses for it across grocery, fashion and FMCG sectors to enable stock accuracy, speedy checkout, loss prevention and reduce unnecessary waste.
So there are loads of great tech solutions out there promising competitive edge in 2023, but retailers must base decision making on a benefit-led approach.
Cy Pearson, Head of Business Development
Choose the right technology partner
Mis-sold solutions or sunk costs can set a business up for years of failure, and sourcing and implementing the right technology solutions can be a hard-learnt lesson for some retailers.
Today, the marketplace for retailers has exploded to encompass a huge range of solutions and equipment. Everything from planning to promotions, accounting to allocations and ERP to endless aisle. There has also been exponential growth in the number of players in everything from wearables to payments. Just keeping up with the new entrants and who is doing what and with who is a full-time job.
Having trusted independent advice with a deep knowledge of the retail sector can not only shorten procurement timelines, but also provide the competitive edge to moving quicker.
Danny Rappaport, Consulting Director
Chat to the team at the Retail Technology Show
PMC will be at the Retail Technology Show in Olympia, London from 26-27th April 2023.
We will be showcasing some exciting new digital content around accelerating customer experience transformation, including approaches to POS and cloud implementation, improving service levels through managed service provision, and new trading platform developments.
We also recognise the pressure retailers are facing to continually transform and improve their customer experiences, so we will have a range of our team available to chat through the current retail landscape and provide advice and guidance.