It is no secret that the retail industry is in the midst of a customer revolution. With the rise of online shopping, the more recent trend of retail downsizing to compete, and the impact of generational differences when it comes to consumer behaviour, retailers are faced with an abundance of issues that take time and resources. The future of retail, for many, has become something far more nebulous than in years past, and seems to be changing even more quickly than ever before.
The impact of social media. Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have all taken a strong position of influence in the retail world – and when it comes to customer service the impacts are often incredibly tough to deal with. It is increasingly common to find individuals taking to their social media platforms and venting about poor service, thereby influencing their own followers and shaping consumer behaviour. Now, more than ever, both brands and retailers need to be cognizant of the fact that social media plays a major role in shaping purchasing decisions – the numerous studies can’t be refuted at this point – and thus it needs to be taken seriously. Stop trying to avoid social media, or its impacts on the retail industry – this isn’t going to go away.
The impact of online shopping. No matter the sector, online shopping has come to dominate a large segment of retail purchases. The ease and convenience of shopping online, from anywhere, has led to many changes, including retail downsizing, in order to compete. Even the CPG industry is feeling the heat and dealing with the emergence of online grocery shopping (albeit to a lesser extent) – and drive-thru groceries are springing up across Europe and the US – their eventual emergence on the Canadian scene is inevitable.
The impact of emerging US retailers in the Canadian market. It seems that those big box stores that used to attract customers shopping south of the border have come to dominate in the Canadian market, and this has meant a decrease in sales and brand loyalty for many bricks and mortar locations. On the plus side, however, some retailers, having made the move north, are now finding themselves faced with unforeseen challenges in what has proven to be a very different market. Regardless, as U.S. stores continue to make the move upwards, Canadian retailers will be forced to consider changes of their own to keep sales up.
The future of the retail industry as it stands is tenuous, and unless you are keeping track of the ever-evolving changes, you will quickly find yourself at the back of the pack. Stay informed, and make the changes necessary to remain in the market.
For more about the future of the retail industry and how you can continue to compete, please contact Storesupport today by calling 1-877-421-5081.