PETALING JAYA: As the pandemic further disrupts the retail scene, businesses will have to strengthen their omni-channel offerings to retain both online and offline customers.
The retail landscape has changed in recent times with the rise in e-commerce but Covid-19 has certainly accelerated many of these trends, said Chris Dann, (pic below) Ipsos group service line leader for customer experience and channel performance.
“Retail is experiencing new dynamics that are frequently changing. Covid is definitely an accelerator. The magnitude of change experienced by the industry is not an overstatement but more of an acceleration of trends that have been happening over the past few years.
“We’ve already seen an acceleration of e-commerce over the years. But the convenience that you get with online shopping is not the same as the enjoyment you get by going into a brick-and-mortar store. So retailers have to find a balance between the two, ” he said.
The pace of change in technology adoption for retailers is unprecedented and many have turned to e-commerce to ensure that they can continue selling their products and services.
But post-pandemic, retailers will need to wise up on how they can retain the value of brick and mortar. Dann noted that businesses would need to rethink the role that physical stores play in the shopping experience and would need to continuously adapt to changing trends.
“What is the role now of a store? Is it just to buy things or for the experience? They have to re-engineer the experience to give shoppers a reason to return.
“Increasingly, we see that stores need to be the suitable locations for pick-up and delivery and for delivering seamless customer experience. There is still value in brick and mortar. And if we can get this right amid changing consumer behaviour, then consumers would come back.
“It may be difficult to pinpoint how consumers will continue to behave after the pandemic but there is a clear need to marry the role of brick and mortar and the seamlessness of online, ” he said.
Given that the pandemic will remain a top concern among consumers for the foreseeable future, retailers will have to keep their ears close to the ground and remain close to their customers to stay relevant.
Dann urged retailers to have a better understanding of their customers and redesign services around their needs. Retailers will also need to adapt to new circumstances and be agile in terms of operational efficiency and forming new partnerships, among other things.
This will help them stay on course as the retail sector navigates through the pandemic.
Ipsos is one of the largest customer experience measurement and integrator companies globally. It provide real-time insights into consumer behaviour and solutions for retailers.
Dann will be providing more insights on the retail sector in the time of pandemic and explore ways for retailers to stay on track at the upcoming #digitalXdata 2020 live virtual conference.
He will also share about Ipsos’ tracking study “E-commerce Unleashed” to help brands and retailers better understand areas such as financial health, recovery sentiment and future purchasing trends.
Meanwhile, Ipsos APAC leader for customer experience and channel performance Stephane Sanchez will be moderating the Retail Industry Panel Session with panellists Abbott Nutrition Malaysia marketing director Lee Lim Meng, Domino’s Pizza Malaysia group senior vice-president digital & CRM James Yeang and The Food Purveyor Sdn Bhd CEO Geoff King.
#digitalXdata 2020 is aimed at helping companies solve business challenges and uncover growth opportunities by redesigning a data-driven digital future.
The event will showcase market outlook and forecast for 2021 and beyond in the areas of technology, digital and analytics. There will be eight main tracks, namely, smart city, retail, people, financial, drone, reach, green and manufacturing.
The two-day programme will also be powered by panel discussions on Designing Society 5.0, Gearing Towards Business 2021, Re-Engineering Security in the Next Normal and Empowering Future-Ready Youth.
#digitalXdata 2020 is organised by Star Media Group Bhd with Fusionex as Exabyte Partner and Boston Consulting Group, Ernst & Young, Frost & Sullivan, Ipsos, Kantar, McKinsey and PwC as Knowledge Partners.
The live virtual conference will be held on Dec 1-4 over Cisco Webex.
Registration is free. For more information, visit bit.ly/digitalxdata2020
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