A Mckinsey report released last year called ‘Automation in retail: An Executive overview for getting ready’ unequivocally lists out four current ‘retail realities’:
Margin pressure has made automation mandatory and no longer a choice.
In most cases, the challenges in automation are to do with internal issues with the retailer, rather than external reasons like lack of right solutions. According to the report, one of the key issues found is that about 90% of the surveyed retail companies simply followed the same old budget allocation cycles, whereas integrating technology would mean a fresh way of planning budgets and allocating resources to different business units.
Without automation a retailer can easily slip behind; the report cites enough examples to reiterate this.
Automation is not just about operations. As the report points out, the automation opportunity is bigger than operations, and it equally involves merchandising and supply chain functions. It also shows that with the right planning systems, tools and automated analytics, retailers can significantly reduce the time spent on merchandise planning.
Well, the above report was released last year and all of it may not strictly apply in the Indian context. Still, given that the pandemic has this year transformed many things across the spectrum, much of what the report highlights holds greater relevance now.
Fact is that stores, even brick and mortar ones, will inevitably follow the path taken by all other aspects of our life, namely the ‘smart’ path. And ‘Smart’ today connotes anything that’s connected and delivers on speed and efficiency, an imperative today when business pressures are mounting and shoppers are increasingly counting on technology to deliver on the safety and efficiency front. In fact, a new report commissioned this year by Mckinsey’s Periscope, a suit of marketing and sales analytical solutions, also shows that tech driven consumers are redefining retail’s next normal.
But interestingly, even when consumers are not digitally or technologically savvy, their key expectations from retail brand are those that necessitate the greater integration of technology - safety and hygiene, contactless/socially distanced shopping experience, easy check-out, speed and efficiency of delivery, etc.
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‘Have a technology partner who can anticipate your needs'
Leo van de Polder, MaRC- Global Development Director for Shop! the global trade association dedicated to enhancing retail environments and experiences, who has a demonstrated history of working in the retail marketing and advertising industry for many years, shares more insights on the status of the global retail industry today in this second part of his exclusive interaction with VMRD.
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2020 will easily go down in history as the year fraught with most uncertainties and anxieties. Economy across the world went for a major overhaul and retail being a mirror of the economy is quite naturally impacted by the shifting tectonics. So from this point of time, what does 2021 look like for retail? What trends can we expect next year? Presented in this story are some pointers for retail in 2021 based on VMRD’s research and conversations with retail brands, retail solution providers and store designers. Read on…
Project Eve's minimalist festive story
The window display reflects the brand’s philosophy of being simple, modern & minimalist, and has been introduced across 13 prime stores in country.
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Finally a challenging year, unprecedented by most standards, comes to a close. Most years have their ups and downs. But 2020 has been unique in that many of us have had to really scramble to see the ups. Retail, being a mirror of the economy, showed all that the pandemic could do to market sentiments. And yet there were store openings, store expansion and store design projects. Hats offto the men and women who brought forth their creativity despite the pall of gloom around. As a tribute to the grit and tireless zeal of everyone involved in the retail eco-system, we present a retrospective gallery of the best from our coverage of Indian and international store design projects this year. All of them may not have been executed this year but they have all made their appearance in our pages this year…so go ahead and enjoy this retrospective visual treat presented in the order of the months in which they got featured.
Five Best Retail Innovations From Across The Globe In 2020
Matthew Brown – Retail Futurist, Echochamber London, picks out these five innovative retail concepts globally, which stood out even in the midst of a pandemic induced gloom and uncertainty.
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