Looking Ahead: How Agility, Marketing & Compassion Will Impact Retail in 2023
By Nicole Leinbach, Founder of Retail Minded
As we look ahead into 2023, there are many opportunities, challenges and experiences to anticipate in the New Year. It’s no secret that inflation and supply will continue to impact retailers and consumers alike, but what else can retail decision makers anticipate and more so, how can they best prepare for a productive and profitable year ahead?
Keeping these key points in mind, let’s look into 2023 with some predictions of what we can expect.
Agility Will Determine Who Gets Ahead in Retail
2023 is an overdue date for merchants to welcome agility into their point of sale, logistics and overall retail operations, yet 2023 will reveal just how important agility truly is.
Merchants looking to beat the challenges of supply, inflation and even consumer behavior should lean heavily into technology that leads with agility. This will help reveal in advance of challenges what can be done to more proactively accommodate inventory demands, supply challenges, weather disruptions and more – then ultimately make adjustments as needed.
As Manhattan Associates says best, your POS needs to “sell, engage and fulfill anywhere” and in 2023, this should top every retailer’s to-do-list to meet in performance expectations across all touch points of consumer and retailer connectivity. Factoring in omni-channel to the best practices of agility and customer care should not be overlooked, either. Having technology that connects these experiences, order management and more should be prioritized in 2023, as well.
In-Store Experiences Will Help Translate to Transactions
Consumers will hold their dollars more tightly to their pockets, so to speak, in the New Year due to inflation primarily but also personal choice. Where, why and when they choose to spend will be led by need first, then want. But both of these circumstances should enable customers to shop in environments that give them something more than just a purchase in return.
In-store experiences, such as we see from retailers like CAMP – which is known for their unique shop and play hybrid experiences in physical locations across the country – provide customers with the opportunity to enjoy their store environment in interactive ways while also exploring potential inventory they can purchase. This experience, which I refer to as ‘shoppertainment’, is not new to the concept of retail but in 2023, I believe it will be heightened and more expected from consumers.
Retailers aiming to boost these experiences need to take into consideration their displays, merchandising, physical store footprint and inventory. But they also need to prioritize their staffing, customer service standards and overall in-store consumer experience expectations. To help do this, this also means they need to arm their teams with technology that helps them engage with customers, easily manage inventory and ultimately create seamless in-store experiences that lead to seamless transactions and customer loyalty. This means built in cloud technology, digital self-service options for customers, flexible architecture designed to accommodate customer demands and supply challenges, and connecting in-store transactions to customer data for stronger loyalty.
Promotions, Sales & Compassion Will Lead Marketing Agendas
As retail leaders, we need to nurture the sentiment of customers always but in 2023, this will be a heavy responsibility to care for. Taking proactive efforts to plan promotions, sales and other cost saving opportunities for customers comes with clarity on historical sales data, anticipated sales ahead and vendor connectivity, orders and supply. Technology is the only way to gain this visibility, but it will be the human touch to decide on directions to take to help support consumers from a sentimental and savings approach. Keep in mind, savings to customers does not mean less earnings for retailers. With the right vendor partnerships from every side of retailer operations, profit can and should be the goal here.
Finally, 2023 will undoubtedly bring new opportunities for retailers. Embrace them as you begin the New Year, best with the right tech partners to help you achieve success.