Retail, a sector that has always been in direct contact with the consumer, stands at a key point in the supply chain. Consumers from different segments have access to a wide range of products and services thanks to the retail sector. At this point, retail is very closely related to almost all sectors in the business world.
As a central sector, retail has to be dynamic and coordinate different sales channels to be able to accurately respond to fast-changing consumer demands. The COVID-19 pandemic has given a different impetus to the already changing business world. Today’s conditions set by this crisis have also brought with them compelling conditions for the retail sector. This situation has created misfortunes for the present and opportunities for the future.
What Has Changed with the COVID-19 Crisis?
First, let’s look at what has changed in the retail sector with the crisis. Both online and offline, the entire retail sector has been deeply affected by the COVID-19 crisis. In many parts of the world, most stores were closed, and in those open, the number of customers decreased. The supply chain has been severely disrupted.
New strategies were needed to ensure continuity in issues such as employee health and consumer confidence. One of the most important aspects of the change caused by the crisis was the qualitative change in consumer spending. Consumer demand has experienced a shift in the direction of basic needs and household appliances.
Along with negative changes, the rapid growth of online shopping has opened up a new space for the future of retailing. One of the lessons the sector needs to take from this crisis is the importance of making quick decisions. Companies should make short or long-term plans considering different scenarios for the future.
What Should Retailers Do?
The path to successful retailing in dynamic times requires agile adaptation to new conditions. The retail industry has realized the need to take various steps to provide the right answers to this fast-changing reality.
The first step is to develop a model that prioritizes digital. Since the trend of internet shopping is expected to continue to rise after this crisis, retailers should prioritize the experience of internet shopping. Creating a good website is not enough, companies need to move beyond e-commerce visibility. The path of an effective digital model is through focusing on digital marketing.
Given that consumers are now much more conscious, there’s no harm in going back to the beginning and reconsidering. During the COVID-19 crisis, brands that were able to gain the trust of their customers came forward. After that, we should focus on what the consumer wants by going down to the basics of retailing. For this purpose, customer-oriented service and accurate marketing methods should be developed.
One of the steps to be taken is to reconsider the stores. Although closed stores are now opening, consumers have begun to think that it is not necessary to go to stores themselves. Stores should be redesigned in light of this digital priority model. Stores offering a new and personalized experience are likely to continue to attract customers.
Retailers should be prepared to run flexible operations. The new developments have deeply shaken the supply chain. We’ve seen depleted stocks and closed online stores. That’s why retailers need to invest in flexibility and promptness in planning for the future. At this point, we need to focus on automation and ensure that the flow of information is not interrupted.
In order for all the steps mentioned above to be taken, a business model that draws its strength from technology and innovation is needed. As it seems, online shopping will not lose acceleration after this crisis. It is necessary to take full advantage of technology to adapt to customer demands and sectoral fluctuations.
Methods such as contact-free and mobile payment options, voice shopping are examples of these innovative solutions. Leveraging data and artificial intelligence is very important here. Of course, the primary responsibility of retailers is not to develop technology, but they can improve themselves by getting support from the right technology companies.
Salesforce for Retail
As digital-focused business models become important, the market is becoming more and more dynamic. The future of retailing also lies in speed, flexibility, and individuality. With its functional, flexible, and accurate service, Salesforce cooperates with retail companies that want to provide the best service to their customers.
Salesforce is a key actor in the market as retail firms recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Working to create new, gross e-commerce, and digital experiences the company runs flexible and innovative operations within the retail journey. Marketing Cloud and marketing automation are among what Salesforce does for retail firms.
Realizing the importance of customer-oriented service in dynamic times, Salesforce aims to provide a personalized customer experience across different channels. It scales customer service capabilities to help customers. Working on a global scale, it supports customer service, e-commerce activities, and marketing initiatives.
Salesforce connects employees, suppliers, and customers effectively by leveraging the capabilities of technology to ideally combine both online and face-to-face. It helps retail companies make smart and fast decisions by providing solutions designed powered by artificial intelligence.
In this article, we tried to explain the challenges and opportunities of retailing in dynamic times. You can get more information about this topic through our webinar “Retail in Dynamic Times – Marketing Automation ”.
Keeping a close eye on business trends is critical for retail firms. For this reason, retail companies resort to Salesforce solutions to effectively execute marketing, sales, and service processes. By being innovative and adopting a sustainable business model, Salesforce looks set to remain a key value for retailers.