Adapting to continuous change with retail technology
There is no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year for the retail industry. Decreased revenue, permanent closures, and Covid-19 restrictions created uncertainty across the sector, and as a result, we had to say goodbye to some notable retailers – Oasis, Cath Kidston, Jessops and Harveys to name just a few.
Heading into 2021, the industry will face the same challenges. But, if retailers can adapt quickly and utilise technology to their best advantage, they will prosper and enable future growth.
Local Lockdown constraints
For the first few months of the new year, we will see local lockdowns continue. While shops will be allowed to stay open, all businesses will be affected, from small retailers with just three stores to larger enterprises with hundreds across the country. Whether they are in Tier 1 or Tier 3, retailers will need to change how their outlets support and target customers to create impact and revenue.
This includes nurturing and enhancing an online presence. While the online market is very saturated, some retailers have been innovative in bringing the in-store experience online and encouraging e-commerce sales. Examples of how retailers have done this is examined in our latest whitepaper here.
It is worth noting that when introducing new online tools, connected, productive and secure technology is vital. Reliable and fast connectivity solutions, such as SD-WAN, can select the best path for network traffic and speed up time to resolution for the customer. Some tools such as AR (augmented reality) for instance requires advanced software. It manages high levels of data and provides a fast and responsive customer experience.
Utilising your IT provider
Implementing new tools, constant change and activities can be difficult for IT directors to manage. To ensure that teams are not inundated with new technology requirements, retailers need to rely on IT providers, partners and an ecosystem of support, to provide expertise and share knowledge where possible. For instance, at Timico, we provide a network of support to customers. We identify new solutions, areas of risk, and trends so they can pivot and change to ensure best outcome. The new ideas and solutions provided can help retailers grow as a business and add resilience to their IT strategy.
Yet, it is worth noting that retailers need to look beyond Covid-19 and prepare for future growth as well. The retailers that have strived during this challenging period, need to recognise their place in the market and value to their customers. They then need to develop a digital strategy that supports market position and enables agility and growth. This will prepare the retailer for further disruption or changing demands in the future. Security, resiliency and cloud services, for instance, can all protect a business should the worse happen.
If you would like to speak to Timico about your retail requirements, book in your free consultation today by clicking here.