How to make the most out of disruption in retail


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It’s an exciting time for retailers. New disruptions in the marketplace dramatically change the face of the business, and it feels like the industry evolves at a faster rate every year.

But consumers are the driving force behind this process.

According to Deloitte’s 2022 retail industry outlook, 96% of customers expect a seamless experience across all channels, forcing retailers to adjust their services accordingly. Those who act quickly will become industry leaders, while the followers will struggle to keep their businesses productive.

So, how do you make the most out of disruption in retail? Keep reading to figure it out!

What is a disruption in the business?

Although it’s happening every day, a lot of retailers are still not familiar with the concept of disruption in the business. Disruption refers to a process in which market entrants come armed with non-conventional business models, becoming popular enough to replace, or displace, a conventional product or service on the market.

In other words, a disruption in the business is an event or trend that significantly changes the competitive landscape in a particular industry. For example, a new technology comes along that makes the old technology irrelevant. In a way, this is exactly the case with modern retail businesses.

How do technologies impact the retail business?

The ability to gather, handle and communicate huge datasets has disrupted the way retailers approach their business models. New technologies allow you to improve decision-making abilities, thus coming up with better and more efficient sales tactics. These are the critical points of retail disruption.

New retail strategies

With the help of big data, you can discover consumer trends and patterns, allowing your business to gain ground in the market. Instead of addressing customers as large consumer cohorts, you can now approach them as individuals and build personalized shopping experiences.

In addition to that, you can analyze the customer journeys and eliminate the pain points in your product’s value chain. Massive data volumes also make it possible to provide users with fresh services in order to expand the portfolio and maximize convenience.

A different kind of customer experience

Today, users expect retail stores to provide an all-around experience. It is vital for you to emphasize your unique selling points and stand out from the crowd of online stores. That’s why you should communicate with customers using multiple channels and build relationships based on trust.

Never forget that you have to offer something more than just a low price tag to attract and retain customers. Modern buyers are searching for experiences rather than products, so you’ll have to indulge them with alternative marketing tricks.

Enhanced inventory management and logistics

The ability to accurately track stock-outs and match inventories with actual sales are more than just a convenience. It’s a crucial component of retail disruption, as it helps you optimize the way your business delivers goods and services to customers.

That means online businesses can’t rely on traditional inventory management technologies anymore. Instead, you need a comprehensive solution that will help you adapt your product’s value chain and provide the optimal inventory management strategy for each distribution channel.

The Chapar: Retail disruption success story

The Chapar may seem like the usual online store at first, but that’s just until you learn about their disruptive eCommerce strategy. The company focuses on men who want to improve their styling through innovative shopping contact forms.

Each customer gets a designated stylist who chooses outfits for that client in particular. That way, The Chapar becomes a highly personalized eCommerce service that takes user experience to a whole new level. It’s a four-step process:

  • Fill out a questionnaire on their website
  • The stylist sends you multiple outfit proposals
  • Consult with the stylist if you have any questions
  • Order your clothes

After shopping on this online store, you don’t wonder whether new clothes suit you or not. It’s a simple business model, but it works wonders for the overall customer journey.

Practical tips to take advantage of retail disruption

Disruption is obviously a big deal in the retail industry, but how do you make it work to your advantage? We have three practical tips to share with you.

Make use of new technologies

The retail business is packed with new technologies that can help you run the company faster and more efficiently. For instance, AI-powered software can upgrade your pricing strategy, enabling you to adjust prices in real-time.

The same goes for programs dealing with inventory management. The only way to optimize performance is to collect the right data, analyze it and take advantage of the insights you get. It will help you make the most of your business while keeping the stock at optimal levels.

You can always find modern tools to streamline your business and boost performance in the long run – regardless of the niche.

Focus on personalized experiences

Customer experience is the focal point of retail disruption, so make sure to give your users a reason to keep coming back to your store. They should be able to build a relationship with your brand and receive personalized shopping suggestions throughout their journey.

Besides that, you can offer them the opportunity to share feedback and product ideas. In this way, you’ll be well-prepared to enhance your services and make the most out of retail disruption. There’s nothing more valuable for your business than a satisfied customer.

That’s why you should do everything in your power to keep them coming back for more.

Stay open to innovation

The rise of advanced technologies is inevitable, so you need to embrace it and make the most out of retail disruption. You can do that by expanding your product or service portfolio, delighting customers with fresh experiences, and finding new ways to meet their expectations.

One of the golden rules is to stay up-to-date with retail innovations and never stop looking for new ones. Even if you run a small business, it is vital to keep your knowledge levels high and upgrade your services every now and then.

In addition, you should always explore new opportunities to combine your business goals with your customers’ needs.

The new commerce model is here

So, what does the future of retail look like? It is built on three pillars: personalization, value-chain optimization, and data-driven insights. Those who embrace disruption can create a sustainable business model, while others will struggle to keep pace with industry leaders.

Which type of retail business are you going to build?

Henry Bell
Henry Bell is the Head of Product at Vendorland. He is a business technologist driving transformative growth through digital technology strategies. Henry is a highly analytical and collaborative problem solver with outstanding cross-functional skills in product leadership, application management, and data analytics.


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