Weak January for retailers, how can they do better?


Geopolitical and climate factors have been impacting the price of goods, causing a volatile fluctuation in prices across the board and increasing the cost-of-living pressures felt by consumers. Consumer confidence remains, unsurprisingly, in quite a nuanced state, where people aren’t going out to spend money in hospitality or on big ticket items but are more inclined to order goods online from the sofa.

The main challenges for customers in this channel is often inventory shortages and the returns process. These two pain points can disincentivise shopping with a retailer and result in losing a customer permanently to a competitor. The risks associated with these pain points are amplified as consumers continue to buy through digital channels. Which has a very different engagement model and customer service approach, to traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, which should be preparing now for when the weather improves.

The solution to both lies in a deep but holistic view of the customer’s journey in terms of both sale and return activities including supply chain back-office processes. A detailed view allows retailers to deliver a more personalised and consistent experience, fostering customer loyalty and satisfaction whilst identifying efficiency and cost saving opportunities.