Competitive advantages are eroding, and customers are in control

The retailer competitive landscape is complex today. When describing competition, it is hard for retailers to succinctly describe what they are facing because they are seeing traditional chains, marketplaces, ecommerce only and even third-party delivery companies appeal to their customers. Whether the retail is in grocery, fashion or in specialty retail, competition is more diverse. Potential disruptive competitors are popping up each quarter, creating ongoing competitive chaos.

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Retailers have been consumer-centric for years, identifying needs by segments and working diligently to meet them. However, digitally enabled consumers expectations are higher. Consumers realize they are in control with competitive retailers’ apps just a swipe away. McKinsey’s recent study identified that in the past two years, 40% of customers have switched brands and retailers recently and 80% have adopted new shopping behaviors. With the customer as the channel, retailers need to show up to consistently deliver highly engaging customer experiences and relevant communications and offers. Marketing teams are tasked with coordinating these communications and are adopting the latest developments in retail technology to deliver relevancy to discerning consumers.

Mitigating the chaos requires a data platform that facilitates collaboration

In the past few years, retailers have been laser focused on the last mile in product delivery as well as data delivery to consumer facing digital touchpoints marking their shopping experience as easy, engaging and convenient as possible. During this same time, many of the technologies that house the marketing copy, product information and customer information have remained unchanged. Oftentimes, retail teams need to undergo herculean efforts, including major data transformations, extracting and uploading the data to various systems to get the data ready to be used and visible by consumers. These efforts have constrained their ability to be flexible to react to current consumer needs. Better strategies and tools are needed to be put in place to have a trustworthy source of business data that can be used across the organization and with partners to enable data end-to-end data orchestration from supplier to consumer.

Three opportunities for retailers to embrace ongoing change and succeed

With the changing consumer tastes, new brands entering the market and new ways that consumers are searching for information and discovering product, agility in data management is critical capability for retailers. Below are three areas where data management matters:

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