Predicting Trends: Retail Resilience and Staying Relevant
There is a certain ebb and flow to a retailer’s seasonal sales cycle. Anything from the weather and gas prices to customer service and inventory levels can affect a store’s performance. However, with sales ending on an upswing, and a gain of 28,000 to the retail payroll last month, there’s an optimism that things will get better. Yet, in spite of this, the retail tendency is to get lulled into a sense of maintaining status quo until uncertainty clears and things improve.
Is it wise for retailers to continue maintaining status quo until they receive clarity about the future?
For some retailers, there may not be a future as an entire generation is being trained to be the consummate consumer – highly trained in technology and constantly immersed in information. Their parents may visit their stores, buy their products, and visit their websites, but will this next generation do the same? Possibly these retailers may be sought after and relevant now, but will consumers feel the same way about them in the future?
The truth is, status quo is no longer sustainable in today’s culture. Just think of those industries we grew up with that no longer exist or barely hold relevance – video rental stores, anyone? Businesses providing services or products in great demand at one time experienced great losses because they didn’t navigate the trends and adapt to change. Who would have thought someone could be their own travel agent? Others saw the trends and successfully capitalized on a growing niche (Priceline, Travelocity, Expedia) thereby making travel agents irrelevant.
With a huge surge in mobile device usage (and only growing larger), it’s not going to slow down long enough for retailers to figure things out or play catch up. It’s crucial that retailers learn how to see viable, relevant business opportunities they can start exploring and acting on now. Those who stay out in front of these market trends will be the winners.
Reliable data is a critical component to assessing which developing trends present incredible growth opportunities. ShopperTrak’s retail analytics and people counting technology deliver the right data at the right time to provide retailers with insights to make the best business decisions possible. This is imperative during a time when everything they do now counts later. With our intelligent business metrics, we can help retailers identify the critical data needed to direct future performance and maintain a competitive advantage.