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Fireside Chat Video Event: Next in Retail

Supply Chain Modernization for the New Normal

As retailers work to navigate today's challenges, what new strategies and changes in consumer habits will emerge that could influence the industry?

In this special live edition of Next In Retail, Director of Retail Marketing Reva Bhatia sits down with Hilding Anderson, retail strategy lead, NA, Guy Elliott, industry lead, retail & CP, EMEA and APAC and Andy Halliwell, retail strategy lead, EMEA and APAC, to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting consumer habits and supply chains, as well as the innovative ways top retailers are overcoming challenges while preparing for the future.

Click on the video below to view the full discussion:

In this special live edition of Next In Retail, Director of Retail Marketing Reva Bhatia sits down with Hilding Anderson, retail strategy lead, NA, Guy Elliott, industry lead, retail & CP, EMEA and APAC and Andy Halliwell, retail strategy lead, EMEA and APAC, to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting consumer habits and supply chains, as well as the innovative ways top retailers are overcoming challenges while preparing for the future

The COVID-19 crisis has put an immense strain on supply chains for grocers who have been working to keep up with surges in online demand, and apparel and specialty retailers who are determining how to manage inventory visibility and supply production as global trade slows. In March, the retail sector saw a record 8.7 percent drop in sales, as demand waned and non-essential brick-and-mortar remained shuttered amid stay-at-home orders across the globe – leaving retailers to figure out how to best leverage physical locations, while moving product effectively.

As retailers work to navigate these challenges today, what new strategies and changes in consumer habits will emerge that could influence the industry tomorrow?

Highlights from the video include:

  • Different Retailers = Different Demand Challenges: Shifts in demand have weighed on the industry in a myriad of ways. While essential retailers are experiencing surges for specific goods, they’re also tasked with rapidly switching gears to optimize for e-commerce capabilities which may not have been strong channels before. Non-essential retailers, like apparel, are seeing slower demand as consumers cut down on spending, giving rise for a need to strategically manage in-store inventory, promotions, and costs like shipping and returns.

    However, changing shopper habits could present new opportunities for retailers, Elliott says, noting, “there are a bunch of new services that could come around because people are seeing these new patterns of behavior.” As consumers become more accustomed to online shopping, programs like subscription services, auto-fulfillment, more efficient packaging, and strategic approaches to shipping and delivery could be implemented to improve conversion and cut costs over time.

  • Reimagining Brick-and-Mortar: Though physical locations largely remain shuttered, retailers can proactively take advantage by converting these locations into “dark stores,” where fulfillment can be leveraged within physical locations more effectively – something Halliwell notes may have been a “missed opportunity” for retailers at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    “The lessons here are going to be about making sure you have a balance in your supply chain of efficiency and contingency…how do you make sure you can you quickly turn stores into a ship-from-store model, or a dark store model?” Halliwell said.

  • Diving Into Data: Data will continue to play a large role in the way retailers interact with customers and improve operations over the next decade. According to Anderson, algorithmic retailing will become more prevalent, as COVID-19 challenges accelerate the speed of transformation for a deeper understanding of consumer habits and supply chain visibility.

    “You’re going to have to have a digital strategy that’s focused on data, embracing the channels that customers know they want to interact with you on,” Anderson said.

For more insights and to check out our podcast  episodes of Next in Retail, click here.

Preparing for a Post COVID-19 World