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Written by Alex Broxson, Chief Marketing Officer
We understand that the retail climate continues to evolve and with that brings many challenges. As consumer expectations continue to grow, retailers need to keep pace with the demand and, in some cases, be the driver of that change.
So how are retailers ensuring that they are in the best position to be agile, have independence and move at pace whilst still being efficient?
Although we constantly hear about “the death of the high street”, this isn’t true. Rather than a revolution, the high street as we currently know it is simply going through a period of evolution. But this adjustment shouldn’t be causing mass panic: instead, it’s about adapting and seeing how retailers evolve to survive.
So, what are customers looking for from a retail brand? The answer all depends on your target market.
One common feeling is true: consumers still love retail and shopping! So how do retailers add to that experience? Well, experience is the key word here: customers want an experience. They want additional experiences in stores, whether that be getting their nails and eyebrows done, such as Primark beauty boutique, or watching a film whilst in the same retail outlet as Selfridges. Additionally, perhaps it’s that the in-store technology needs to be just as efficient as the experience you get on your own device. However, whatever the experience – whether digital or physical – one thing is for sure: the overall brand experience must be consistent.
So whatever the approach may be, the support which underpins a brand’s trading must be efficient and geared towards the target customer base. This to ensure that systems do not fail and provide a seamless experience, however the customer chooses to shop.
Often when brands are part of a larger group, they are tied into group policies and systems which are not always focused towards that individual client base’s needs and wants. They don’t always have the agility and flexibility to change with the customer requirements. For example, can you easily turn on additional hosting space for your brand to trade effectively on Black Friday? Or are you fixed into a group policy which becomes incredibly expensive to turn up the hosting for the entire brand group, when one brand in particular could be your star performer at that particular trading moment? Brands might belong to a larger retail family but, from a customer’s perspective, consistency isn’t needed across a larger retail structure; instead, the consistency must be across that individual brand in order for customers to engage positively.
We are continually creating ways and support structures to give brands their independence, agility and the flexibility to trade in the best possible way for their target market demands. Having independent and focused IT services and support is enabling our clients to achieve future growth, and drive efficiencies across their business. We have simplified their technology architecture, so they no longer require group shared services. The brands we support benefit from their own SLA, which suits their needs – and ultimately their own customers – to deliver the best customer experience per brand.
Having a tailored and dedicated support structure is enabling our customers to trade independently and pursue future growth: this comes at a time when customer engagement is at all time importance.
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