August 16, 2023
5 min read

Retail, the ever-evolving landscape: Looking beyond and staying relevant

The one word to best describe retail is, change. The transformation of retail industry is constantly taking place with the rise of department stores to the birth of Retail 4.0: Omnichannel, ubiquitous retailing, and the players in this industry continuously face new challenges to keep abreast of competitors. The pandemic, global events and other unforeseen events have even accelerated these obstacles at a great speed. New opportunities have been created for retailers and consumers due to the dramatic shift in consumer behavior, however, not all retailers experience the same adversity. The strive to adapt to ever-changing needs and macroeconomic uncertainties add to the complexity of the challenge.

Many studies have notably mentioned that understanding consumer buying behavior remains the toughest retail obstacle. According to a survey by ShopperTrak of nearly 200 retailers, executives, financial analysts, industry analysts and university academics, 44% of attendees reported that understanding consumer behavior in-store is currently their biggest challenge faced by retailers, followed by using big data to make business decisions, omnichannel pressure, keeping up with technology and so on.

What makes consumer buying behavior such a difficult yet an important hurdle to tackle? The reason being, understanding customer behavior is a complex process as it is not simply a study on how people make decisions when buying a product or service as there is so much more to it. Other related factors such as customers’ decisions to select, purchase, consume and dispose of goods or services over time shall also be taken into consideration in a comprehensive approach. Everyone has a buying persona. We go through our own unique ways to arrive at final buying decisions which are influenced by countless small and large consumer behaviors, and this consumer insight is what makes it valuable and crucial to be understood, defined and leveraged upon. Of course, it is not something that is impossible to achieve.  

In coping with the swift changing consumer behavior and demands, another new normal in retail industry is the urge for retailers to keep up with advancing technology. Conversely, innovation is also the drive to evolving consumer behavior and expectation. A study conducted by RSR mentioned that 63% of retailers with sales outperforming the average have major redesigns on the way, while 52% of retailers are planning to replace existing stores with new formats. Well, that’s quite a “bit” of innovation that is taking over. Truly, there is no one-size-fits-all solution at present. Not every innovation suits the retailer’s needs and taking the wrong turn could cost a heap amount of business loss, energy, and time.

It is essential that retailers leverage the challenges of unpredictability, digitalization and volatility and turn them into business advantages to successfully operate in a highly competitive and dynamic customer-driven market with the right technology, or risk failing behind the competition. As quoted by Michael Jaszczyk, Chief Digital Transformation Officer of GK Software SE, CEO of GK Software USA, Inc. in RetailToday, “In 2023, retailers need to take a leap of faith and turn their customer data into action with new technology. The retailers that prioritize strategic pricing, organizational efficiency and great customer experiences will reach new heights in 2023 and position themselves well for the future”.

Here’s how, there is no crystal ball to predict the future, but GK is here to provide the most comprehensive retail software to address your business needs.

In a nutshell, GK offers GK CLOUD4RETAIL, a unified cloud platform that is customer-centric and powered by AI for omnichannel retailing. It offers maximum flexibility for optimized and seamless omnichannel processes to engage with customers at every touchpoint and in every sales channel. GK CLOUD4RETAIL as an open platform enabling it to be integrated cost-efficiently into any IT landscape. The benefit of scalability makes it easy for deployment by retailers of all size and is also a completely internationalized solution.

Interested? Talk to us today and learn more about GK CLOUD4RETAIL platform.