The Importance of Agility in Retail Success

The Importance of Agility in Retail Success

Retailers need to become more flexible and agile in implementing new technologies related to automation, AI or[…]

Client: Openbravo
Assignment: Regular series of blogposts

(Sample blogpost of a series published on the Openbravo website. Read the original here.)

Companies that seek greater agility by digitizing their processes and promoting the use of new technologies, are better prepared to face the uncertainty and new challenges created by the current economic slowdown.

The retail sector is a clear example, as many retailers will be affected by rising costs, shrinking margins and declining consumer purchasing power.

To better compete in this environment, the adoption of new technologies is an almost indispensable basic requirement. In this article, we will share our thoughts on how the retail sector can evolve by using technology as a tool for improvement and adopting agility as the foundation of its strategy.

The importance of agility in business success

From a general point of view, agility is a set of organizational capabilities, behaviors and ways of working that provide any business with the freedom, flexibility and resilience needed to achieve its goals. In addition, it enables the business to:

  • Adapt quickly to market changes;
  • Efficiently and flexibly address changing customer needs and expectations;
  • And finally, to make productive and cost-effective changes, without changing the quality of your products and services.

In other words, agile qualities enable a company to better satisfy its customers, innovate constantly and maintain its competitive edge despite changes in the marketplace.

Here are some trends that the retail industry must address to achieve greater agility.

Supply chains

In recent years, the complexity of supply chains has increased, especially as their scope has changed from local or regional to global activities, causing disruption in their operations that can impact production and quality especially.

To adapt effectively to this trend, retailers need to become more flexible and agile in implementing new technologies related to automation, artificial intelligence or robotics. This will allow them to not only develop a competitive advantage to overcome disruption, but to lead in a market that is constantly changing.

Unified commerce

With new demands from customers, retailers have the need to deliver fully personalized and seamless experiences.

Unified commerce platforms have become a truly efficient and agile solution for their operations as they allow them to build much more flexible and compelling shopping processes for customers, enabling them to shop from wherever they feel most comfortable, both from social networks and in the physical store.

In addition, it ensures the retailer can control a variety of important data in real time to help them understand what they need to buy, how to buy it, how often they should buy it and why they buy it.

New technologies and digital tools

With the advent of new digital channels and the inexorable growth of eCommerce, today’s customer demands a seamless shopping experience, which has forced retailers to react based on how customers interact with them.

These digital tools, once just add-ons, have become determining factors in how customers choose to shop.

To meet these new demands, retailers must reinvent their operations quickly, putting digital and technology at the heart of the business to achieve the agility they need.

The speed of technological advances, the development of new ways to interact with customers and the rapid evolution in customer-driven demands will no doubt continue to accelerate, forcing retailers to constantly adapt, which is why those that put agility at the center of their strategy are best placed to succeed.

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