It is very clear that technology has established a crucial role in our lives. It now dictates and affects the way we work, communicate, exercise, eat, and, in essence, the way we live. Interestingly, we’re looking at how it’s affecting the way we shop and how retailers are reacting to these changes. As we welcome in 2016, we are taking a look at the latest emerging trends and what awaits us in this new year.
Shopping used to be a simple exercise, where consumers travelled to a point of purchase and bought the best available option within a given budget. End of story. Now with online consumerism increasing daily, consumers have access to endless amounts of information, allowing for immediate product comparison and review in just a few clicks.
As a result, the way in which consumers are shopping is continuously evolving. They’re not limiting themselves to a little research before making a purchase; they’re now comparing items in real time, from different vendors, while they shop. This puts a lot of pressure on brands to stay competitive with pricing, quality, variety, etc.
After purchase value: The purchase process does not end at the register anymore. Customers are eager to provide product feedback online. If they love something, they share this feedback globally. With equal vigor, they will advertise their comments for unsatisfactory products or services.
Therefore, the use and experience customers get from their purchases is becoming more and more important. By creating an added value around their stores and products, retailers are aiming to engage with their brand 24/7 and to make a difference that will reflect in their sales. Choosing to add this value or not will result in two behavioral outcomes: converting customers into brand adorers or prompting them try competitors’ offers.
How the “Shopping Evolution” Affects our Clients and our Service
Depending on how the supply chain responds to crises and opportunities, there are many areas in which the supply chain may help or damage retailers:
Time: Is your supply chain a well-oiled process that will help you react to an evolving demand? The reaction time to a crisis is getting shorter every day, and retailers can’t afford to delay responses to clients’ demands by one second.
Companies succeeding today have developed a strong supply chain that can provide a quick reaction time to the changing dynamics in the market.
Quality: Product quality has to be certified to the highest standards to build loyalty and grow your customer base. The customer now requires a good product, as well as to be assured that the manufacturing process behind that product complies with ethical working conditions, sustainable materials, and a quality level that measures up to their expectations.
Assurance and Peace of Mind: While retailers have made efforts towards making sure the shopping & product/service experience is most satisfactory, they need an ally that can take care of their supply chain, provide solutions, and avert problematic issues.
Flexibility: We have seen that ET2C’s costumers have become more conscious of the above factors when placing their orders, and we welcome this development. While companies used to plan their orders way ahead of time and change few details every year; now they are shortening their order times and content is varying month to month, we understand that having trendy inventory and selective products is a priority to our clients.
A Strong Ally that Deals with Suppliers
The previous points have translated to challenges for the factories, and that’s where we come in: We make sure that your inventory is delivered in the time and form requested, with no unwanted surprises.
ET2C brings the knowledge and experience necessary in working with factories, provides you the best results while adhering to your schedules, and all for the best price out there.
To kick off the New Year, here is our message to our customers, business partners, and potential new customers:
Proactive companies who analyze trends, forecast and take risks are the innovators and most likely come out on top of their competitors. On the other hand, reactive companies who play it safe and make moves after leaders have already paved the way — will most likely fall behind.
‘Change is constant, success is optional’ is more relevant than ever in 2016.