Ten years of change in Retail

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Ten years of change in Retail

This year emnos celebrated 10 years of empowering retailers to make better business decisions. During which time we have witnessed many exciting and challenging new developments. Here are some of the key trends that have emerged over the last decade and which continue to shape the retail world:

This year emnos celebrated 10 years of empowering retailers to make better business decisions. During which time we have witnessed many exciting and challenging new developments. Here are some of the key trends that have emerged over the last decade and which continue to shape the retail world:

The challenge of competing on price

The squeeze on consumer spending over the last five or six years of recession has seen all retailers having to work harder to earn their share of the reduced discretionary spend. This has seen many retailers resort to blanket price cutting through discounting and promotions leading to a cut in margins. In order to accommodate the loss in margin, many retailers have resorted to cutting costs in areas such as staff recruitment and training or store upgrades to make up the difference. To add to these pressures, the widespread use of in-store mobile has given rise to new trends such as “showrooming” that have placed even more emphasis on the need to compete on price.

The rise of digital and its challenges

Encouraged by the customer’s seemingly relentless desire to secure a bargain the rise in ecommerce has been dramatic over the last ten years, taking organisations like Amazon from $5bn in sales to in excess of $60bn. While digital technology has brought customers greater convenience, transparency and inevitably choice, it has generated greater complexity for multi-channel retailers. The challenges of catching up and competing with pure-play online whilst also attempting to unify their proposition across all channels as well as manage the emerging influence of social media have been enormous and, at times, overwhelming. 

Resurgence through investment and insight

Although the challenges of price pressure and digital adoption have been significant, many multi-channel retailers are now better prepared to take advantage of the inevitable post-recession upswing in customer spending. Having maintained investment in their stores, digital engagement and importantly their ability to understand their customers through data insight, they are offering customers a personal and memorable experience that cannot be imitated online.

In addition customer insight is also enabling these retailers to optimise and target their pricing, promotions and product ranges to reduce the need for indiscriminate margin reduction, thus reducing cost as well as increasing overall sales per customer. What’s more the investment in customer insight is helping retailers derive new value from their digital innovation to enhance customer experience and sales.  Examples include the ability to send relevant offers through mobile and geo-location to influence impulse purchase and store visits, the use of tablets by shop floor staff to help secure sales and the use of data to aid online cross-selling through recommendation.

Omnichannel opportunity


In this new and very dynamic multi-dimensional world, digital technology supported by customer insight, is providing omnichannel retailers with more opportunity to differentiate and compete than ever before. Insight is helping to enhance and redefine the role of stores as well as ecommerce; through an understanding of what customers want and how they engage across multiple channels. Therefore, a retailer’s capability to manage customer data and derive meaningful customer insight is now seen as a strategic necessity, enabling retailers to make the right choices on everything from communications and product selection to digital and store innovation.

Retail is a fast-moving business and fresh challenges are inevitable, however those that continually strive to be more relevant through a deeper understanding of each and every customer will always be in front.

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