1. An Overview of the Retail Sector
Both the deflation economic times caused by the global crisis and the slowing down of economic growth in developing countries has been affecting retail sector negatively. The competition between traditional and digital retail is preventing the sector to grow as expected. However contrary to all these negative factors, retail sector had a %2 growth in 2015.
2. Retail in Turkey and Foresights
Just like in the world, retail sector has been developing rapidly in Turkey as well. Especially an increase in personal incomes, an increase of credit card use, demographics and economic changes affecting people’s consumption habits help the retail industry maintain its growth. According to a research, it is shown that in 2015 the total turnover was recorded as 380 billion dollars and this number is expected to grow %11-12 in 2016.
An increase in personal income, an increase in youth with a tendency to spend, a decrease in the time consumer spend on shopping and other social aspects like these have caused some behavioral changes. It is inevitable that tendencies like changing purchasing behaviors and easiness of accessing information will affect companies. It is essential for the companies to analyze these tendencies beforehand, strategize against current and possible future scenarios, directing investments correctly, proper supply management and preparing a product network to maintain company’s durability and operational efficiency.
Due to constant changing behaviors and increasing expectations of customers, companies have been looking for solutions to serve their customers continuously trough all channels. Companies which are slow and who fail to address customer needs have problems with maintaining customer loyalty. Because of that , companies have to make sure that they adjust all channels where they interact with customers to satisfy their expectations. On the other hand, companies have started to offer a channel independent way of shopping experience by replacing multiple channels with Omni-channels. Companies can now have a connection with their customers on different channels and gather valuable data about their purchasing trends. These data are later used for developing strategies on marketing, sales and customer experience. For this reason, outlet management is a strategic priority for companies that target profitable growth.
With the increase in mobile penetration and customers inclination to mobile applications, the use of mobile and online channels by customers has been increasing. Companies have been realizing that investing in their technology and infrastructure is a must if they want to serve their customers perfectly on every channel, regardless of it being online or offline. For this reason, technological infrastructure, data storage systems and efficiency in the retail application form the main parts a retail company’s business plan and it is critical that these aspects get implemented according to the company’s needs.
Companies should never neglect their employees while investing and restructuring their technology. Actions like training for the employees to help them adjust, organizational changes and performance measurements are some of the main components to increase efficiency.