The last few years have been challenging to say the least. Money was tight, supply chains were tumultuous, and labor was in short supply. Yet, 2022 still led to strong sales including a record-breaking $9 billion spent online on Black Friday alone.
The ups and downs of 2022 may be mirrored in 2023, but this time retailers won’t be rocked by the waves. Retailers have been studying customer behavior for years and cautiously altering their strategies and technologies accordingly. In 2023, however, these retailers are ready to take a leap of faith and invest in the tools that can increase adaptability, efficiency and profits.
The way retailers react to disruption will change next year, and with the right technology, they will be better for it. Here’s how.
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.
Consumers and Retailers Will Prioritize The Right Price
Supply chain optimization will continue to be a key conversation in 2023, especially as it pertains to unique ways to lower the cost of logistics. Procurement is just as important, if not more important than sales, because without efficient and effective procurement methods, retailers won’t have the products they need to meet customer demand.
Retailers will look to cut costs elsewhere throughout the supply chain. For example, retailers could try direct store delivery. This is when the manufacturer delivers products to the individual store, and sometimes, even stock the shelves for the retailer. By enacting direct store delivery and minimizing excessive logistics costs, retailers can optimize the stocking process and keep prices stable for shoppers.
Retailers Will Take the Leap Into New Investments
With three years of unpredictability as a backdrop, retailers spent much of 2023 striving to stay afloat and prepare for disruption. For many, this meant cautiously making minor software and architectural changes to meet customer demand.
But now, retailers have been able to ground themselves in customer data and accept the ongoing disruption. As a result, these retailers are ready to try new technology to futureproof their businesses.
In fact, many retailers will take a big leap when it comes to technology investments in 2023. For example, retailers may no longer be interested in buying a single point-of-sale (POS) system that meets most of their needs. Instead, they will invest in a POS architecture that allows them to pick and choose the capabilities they need and design the front-end customer experience specifically for their customers.
Seamless, Efficient Journeys Won’t Go Out of Style
Retail trends come and go but one theme has remained constant – customers expect convenience. Any technology that simplifies the customer journey will engage savvy shoppers this year. For example, self-checkout technology – whether it’s a traditional kiosk, a scan-and-go solution or scanless technology – will grow in popularity in 2023.
Retailers have begun experimenting with scanless checkout in recent years, particularly as stores became increasingly understaffed during the labor shortage. For many, this experimentation took place in small pop-up stores or within one section of a store. But in 2023, this will expand to a wider percent of the store footprint.
Scanless technology is just one way that retailers can create efficient in-store journeys. They can also move to accept alternative payment methods. This will not only create more payment options for shoppers, but it will also help retailers reduce credit card network and transfer fees.
How To Stand Out in 2023
It’s time to put the learnings of the last few years to the test. 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.
Michael Jaszczyk is the CEO of GK Americas, where he works to maintain and enhance the company’s global reputation as the supplier of one of the most innovative and complete retail software platforms and suite of services. GK provides a future-proof foundation to support retailers’ customer engagement strategies. Jaszcyzk has been a part of GK for more than 12 years, previously serving as CTO.
He draws on an extensive wealth of experience, both in software development for the retail sector and as a manager at international IT companies, including MCRL AG, Pironet AG and SA2 Retail AG.