Want to find out what's in store for retail teams in 2023? You've come to the right place. In our new 2023 Industry Outlook, we explore the most pertinent socio-economic and industry-specific issues that retail organizations are facing and the trends that are emerging from their responses to these issues.
You can download the full industry report here, but as an appetizer, we've included some of the biggest takeaways below.
2023 Retail Industry Outlook: Key Findings
Back in 2022, Movista partnered with EnsembleIQ to conduct a survey of leading retailers. In this survey, we asked retail leaders to identify their biggest pain points in the new unified commerce environment.
Their top concerns were as follows:
- Meeting customer expectations (88% of respondents)
- Recruiting in-store associates (77%)
- Improving out-of-stocks (71%)
A year later, our 2023 research findings confirm the lingering presence of these pain points. Moreover, they have transformed into very tangible problems that retail organizations are currently trying to address:
- 77% of consumers have or plan to cut back spending due to inflation, raising the stakes on efficient and timely in-store execution
- 78% of executives across retail, manufacturing, consumer goods, transportation, and warehousing say they are understaffed, and half reported that they lost customers due to staffing issues, which explains retailers' growing emphasis on employee experience and enablement
- Closely related to the retail labor shortage, frontline workers report feeling overworked and underpaid, affirming a sentiment that has long existed in retail settings
- 68% of retail teams lack the technology needed to optimize in-store activities, affirming the continued importance of mobile-first retail execution software that unburdens the weight of work off frontline teams' shoulders
The Resurgence of In-Store Shopping
Make no mistake: we have fully entered into the era of unified commerce, in which physical retail and e-commerce have morphed into a unified whole. Despite this reality, however, a very real resurgence of in-store foot traffic has been quietly developing in the background.
After eight years of uncontested growth, e-commerce reached its highest growth rate in 2020, accounting for just over 16% of total retail sales during its peak. But by the end of 2021, as shoppers began regaining their confidence to shop in person, the growth rate of brick-and-mortar sales exceeded e-commerce for the first time ever.
The growth of in-store shopping has stabilized in recent months, but e-commerce has yet to regain the market share it held during the heat of the pandemic. It remains unseen how the interplay between physical and digital retail will unfold, but one thing we can be sure of is that the execution of in-store retail work is just as important as it always has been.
If anything, the added complexities of omnichannel execution, and the resulting incremental stress placed onto the shoulders of frontline teams, have made retail execution an even more important operational factor to nail down.
Meeting New Consumer Expectations
In light of economic slowdown that doesn't appear to be going away any time soon, and shoppers' growing preference for researching products online prior to purchasing them in stores, retailers and the organizations who sell through their stores can expect more discerning shoppers this year.
Consumers are gravitating toward lower-priced alternatives to their regularly purchased commodities, making promotional strategy and execution an indispensable factor for in-store success in 2023, and likely into 2024 as well.
Many retailers have already begun redirecting their focus and resources toward affordable private-label offerings. Nothing encapsulates this shift quite like the fact that Walmart's generic cream cheese brand came in as the eight fastest-growing brand of 2022.
In addition, consumers value product availability more than they have in the past. Shoppers place on-shelf availability among their top three biggest concerns. While high shrinkage rates and supply chain delays play a large part in the prevalence of empty shelves, it is estimated that, in the grocery sector specifically, 70-90% of out-of-stocks can be attributed to poor shelf replenishment practices.
Retail execution is a huge growth opportunity for retail organizations going into 2023. By refining frontline operations, teams can deliver consistently better in-store experiences to their shoppers.
Leaning on Retail Technology
Dedicated retail execution software has quickly become an indispensable tool for modern retail success. Retail teams need a tech solution that can keep up with their fast-paced whirlwind of daily tasks. But not only that, they need technology that can make their lives easier.
Whether you are a retailer or one of the organizations that sell/service within retailers' stores, the right retail execution platform can equip your team with the tools needed to work more efficiently and effectively. Tools like:
- Mobile Tasking
- Territory and Schedule Optimization
- Automated Task Escalations
- Integrated Communications
- Item Management and At-Shelf Ordering
- Reporting and Analytics
To learn more about Movista's retail execution platform, request a free, no-hassle demo.