par Aude Chardenon10 June 20210 commentaires

Adaptive retail: Best practices in 2020

The health crisis has had a profound impact on trade. Whether or not they were visible, the main purpose of these innovations was to meet the needs of customers, who were unable to go out freely. In the food sector in particular, the explosion in the number of online orders has forced retailers and their suppliers to adapt quickly in order to keep up the pace.

In Europe, food e-commerce leaped up by 60% in 2020. Home delivery, a very practical alternative when we are not entirely free to go out, has won over new fans. Due to these restrictions, more people were having food delivered to their homes, due to working from home and distance learning, preferring or needing to reduce interactions in stores, avoiding long queues at the checkout… The French are quickly (re)discovering the benefits of online supermarkets that bring shopping to their doorsteps… sometimes in record time!

Online sales were at an all-time high from March 2020. In France, according to Kantar, spending on fast-moving consumer goods and fresh self-service products rose by 55% between April and June compared to the same period in 2019. Delivery slots were being snapped up quickly, as were click-and-collect slots, forcing all players to look around to quickly find solutions.

Delivery is probably the most visible part of this adaptive retail. All across the world, retailers are turning some of their stores into dark stores. These are closed to the public, and are exclusively dedicated to preparing online orders. Amazon, Walmart in the USA, Franprix in France: Just like dark kitchens in the restaurant business, these ghost stores are invading urban areas, solving the problem down to the last mile. 

Food retailing is not alone in transforming its points of sale. Some textile companies, which had to close for many weeks because they were classified as non-essential, have turned this constraint into a logistical advantage, for example by integrating an OMS (Optimisation Management System), which lets them set up the best delivery scenario for an order. The store then becomes a warehouse and the store identified as the best shipping point within the network is responsible for processing the order.  The Covid pandemic has pushed DIY players to accelerate their omnichannel strategies.

Product data management solutions have also played a role in solving supply issues. Peaks in orders have had many consequences on the supply chain. Toilet paper, household products, flour, etc. some items seemed to vanish into thin air. To find suppliers more quickly, some retailers used the Alkemics platform, whereas other suppliers were able to contact retailers to sell off some stock. This “adaptability” was less visible but which was nevertheless essential to meet this new and unforeseeable demand.

How have retailers and suppliers improved the way they communicate, collaborate and share information? Want to find out more about why a product data management solution is necessary for innovating sales channels, functionality or service? 

To learn more, watch the replay of our conference co-hosted with Accenture : What do retailers need to be adaptive and sustainable?