At Profitect, we pride ourselves on identifying and understanding trends that affect the retail industry, not just based on our experience operating to serve this vertical exclusively, but also because many of our senior executives came from retail as well. I am proud to be among them, having previously served as Managing Director of the Irani Corp. (also known as Al-Srad Ltd.) and CEO of Tommy Hilfiger Israel. Our award-winning prescriptive analytics solution truly was built for retailers by retailers which is why we have such great adoption and retention (more than 100%)!
Now as we continue our impressive growth streak (more than 200% YoY over the past three years), the need for our prescriptive analytics solution continues to grow outside North America. We already have a great foothold with key customers like Asda and others in the UK, customers like Paz in Israel, and Woolworths in South Africa, but as we get ready to attend the leading Retail Business Technology Expo (RBTE) conference, I want to focus this blog on some key UK trends we’re seeing and will be discussing with retailers at this exclusive conference:
Click and Collect: Named buy online, pick up in-store in the US, this trend is particularly prevalent in the UK where studies have found that most customers don’t live far from their town centers or local malls. According to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index in Retail, 79% of UK retailers offer click and collect, versus just 35% in the US. This matches the global trend where consumers are looking to technology to help improve their shopping experiences, but still look to brick-and-mortar stores to test out and physically check products before bringing them home. For the 21% of UK retailers not offering click and collect, we expect to see leaders addressing ways to improve the online and in-store experience and innovating on how to make them more unified.
Amazon and Amazon Prime: Amazon and Amazon Prime are the beasts US retailers have battled over the last few years, causing retailers to re-strategize in order to compete. Amazon’s initial success posed the question of whether physical retail stores would go out of business; as it grew, the challenge focused more on efficient shipping and supply chain. Most recently, Amazon and Best Buy announced a partnership, indicating that physical stores are sticking around and Amazon is leveraging their supply chain network to deliver private label amazonian products. This means that US retailers have to learn to partner and innovate to match these collaborations. The UK is beginning to join the trend – as of 2017, there were 8 million Amazon Prime subscribers. As that number grows, UK retailers will need to compete differently and take on new strategies, just as US retailers have done. For example, the proposed merger of ASDA and Sainsbury’s is another bold move for retailers — specifically grocers — to stay competitive by leveraging size to ensure better pricing, new product introductions, and customer service.
GDPR: The General Data Protection Regulation was approved by the EU Parliament in April of 2016. What does this mean? Given the increase in data leaks and online hacks in recent years, the EU made efforts to harmonize data privacy laws and protect all citizens equally. Now, organizations have until May 25, 2018 to become compliant.
Given this focus, the GDPR and regulation compliance are and should be at the top of all EU retailers’ minds. As retail deals with the collection of massive amounts of data, including customers’ personal identification and payment information, it is particularly important to take steps to protect it. Should retailers fail to comply, they should expect a hefty fine and other potentially damaging consequences.
If you’d like to chat more about the trends we’re seeing in the UK and broader European retail communities and how prescriptive analytics can help organizations approach data challenges, please stop by our booth at RBTE. We’ll be at Stand E100 with one of our premier partners Zebra Technologies.
Visit here to learn about our upcoming events, and contact Yonatan Olsha at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to set up a meeting. For those unable to attend, follow our events updates and more about the company on Twitter: @Profitect.