The European retail sector is undergoing a period of unprecedented transformation.
Retailers have emerged from the financial downturn at the start of the decade to find that the purchasing behavior and demands of their customers have been radically changed by both economic conditions and the impact of digital technology, most notably mobile and social media.
Established giants such as Tesco are battling a new wave of competition from fast-growing discount players, while sectors such as fashion and electronics retailing are being shaken up by the challenges and opportunities that online channels present.
Perhaps the biggest battle facing European retailers is to meet the increasingly high level of expectation of their customers. The likes of Amazon and Google are raising the bar for product delivery from next-day to same-day.
Good and bad news travel faster than ever in the age of social media, which is putting brand loyalty under growing pressure. Retailers need to work harder than ever to ensure that they keep their customers happy and continue to stay on course with the competition in order to survive.
Against this background, PAC conducted a survey among 200 CxOs in European retail companies (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the Nordic region, Spain and the UK), each with more than 500 employees.
The study explores the following questions:
- How will physical and digital channels change in strategic importance in the next 3-5 years?
- What are the main goals of retailers’ omnichannel strategies? Who is leading it within the organization, and how will they measure its success?
- How far advanced are European retailers in integrating physical and online channels? How many are able to offer click-and-collect or in-store online ordering?
- What impact is the omnichannel strategy having on IT investment? What are the areas of their IT landscape that European retailers expect to enhance or modernize in order to drive improved channel integration, more streamlined operating models or a better customer experience?
- How will retailers execute their omnichannel strategies? Will they look to work with external partners, and in what areas will they look for support?