Future of Commerce Blog

Are Your Operations Agile Enough for a Changing Retail Landscape?


As with any industry, the problems retailers face change as technology solves old problems while creating new ones.

The introduction of eCommerce sites and marketplaces, taken one step further by the advent of shopping via social media, has made shopping easier than ever for the consumer; which, of course, benefits retailers.

But, it’s also created a much more complicated retail landscape that only continues to grow in complexity as technology advances.

The new retail reality is one of constant evolution, and we might not yet even know the problems of tomorrow. What we do know, however, is that the industry is rapidly changing and the retailers that will succeed are those that can change their operations quickly and with ease.

Agility is Key to Success in Today’s Retail Landscape

Last week, we gathered together a panel of representatives from some of the retailers who are doing just that and seeing successful results.

Samantha Donohue of women’s apparel brand Evy’s Tree said, “we don’t have the baggage of legacy systems. We can make changes instantly and adapt to what our customers are looking for at any given point in time.”

The agility Samantha mentioned is critical to brands today because of how quickly the retail landscape is changing. She went on discuss this massive shift, saying, “Apple changed the whole [music] industry with iTunes and I’m super excited to see how companies like ours change the retail shopping experience. The days of people wanting the same thing on the rack are over. They want something unique and that there’s a purpose behind.”


Focus on the Customer Experience

Christoph Stickney, co-founder of apparel brand Amour Vert, agreed with Samantha: “Customers want an experience. ECommerce is a lowly experience that finishes on a product page. The big difference in fashion retail is that retailers that are successful are those with a lot of units per transaction. That’s where an exceptional sales staff comes in…someone who is styling the customer head to toe. There’s a value proposition in styling her that the retail dinosaurs aren’t getting.”

While we hear constantly about how to optimize for online, Jen Howell of Peak Design reiterated Christoph’s claim that retail is still—and perhaps more so than ever—about the consumer experience.

Jen explained, “It’s hard to understand value when you’re looking at a product on the screen. It’s really important to us that a customer has the opportunity to see it and touch it. Having that experience and that touchpoint is critical. With our store, we want to create a community space since we’re very community-based.”

Peak Design’s desire to create a space not only where customers can touch and feel their products, but where they can come together to talk about photography, is what today’s consumer is looking for.

Come Join Our Next Discussion

Our panelists from Evy’s Tree, Amour Vert, and Peak Design helped demonstrate the importance of the customer experience, and how agile operations enable brands to test new ways to connect with their customers.

We’ve got great panelists lined up in LA and NYC next week, so if you’d like to continue the conversation and learn more from brands who are seeing success in a changing retail landscape, RSVP here: Los Angeles (August 22)  // New York City (August 24)

Megan Lierley

Megan Lierley is a content marketer focused on thought leadership and customer stories. When she's not writing, listening to podcasts, or exploring her native Bay Area, Megan enjoys traveling the globe in search of the world's best eggs Benedict.

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