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Accenture suggests 10 ways a multichannel retail approach can help in competing with retail e-commerce players.
Today online retailers are the preferred choice for customers worldwide. Does this mean traditional retailing is over? No. Traditional retailers can too march ahead by offering a multichannel retail experience to customers.
Online pure plays have changed the retail game with their new approach to technology, innovation and execution. To compete successfully with retail e-commerce players, Accenture recommends traditional retailers adopt a strategic thinking by applying key principles from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.
Download the report from the left-hand column or watch the video on these 10 ways to compete with retail e-commerce players.
Please select any of the icons below to learn more about each of the 10 ways that help deliver a consistent retail customer experience across all channels:
In today’s price-transparent marketplace, retail e-commerce is preferred because it offers an easier access to a wide range of products at affordable prices. And, the global footprint of the online players continues to increase. Amazon, for example, is not only the world’s leading online retailer, but also has captured a 10 percent share of the North American media market.
So should traditional retailers become online pure plays too? The catch is that a purely online business model has some significant weaknesses. Traditional retailers should capitalize on their own strengths—a great portfolio of the brands that shoppers want, and work toward offering customized multichannel retail experience to the customers.
Learning from The Art of War
Accenture draws inspiration from a set of core concepts and principles developed by Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu. These are highly relevant for traditional retailers struggling to compete against the retail e-commerce players.
First in the field has an advantage: Innovate and differentiate yourself in the ever-changing marketplace that will keep you ahead of your competitors
Preparation: Consider and quantify the unknown
Disciplined organization: Adopt an organization structure that best utilizes all your resources and capital to focus on the customer experience
Understand your relative strengths and weaknesses: Assess the opportunities and threats that are specific to your company, sector and customers, and adapt to the changing market needs
Agility: React to opportunities at speed
Accenture proposes steps that can help retailers chart their route to high performance:
Innovate faster: Experiment your way to success by innovating, discarding the failures, building on the successes and implementing new strategies at speed. For example, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are the most innovative companies worldwide and are playing in the retail space.
Get geeky: Have the right technical talent that understands both the business and business enabling information technology (IT) to work more collaboratively. Walmart, for instance, acquired Kosmix, a California-based start-up best known for building a Twitter filtering tool called TweetBeat.
Personalize content: Develop targeted offerings to deliver a remarkable retail customer experience. Learn from Amazon, which was a pioneer in the personalization of content that today’s customers increasingly demand.
Do not copy: Recognize and capitalize on your own unique strengths to build effective value propositions and not copy successful online retailers. Take for example, Zara or Ikea enjoy the brand heritage and loyalty in continental Europe.
Sell what they can’t sell: Compete with retail e-commerce players on both product range and price by offering private label and branded products with unique features.
Up close and personal: Differentiate service by applying a personal touch at every stage of the customer purchase journey. Take the example of Burberry’s stores in China, where sales assistants are equipped with iPads to help consumers order if certain items are not available in the store.
Open flagship and convenience stores: Provide the customer with the best experience the brand can offer—a strong range, great customer service, add-on services, entertainment and multichannel retail integration. Kiddicare (the baby products website from Morrison’s, a UK retailer), for example, took over 10 of the former Best Buy Europe big box stores.
Proposition or die: Provide the greatest value proposition to customers. For example, ASOS has partnered with collect+ to allow customers to select the nearest and most convenient delivery or return point for their products from a network of 4,500 locations across the United Kingdom.
Marketplace rules: Replicate the online marketplace by letting third parties hold stock and charge them a commission on sales in return for bringing them customers. Amazon Marketplace is a proven example of success in this case.
Same game, different rules: Build additional revenue streams. For instance, Amazon earns additional revenues from digital content subscriptions and nonretail activities, such as platform services, application hosting and advertising.
September 4, 2012
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