October 02, 2014
How can fuels retailers remain competitive?
By: Zahra Bahrololoumi
Retail trends are consistently pointing toward consumers' hunger for a consistent, relevant and convenient customer experience. The time-constrained and tech-savvy social media-tuned consumer is driving consumption patterns in line with their lifestyle and daily working routines. Fuels retailers cannot afford to fall short in delivering basic customer needs, particularly when the leading hypermarkets can mobilize and respond to customer demand in increasingly sophisticated ways. Accenture believes fuels retailers should focus on three key aspects of their service to maintain their competitiveness in an ever-competitive industry:
- Customer focus, to understand what a convenient and relevant offer looks like at every site in the network
- Excellence in customer service provision, delivered at every site in the network, to confirm a consistent customer experience
- Speed to market, to maintain relevance across the retail portfolio.
How can fuels retailers go the distance?
Rebuilding market share requires strategic planning and the ability to implement change. Accenture believes that providing greater value to customers means acknowledging environmental and internal blockers, and understanding how to manage them. The following graphic describes some of the key factors fuels retails must navigate to remain competitive:
- Orientate toward the customer and understand how they can influence your brand. Put the customer at the heart of every business decision. Simplicity, ease and convenience are priorities in the era of digitization, smartphones and social media. Retailers can make the most of increasingly rich sources of data—information on sales, inventory, energy and space utilization, and customer through-flow—to gain new insights into ways to improve the business.
- Use technology to augment the customer experience and capitalize on the need for convenience. Adopt agile architecture and leverage supplier relationships to support fast-changing customer needs and enhance business capabilities.
- Pay attention to real estate. A strong physical presence, effective store layout and real estate analytics can drive savvy investment decisions and an appealing customer experience.
Business leaders need to identify the right combination that provides the greatest return on investment for their business and customer mix.