We are in unprecedented and troubling times. Each passing day brings new developments of COVID-19 that are upending the very fabric of our global economy and challenging executives to operate in an unknown retail environment. As leaders, we are called to navigate our businesses through a historic shift in consumer demand.
Being thrust into unparalleled territory will require strategic thinking, a cool head and support from as many external sources as possible to survive this pandemic crisis. It is a time when understanding the current cycle for the market, the decisions that we make and subsequent actions we take more critical than ever before.
Store closures, rapid changes in consumer demand, moving to a Work-From-Home (WFH) framework and government-imposed restrictions, all mean the global retail industry is now operating in a new non-normal state.
- Businesses will need easy access to data and insights in order for their ‘WFH’ workforce to take informed, swift and coordinated action from the safety of their home offices.
- Operating in this era of the new non-normal will mean a dramatic divergence from historical trends and YoY comparisons. A daily, weekly and trailing monthly view is required to truly understand the state of business and how teams can better manage inventory, pricing, promotions and marketing. Getting the best and most straightforward action is paramount when your team is not physically connected at your worksite and operating in a disrupted daily pattern.
- New strategies around product and customer will need to be considered in order for teams to maximize revenue generating activities, safeguard your best customers, optimize inventories and rationalize open-buys for the current and upcoming season(s).
Though this crisis has been driven by a novel coronavirus, we feel that the economic cycle and impact will follow a known pattern of recovery, even if the timeframe and severity are not yet clear. We believe that leaders should be planning and executing based on three stages:
1. Turbulent Decline
We, at DynamicAction, have access to a robust dataset of retail transactions across North America and Europe that puts us in a unique position to track the progress of consumer demand across $14B in annual transactions. Through our Retail Index, published several times a year, we are able to provide benchmarks and deliver action ready insights on demand, profitability, inventory levels and customer behavior that retailers can put into practice immediately. In the coming weeks, we will publish a snapshot of continuously updated consumer demand, product supply and inventory efficiency metrics on our homepage and social channels for the industry to track their progression through each stage of the recovery cycle.
'Gut instinct and long running seasonal trends will no longer offer suitable guidance to operate during extraordinary times like these. But your data will guide you (and your teams) with insight that enables you to make the best decisions for your business.'
We believe that retailers who weigh the trends and utilize advanced analytical tools to unearth demand will be well positioned to capitalize on never before seen opportunities as they unfold. DynamicAction supports our retail clients at all times— more so in these unsure ones — and having the right partners to help guide you through these stages will be essential. Continue to check back as we provide updated metrics and expand on a roadmap to successfully navigate your business towards recovery.