The past year has proven to be quite the test for many organizations. Not only was every bottom line impacted, but every step in the supply chain was put to the test for its foundation, structure soundness and resiliency. The difference being, this test was one no one had studied for or been prepared to take! Whether your sales dipped or were heightened, there was no algorithm or wise sage that could have indicated the ‘next best thing’ to do along this journey.
Retailers quickly came up with categorization of ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’. Sections of stores were closed off for safety purposes, other brick and mortar stores were asked to close their doors for a length of time. Online retailers paused incoming inventory to prioritize the processing of essential items. The retail sector, sometimes slower to transform, was forced to alter almost all processes—to keep the shopper, employees and inventory in a less risky position.
Shoppers largely behaved differently in the ‘what’ and ‘where’ they were purchasing, fast fashion took a huge hit, while home comforts eventually started to become a spend. Purchasing shifted from a balanced mix of Brick and Mortar & eCommerce to eCommerce out of necessity, and there aren’t many signs showing this will slow or re-balance.
"The sudden, unexpected shift to eCommerce put retailer technology and solution development in the spotlight"
The sudden, unexpected shift to eCommerce put retailer technology and solution development in the spotlight. The fleeting moments of wanting to fall back on existing technology or processes were a glimmer of hope at best. In reality, every team realized that change had to happen, and it had to happen fast.