From bricks to clicks: The digital transformation opportunity for retail

Business Advisory

6 December 2021

The retail market was hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak back in August 2021, when New Zealand went back into alert level 4.

Retail NZ Chief Executive, Greg Harford, said the August outbreak knocked retail businesses' confidence about their own future with 13 percent of retailers not confident that their business will survive and another 23 percent saying they are on a knife’s edge and it could go either way[1].

Additionally, consumer spending dropped. According to Stats NZ, the electronic card transaction (ETC) report that covers all debit, credit and charge card transactions within New Zealand-based merchants, spending in the retail industry was up 0.6 percent ($39 million) in July 2021 compared with the previous month, but down 19.8 percent ($1,257 million) in August 2021.

So, what can retailers do in the face of these immense challenges? One solution worth considering is taking your business online.

Digital transformation for retailers

The pandemic has not only changed the way we work, but the way consumers shop with many more of us now more likely to shop online.

Opening an online store could help your business access a wider market as it enables consumers to access and order products from anywhere. When your business goes online, shopping can happen 24-7, not just during business hours. Furthermore, consumers can place orders regardless of their physical location.

So, if taking your business online is an option for you, here are a few tips to consider.

Shopping and delivery options

Provide omni-channel shopping and delivery options for customers. Consider all digital channels and tailor according to what your clients use (e.g. website, mobile app, social media, etc.).

Focus on customer service

Good customer reviews increase the chance of your business bringing in new clients and product review and unboxing videos are quickly replacing the traditional way of marketing. Focus on providing a good online shopping experience for your customers to enhance the connection between them and your business.

Know your inventory

Knowing your inventory level in real time is a key to success for retailers. Making sure your online store reflects the real-time inventory availability for different products ensures a speedy delivery of goods to the consumer. Using an integrated online store platform, freighting system and inventory management system will boost your business and help you keep up with the trends in retail.

If you’re thinking about taking your retail business online, speak to your adviser or get in touch with the Findex Accounting and Business Advisory team, who have helped many businesses just like yours go from bricks to clicks.

[1] https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/425053/covid-19-could-mean-10-000-businesses-fail-in-2021-retail-nz

Author: Lisa Qin

As a Software Consultant in the Business Advisory team, Lisa supports our team and their clients picking up the right digital solutions, implementing the systems and providing best practice training. Utilising the benefits of the modern digital solutions and leaving you more time focusing on growing your business is her goal. It can be a challenge deciding on what software is right for your business with so many options available. Lisa enjoys analysing the gaps in your existing systems, what you want to achieve and what is best for you. Making technology speak your language is her goal.