Millennials favour global supply chain to meet digital challenges
In four years, millennials will account for at least a third of all retail spending in Australia.
Millennials are not only among the fashion industry’s biggest spenders ($200 Billion spent globally this year alone), but they are literally changing the industry with their shopping habits.
Millennials are more than familiar with digital technology, and what is new and exciting to us is just normal to them, with three out of four millennials buying online – although, perhaps surprisingly, from local shops.
Having grown up with the internet, they have never experienced a time when waiting was normal. They demand instantaneous satisfaction, whether it’s sales, information or delivery. This need for immediate consummation means they buy online.
This demand for instantaneous results is catching many retailers off guard.
Having an automated, up-to-date online store to browse as well a fully stocked local physical store is too much for many business, especially the smaller players.
In trying to keep up with the changes in the industry, businesses are now looking towards a global network of businesses working together, in an effort to meet the new challenge of millennial requirements.
Here’s three ways they could do it.
Get the balance right between digital and physical
The latest Retail Insights Report by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia shows that 40% of Australian retailers are planning on opening at least one more channel in the coming year.
This potential growth is forcing everyone to look at different ways of ordering, distribution and the supply chain, and also to re-think their customer service approach.
One possible course of action is to have a physical store where people try on clothes before making a purchase online. The order is then passed on to a third party distributer, who handles the logistics.
Conversely, retailers could use their online stores to send people to their physical stores. From loyalty programs to flash sales, consumers could be encouraged to head down to the store instead of buying online.
Become more flexible with orders and product
Cookie cutter products aren’t going to cut it in the millennial world. Traditional made-to-stock goods won’t meet the demand for change, and ordering too much stock in advance may ruin your business.
Inventory needs to be flexible, along with changes to products, delivery times and price. Everyone in your supply chain needs up-to-the-minute information, along with open communication about the how, why, and when.
Having a free-flowing, malleable supply chain can improve stock replenishment, speed of delivery, and ability to deal with any unexpected changes.
Data analysis is the future
Every click anyone ever makes online is recorded somewhere, and understanding and translating those clicks is a billion-dollar industry.
With the right analysis of your customer’s data, you can clearly see what is working, and more importantly, what is not. This allows you to eliminate something that isn’t working and invest in something that is – all in real time. You don’t have to wait until the quarterly report to indicate what’s selling and what isn’t.
Being able to make these changes as you go, can make the difference between making a profit and going out of business. Gone are the days of the industry telling people what they should buy – millennials drive the market with their purchases.
The plethora of choice out there means that spotting trends is the only way to keep on top of what’s coming next, and looking at the real-time data is the only way to do that. By seeing what’s going on in social media, you can get feedback on the latest products, tweaking the design and creating the next big thing your customers are looking for.
Image Label Systems is with you every step of the way
No matter what the future holds, we are here to guide and help.
We work with some of the biggest names in the business, and we can help even the smallest start-up to get a foot up on the ladder.
From retail packaging through to security tags, we have a global network of suppliers, manufacturers and retailers, all working together.
Times are changing, and those companies that don’t change with them, will surely be left behind.
We’ll be there to help you avoid the basic mistakes retailers make when starting out, like opting for the cheapest supplier. It may save you money… but it will only be short term, as the lowest cost supplier is usually the slowest cost supplier. They may be cheaper because they are further away, or simply because they churn out enmasse and you’re a very small part of their operation.
Our global network supply chain allows us to work together, achieving results and evolving a smooth, efficient value chain. This in turn leads to lower costs, faster deliveries and higher customer satisfaction.
If you would like to know more about how we can help, please don’t hesitate to contact us.