When Retail Contracted COVID-19 | Tech Mahindra

When Retail Contracted COVID-19

The retail experience economy got a very large beating since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new world order has changed how it operates. Social distancing and the inability to try clothes before buying or physically touching is increasingly becoming a reality that has made the brick-and-mortar retail experience even more customer-centric than ever before.

Even traditional businesses that had shunned technology now must adapt due to lockdowns.

In such a dynamic environment, retail businesses have to wonder about questions such as:

  • How do we give the in-store experience to consumers who are shopping online?
  • How do we ensure customer satisfaction and product exchanges without risks?

Covid-19 threw a wrench in the delicate balance of business continuity and employee and customer safety.

The challenge of employee and customer safety, along with regulatory and government-mandated requirements, is now forcing retail businesses to ask the outsourcing questions such as:

  • What can we hand over to experts in the field of business process such that retail can concentrate on creating and managing customer experiences?

The reality of omni channel has yet to make life simple for most retail businesses. Managing the multitude of input gateways for customer service is not yet as simple as earlier envisaged.

The need for dedicated professionals with knowledge of what the entire process looks like in omni-channel communications is now more relevant than at any other time. As we move forward, the need is only set to increase.

The dynamism in retail has seen it use technology when other industries were at the exploratory stage. It is a market segment that is not shy to experiment with new technology and has usually embraced new technology almost always in the past. Along with that attitude comes a serious challenge to harness the technology and maintain customer expectations.

Retail has new challenges on the horizon. Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality is taking shape. When you add social media to the mix of it all, the potent mixture is quite unstable without stabilizing partners.

Business processes that do not add value to the customer experience will be the first casualties of this war, but it is also increasingly clear that omni-channel support and related analytics is no longer a luxury for retail businesses. It’s a necessity if they want to stay on top of customer demands, market, and customer trends.

The recovery of retail is the first indicator of economic stability, and creating a conducive environment for the customer is where retail has to focus its attention. The required support on business processes to keep the focus of retail businesses on the essentials of their industry is now available. It includes customizations that help businesses pick and choose what they need immediately and create structures unique to businesses with their own flavour of customer experience.

In the days to come, we will see how partners become necessary for long-term survival and growth.

About the Author
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Arjya Mohanty

Arjya Mohanty is the Practice Leader for Retail, E-Commerce and CPG at Tech Mahindra who has worked predominantly in solving the challenges in the respective industries and has a hands-on understanding of the industry and its changes. You can contact him at am00618402@techmahindra.com