The retail industry involves selling a diverse range of goods which in turn entails complex supply chains. In some cases, retailers are vertically integrated and may self-supply or even produce their own products as well. Retailers sell products to consumers through a variety of channels. The most popular channels include traditional “brick and mortar” stores and online through websites and ecommerce platforms. However, there are still some retailers that sell products through niche channels such as infomercials, catalogs, and vending machines.
The industry as a whole is facing many challenges that will require retailers to make drastic changes to their traditional operating models in order to survive. One of the biggest challenges is increasing competition from e-commerce platforms and an overall channel shift into digital. Increased customer expectations in terms of lower prices, flawless shopping experiences, and maximum convenience are other major challenges retailers are facing. Retailers should leverage technology to overcome the challenges they are currently facing in the marketplace.