Retail is one of the industries that has undergone the most dramatic transformation in the last couple of decades. The rapidly evolving business environment presents plenty of opportunities for forward-thinking retailers. The rise of the digital age has changed societal expectations. Today’s customers who have had a taste of the convenience that online shopping has to offer are raising the bar for their retail experience. The retailers that have missed the memo are risking being far behind in the global race. One of the world’s largest retailers, Walmart almost missed an opportunity to go digital. It made quick amends by purchasing eCommerce platforms to serve customers’ interests (Danziger, 2018). Aside from that, Walmart introduced the “Scan & Go” technology to allow people to skip exhausting lines and enjoy the comfort of self-checkout (Danziger, 2018). By making these changes, Walmart has taken into consideration an external factor such as the ubiquity of technology.
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Another factor that is shaping the retail industry today is conscious consumption. The trend is driven by environmental threats and raising awareness of the finiteness of natural resources. A typical fast-fashion brand, H&M has become a pioneer of conscious fashion (Yang, Song & Tong, 2017). The Swedish clothing company launched a “Conscious Collection” line made of eco-friendly, green and recycled materials. Aside from that, H&M has made sustainability a part of its advertising campaign, encouraging people to recycle. The retailer has a voucher program that offers discounts to customers who donate old textile products to its stores. H&M is well-aware of how big of a role ethical production plays in customers’ decision-making process. For this reason, the company is undergoing a massive overhaul to keep up with external trends.
Danziger, P. N. (2018). Walmart doubles down on its transformation into a technology company. Forbes. Web.
Yang, S., Song, Y., & Tong, S. (2017). Sustainable retailing in the fashion industry: A systematic literature review. Sustainability, 9(7), 1266.