As retail preferences continue to shift in favor of online shopping, retailers are facing pressure to keep up with the latest technology to stay relevant to their customers’ expectations.
However, expanding business online is proving to be difficult and retailers are often faced with many challenges, be it from external or internal factors, that hinder efforts to provide a satisfying omnichannel experience.
What is the challenge these retailers are facing? And what can they do to improve their omnichannel experience? PwC has shared its latest insights based on a survey conducted globally to help the retailers make the digital leap.
What channels are retailers using to generate sales?
In addition to the offline store (79%), a website is the next popular platform for 73% of retailers to sell products.
Meanwhile, unsurprisingly mobile apps (24%) have become the next channel to reach a wider audience.
21% of retailers around the world are still using catalogs to promote their products and as much as 18% of retailers are still dependent on a call center.What channels are retailers using to generate sales?
What are the challenges to creating an omnichannel experience?
30% of the retailers surveyed stated ‘budget constraints’ as their biggest challenge.
Many of them don’t come from a global household name and find it challenging to devote their limited resources to manage another channel.
They also have to face challenges branching from the existing system. 13% of the leadership team doesn’t consider omnichannel as a priority and many are resistant to the idea of changing their legacy system (21%). Even when they are willing to, they find it difficult to integrate (20%).
The lack of talent and expertise in the field (16%) continue to be another bottleneck in online retail.
What can retailers do to improve?
With limited resources, retailers need to have smarter strategies to optimize budgets and reach the right audience. Omnichannel is not about favoring one over the other, it’s about the synergy of different channels to create a more satisfying customer experience.
A smarter strategy comes down to two things:
Although in-store is still the most common channel for people to shop, mobile is an increasingly popular way to browse and shop and will continue to gain popularity in the future.
How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?
– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability
A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.
Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.
The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.
Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.
In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.
While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.
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