Economists’ all over the world are debating on the future of global economy, while there are brief moments which usher optimism the economic sentiments of most people are very cautious. The dwindling economy has had its impact on most sectors, and the retail sector has had to bear the brunt of this uncertainty too. The retail sector is impacted by many factors that cannot be directly controlled such as interest and unemployment rates, economic strength, fiscal policy, high fuel prices, poor salary hikes and high expectations of the consumers. Like all the years, 2015 has come with a new hope, there is hope that the market will finally stabilize and there will be a lot more sales opportunities for the retail companies. There is a prediction that the holiday sale for retail products will rise by 4% this year.
The prediction is sure to bring a smile on the faces of most business owners. But as a business owner you should be better prepared to confront the challenges that exist in your industry. The challenges existing in the present market are unique and their solutions should be well thought out. To run your business successfully in the economically challenging times there is need to understand the challenges that lie in front of you.
Hurdles for the Retailers
Every retail business has to contend with some of the common issues such as market saturation, increase in multi-channel purchases, high operating costs, reduced customer loyalty, customers with least to spend and the influence of digital media in making purchases. Apart from these there are some other challenges that the present day retailers face such as:
- Increase in Overhead Expenses: The operation costs of a retail company are always rising. The rental rates, power charges and other overheads are squeezing the profit margins of businesses. There has been a widespread demand among the retailers in UK for a freeze on the government taxes, but the bill is yet to come. With the buying trends dipping, the overhead expenses are especially affecting the business owners. Their business profits are being halved by rising overhead costs.
- Risk Management of Supply Chain: There is a rising demand to reduce costs on all types of consumer packaged goods. So, the retailers have to don the role of supplier and build collaborative supply chains. At times they have to run the risk of taking blame for a product they never had knowledge about.
- Shipping and Logistics: With thinning profit margins the retailers cannot rely on a logistic partner for delivery of their goods. They have to handle the logistics themselves. When the retailer becomes a logistic handler too, there is a lot of risk involved. Often the companies have to pay for damages in shipping and this further reduces the profits. The rising costs and ever tightening government regulations are further posing a sea of challenge for the retailers.
- Globalization and Market Saturation: Each year thousands of new brands are emerging in the retail industry, they are claiming a part of your prospective customer base. The margins of division between the companies are blurring and small things are creating all the difference. This is why the retail businesses have to think and act smart to penetrate the market. If using the services of call center outsourcing company can provide that marketing push, then use the services. As a business you have to be proactive.
- Analytical Data: In the age of Big Data every company is trying to outthink the other with analytical data. They are creating sales offers based on the analytics reports and choosing markets based on data. Every business is making use of the data to etch their future plans.
- Transformation to e-Retail: e-retail is the recent trend and it will grow with every passing year. The brick and mortar retail stores should seriously start thinking about transforming to online stores. This again calls for an immense expense. Building a website with all the functions and then promoting it on the World Wide Web would cost you a bit.
- Strategies for Digital Channels: Having a website is not the only thing that would drive sales for you. You need to plan for promotion in the appropriate channels such as social media, Youtube and various other forums. You have to create brand loyalists and influencers in these channels.
- Rising Costs: Costs are increasing in all regards, whether it is Information Technology, Human Resources or Finance and Accounting. If you need the right infrastructure, employees or calculations you have to pay for them!
Things that can make a Positive Change
Market condition will not improve drastically any time soon, so the companies have to realign their plans to fit the scenario. In such a situation services of a retail call center can definitely save the day for your brand. Having a capable call center outsourcing partner makes a lot of sense. Some of the ways the outsourcing companies can help your business include:
- Proven Processes: The outsourced call centers have a proven process that can link all the business risks to strategic goals. With the help of outsourcing partners the company resources can be utilized to their maximum and thus the losses can be limited. The analytics services that come with call center services help in sharpening the risk response and marginalize the operational and reputation risks.
- Shipping & Logistics Handling: When the reputed call centers take care of shipping and logistics, the inaccuracies will be very low and there will be proper tracking of all the shipments.
- Domain Expertize: When you use the services of a company such as Call Center Globally which has years of domain experience, your business can run in a smart way. There can be strategies chalked that would counter the market saturation.
- Software Edge: At Call Center Globally we have a range of customized software that helps businesses in gaining accurate insights from the customers and customizing their services likewise. Experienced retail call centers can help you make sense out of the data gathered.
- Personal Touch: The experienced call centers help customize each and every response. The personification in communication and a sense of empathy shown by the agents can go a long way in keeping the customers happy.
Partnering with a reputed call center outsourcing company can go a long way in helping your retail business grow. The call centers are well aware of the present challenges in the retail industry and customize their services to match the needs.