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During 2021, the retail sector had a challenging year due to labor shortages, supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, and rising inflation.

However, the industry remained resilient, growing and responding to consumer expectations.

With new technologies emerging and opening up avenues for digital experiences.

Find out here what the main challenges of the industry are, as well as our different suggestions and solutions.

Know the challenges, understand the solutions

1 Challenge

Retaining and engaging talent

Preparing for the future of work can be key to solving talent shortages and retaining talent

Labor issues are the main challenge of the industry at the moment.

83% of retailers are investing in recruiting and retaining talent.*Deloitte

What is the solution?

Retailers must put employees first.

To do this they must reflect on salary increases, but also on areas such as flexibility, culture and diversity, equity and inclusion.

The challenge today is to understand what each employee values most, such as salary conditions and work environment. The opinions are varied, although in retail there is a common axis, rotating schedules and the desired weekends.

Assigning a flexible schedule, combining one week’s days off with the next week’s, making your birthday and/or one weekend a month available can be easy perks that don’t weigh that much.

In addition, it is important to promote the involvement of all stakeholders to build an inclusive workforce strategy and develop more rewarding jobs.

2 Challenge

Constant problems in the circulation of goods

Retailers are investing to improve supply chain capacity and make it more resilient

The pandemic, product shortages, the war in Ukraine, and inflation is having a major impact on the movement of goods and have been a constant concern.

What is the solution?

A good starting point for the distribution industry is to audit their supply chains , identifying parts of the chain that are struggling to deliver, those that are in signs of stress, and those that are falling apart.

Although there is a global shortage of goods, it is always a good idea to have a contingency plan for when things don’t go well. Namely having connections with backup suppliers, in case the usual supplier suffers any shortages.

In addition, if you have warehouses that allow you to hold more stock, this can help you manage slower deliveries and fix problems in the future.

On the other hand, today it is harder to predict where consumers are shopping. This makes companies look for more credible information and technological updates to develop agile systems that can handle new consumer scenarios.

3 Challenge

The retail sector is undergoing a digital transformation

Retailers are investing in digital, through new products, digital experiences and even through the metaverse

With the pandemic consumers have come to rely more on technology, online stores, and digital platforms.

90% of consumers seek a digital buying journey, whether at home, via mobile or even in a physical store *Deloitte

This new reality and at the same time challenge has made companies realize the need to invest in e-commerce, digital marketing, and automated checkout.

What is the solution?

To match current trends and consumer demand, retailers should invest in AI-driven self-service solutions for smoother transactions and online services.

Increasingly, consumers are demanding a faster, more comfortable and often touchless experience.

These automated customer service interactions also play an important role in elevating experiences and allow you to track customer behaviors more efficiently.

4 Challenge

Sustainable consumption growth trend

Retailers bet on circular economy and sustainability

Consumers are increasingly aligning their consumption practices with environmental issues.

55% of consumers say they buy sustainable products or services, retailers are adjusting their supply chains in support of sustainable growth and responsible consumption trends * Deloitte

What is the solution?

To respond to consumer trends retailers have to put the sustainability of brands and their products at the center of their business strategies.

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