May 2020 | News | Takeaways

Retailers: It's Time to Act

Tags: Retail, Demand Planning, E-commerce

While 43% of retailers say they're taking aggressive action to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, 38% are taking only some action, and 19% are taking a wait-and-see approach, according to Digital Commerce 360. Retailers need to take significant action, however, to address the following five issues, says the research company:

1. Consumer confidence: 97% of retailers report declining consumer confidence as many buyers find themselves in a waiting game to make purchases, and 54% see COVID-19 causing a significant decline in consumer confidence.

2. Sinking revenues: Demand and declining revenues have the most impact, says Digital Commerce 360, due to store and production closures or reduced traffic. Half of retailers expect revenue to decline significantly, and 27% predict some decline.

3. Survival: Retailers worry about the future of their business where liquidity and cash flow were challenged, and the reality that outside investment had ground to a halt, says Digital Commerce 360. That reality already includes:

  • Declining consumer confidence impacting business: 48%
  • Updated sales outlook: 44%
  • Re-forecast revenues: 40%
  • Reduced store traffic: 27%
  • Adjusted financial guidance: 25%

4. Mixed e-commerce results: Traffic, conversion, and average order value are down for almost half of retailers, and 55% report e-commerce declines. About 34% report positive results, and 11% find e-commerce as initially projected. While furloughs and work-from-home models were inevitable, some retailers successfully moved more shoppers online by:

  • Encouraging shoppers to buy online (44%)
  • Announcing their COVID-19 plans (38%)
  • Sending COVID-19 email promotions (21%)

5. Compromised supply chains: Current supply chain challenges include delivery delays (22%), cancellations due to inventory shortages (15%), and back-ordered products (14%), according to Digital Commerce 360. These are the top actions retailers take to manage their supply chains:

  • Communication: 53%
  • Coordination for risk mitigation: 51%
  • Contingency planning: 25%
  • Revisiting the supply chain: 21%





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