Digital is no longer an option for retailers

Digital is no longer an option for retailers

After adopting digital tools to combat lockdowns and travel restrictions, retailers have continued their digital transformation.

In 2021 they accelerated it.

With digitization now helping more than half of retailers to develop their activity, retail companies are now looking for opportunities to increase their expertise!

A lot has happened in retail companies since our last barometer last June. The economic recovery and the return of customers to the branches have not triggered a step backwards in terms of digital transformation.

On the contrary, more and more retailers see the benefits for their business in the complementarity between digital and physical channels.

Her desire today is clear to increase her skills on these issues and to surround herself well, both internally and externally, to respond to the new practices that this implies, to make them a real lever for growth. »

Laurent Nizri, President of ACSEL

Whether perceived as an opportunity or as a must, digital technology leaves no one indifferent!

There has undoubtedly been some change in business in the past two years.

Those who have watched the world transform from afar have been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis. They were tricked into transforming to resist.

Since then, they have learned to tame this new environment.

If some are still reluctant to go there (43%), they also (44%) see it as a real growth opportunity.

Even more encouraging is that retailers with 20+ employees are really embracing this revolution: 96% of them are implementing a digital transformation policy and 65% see it as a real opportunity for their business!

There’s nothing so surprising about this twist, since 51% of retailers (69% with more than 20 employees) believe that digital contributes to their sales, ie 9 points more than the last barometer!

Today, digital transformation is mainly perceived as an opportunity to develop local commerce (57% of respondents, including 76% of companies with more than 20 employees).

An omnichannel strategy that becomes a goal

Logically, 51% of executives have set themselves the goal of evolving their omnichannel strategy (+16 points compared to the last barometer).

The advantages of such an orientation are clearly perceived.

More than 8 in 10 believe this decision will allow them to maintain customer relationships and secure their business despite the crisis.

Almost as many (78%) also see it as an opportunity to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Values ​​that increase by almost 10 points for companies with more than 20 employees: a record!

Now 1 in 2 retailers (and more than 7 in 10 companies with 20+ employees) are collaborating on their sales, communication, loyalty and customer knowledge strategies at both physical and online outlets!

Digital technology to get to know your customers better: a rapidly growing practice

While the use of analytics tools is not yet fully mainstream, it has increased by 12 points compared to the last Barometer (40%). 20% of them have increased their investment in these tools.

And now 46% of respondents believe developing a customer knowledge strategy is essential.

Again, a proportion that increases significantly for retailers with more than 20 employees (57%).

Need for support to build expertise

Retailers clearly express the need to be supported in the digitization of their activity (about 1 in 4), particularly in relation to supporting their employees in change (41%, ie + 22 points since June 2021).

While demand for help in mastering digital tools remains strong (84% for less than 20 employees), it is still down 7 points compared to the last barometer, while 80% of respondents (with less than 20 employees) now have one Want guidance on where to start (plus 7 points).

In addition to external help, retailers are taking their digital transformation into their own hands.

In this area, they place particular emphasis on training their employees (36%, ie +5 points since June 2021) and 55% now believe they have the skills in-house to support the ramp-up of digital practices.

In addition, 17% (+5 points) have recruited specific profiles to support their digital transformation, this number rising to 38% (+6 points) for companies with more than 20 employees.

In addition, 49% of merchants favored recruiting young people (apprentices, working students and recent graduates), and this much more because of their digital proficiency (64%) than because of their low costs (25%).

Tax Justice and Employment Policies: Actions Expected by Traders

While retailers use very little external financing to support their digital transformation (6%), 83% of them expect public authorities to take action to help them adapt their business to new consumption patterns.

Almost 8 out of 10 respondents would also like an attractive employment policy in their industry.

In addition, 75% called for more tax equity between different actors in trade.

Finally, 64% would like the state to support the digitization of physical commerce…

[1]methodology : Ipsos study for ACSEL carried out among 700 French companies from 1 to 4 999 employees, from March 14 to April 8, 2022, based on telephone interviews.



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