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Changing demands of the customers has led to the different transformations in the retail industry. Innovations in the line of product offerings and the manner in which the organizations undertake the businesses influence the competitive advantage of the same while operating in the diverse markets. The identification of the changing business trends and competition that is induced through continuous innovation in the different operations management has helped in widening the scopes of expansion of the retail markets. On the other hand, the utilization of the internet has enhanced the scopes of the business in order to develop their products and market the same as per the identification of the needs of the customers. The discussion is aimed at identifying the future of the retail industry through a review of the position of Coles in the market. The digital transformation that is undertaken by the industry has helped in enhancing the manner in which the organization acquire the information of the needs of the customers while developing their products. On the other hand, the different technological innovations has helped the organizations in undertaking its growth in the competitive markets.
The purpose of undertaking the report is to understand the future trends that will be affecting the retail businesses. It will be helping the organizations in maintaining their competitive advantage in the scenario of e- commerce development. The research will be studying the market trends which will be helping to review the changing prospects for the retail industry’s growth in future.
Coles is an Australian retail and supermarket chain that is head quartered in Melbourne and is patented by Wesfarmers.The organization was founded in the year 1914 and concentrates on enhancing the consumer services as per their change of requirements. Since its inception, the organization undertook continuous innovation which has added to the competitive edge of the same while operating in the diverse markets. The organization developed “Coles Online”, a page in the internet in order to maintain its online presence through which the customers of the business might “Click and collect” (Pousttchi and Hufenbach 2014). The online integration of the business provided its valued customers with the option of home delivery which has helped the organization in maximizing its sale. The organization employed above 100,000 employees, which has helped the enterprise in upholding the efficiency of operations of the same while operating as per the objectives of its growth. On the other hand, the total assets of the organization, as computed by the end of the fiscal year 2017, was A$ 22.1 billion. It reflected the smooth operation of the business in the competitive environment (Pousttchi and Hufenbach 2014).
The organization operates over 2,200 sites across Australia, which included supermarkets, liquor and convenience stores as per the needs of the customers. The product and services that are offered by the organization depended on the analysis of the needs of the customers, which has helped the business in developing efficient marketing strategies for positioning the product offerings as per the demand. On the other hand, the digital media integration of the organization contributed largely to the growth of the business venture as it assisted the customers to make a buy of the needed commodities without even visiting the physical retail stores. Implementation of suitable ERP mechanisms (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM(Customer Relationship Management) has helped the organization in analyzing their strategic fit in order to cope up with the demands of the customers while operating in the international markets (Wilson 2015). The implementation of the different technologies related to communication has helped the business in establishing effective line of contact with the customers. It has helped the enterprise in devising different strategic management tools in order to enhance their operations as per the expectations of the customers.
The market trends helps in identifying the future of retail industry as it assists organizations in bringing forth changes in the operations. Chung, Rutherford and Park (2012) in the research predicted that the utilization of voice-driven shopping experience will be inducted in the market by 2018 which will be undertaken by different enterprises through partnerships with Google Home. On the other hand, Cho and Trincia (2012) stated that the utilization of augmented reality (AR) will be affecting the shopping experience of the buyers where one might place the commodities in the respective locations in home or office to understand the appropriateness of the buy. Gubbi et al. (2013) added that the implementation of the AR technologies has helped in improving the buying experience of the people as per the needs of the same. Therefore, the key idea of applying different technologies are based on the identification of the needs of the customers, which has helped the retail organization in maintaining the efficacy of the product and service offerings while undertaking online marketing.
The development of different technologies like the IoT and mobile applications has helped businesses in enhancing their efficacy of operations while reaching out to the target customers. Vijayan et al. (2014) stated that the growth of the utilization of the mobile driven technologies has helped the businesses in understanding the needs of the customers at a precise manner which has assisted the same in positioning their products as per the market demand that is faced by the same. On the other hand, Gregory (2015) predicted through the study that the next-generation brick-and-mortar store will be facilitated through the implementation of specialized AI (Artificial Intelligence) driven technology that will be helping the organizations in replacing the cashiers with automated checkouts. It will be helping the enterprises in minimizing the complexity and accountability of same related to payments while undertaking their business. The implementation of the AI technologies will be helping the organizations in dealing with the Big Data, which enables the enterprises in identifying the needs of the customers and thereby position their product offerings as per the demands of the same while operating in the international markets. Hübner, Kuhn and Sternbeck (2013) stated that the utilization of different e-commerce platforms has assisted organizations in maintaining their efficacy through the diversifying its product offerings to facilitate a larger customer base.
Therefore, from the analysis of different current literature it can be stated that the different technological innovation has helped in upholding a prosperous future of the retail undertakings. The identification of the needs of the customers through application of CRM and the digital integration of the businesses has helped in enhancing the position of the businesses while operating on the needs of the same. On the other hand, the advancement of mobile technology and the introduction of the IoT (Internet of Things) will be helping the retail industry in making its progression while operating in the international business contexts.
Zakaria et al. (2014) stated that the application of the AR technologies in the business model will be helping the enterprise in adhering to the different needs of the customers through providing them with a better buying experience online. In this context, Coles has taken steps to integrate the organizational management functioning with the digital media which has helped the business in undertaking smooth operations through the identification of the diverse needs of the customers. However, the organization did not implement the AR technology in their websites which might affect the customer’s understanding of the appropriateness of the commodities that are offered y the organization in their personal lives. It has affected the business venture while coping up with the changed business scenario of retailing businesses. Pantano et al. (2017) stated that the utilization of different technologies will be helping the organization in maintaining their competitive advantage over the other players in the market. Therefore, the lack of adaptability of the organization relating to the AR technologies will be affecting their business in the future years. On the other hand, Ashworth (2012) stated that the implementation of ERP helps organization in managing the inventory more efficiently which facilitates the same while undertaking the smooth functioning as per the market demands. Coles, being a retail- supermarket chain, has implemented suitable ERP which has helped in boosting the organizational capability of adhering to the demand of the customers. On the other hand, the lack of automated billing systems and AR technologies has affected the performance of the business while coping up with the needs of the consumers in the changing business environment. Balasescu (2013) stated that the lack of suitable client handling by ceasing the interactions with customers in the social media platforms will be affecting the growth of the retailers in the future years. The concerned organization lacks in proper customer supports team which has affected the progress of the business while operating on the progression of the same in the international markets. The key elements of change in the organizational performance is based on the identification of the needs of the customers and aligning the capabilities of the organization to cope up with the demands. Therefore, the lack of proper interactive methods will be affecting the operations that are planned by the business while operating in the international markets. The identification of the needs of the customers while operating in the offshore markets will be helping the firm in maintaining their efficacy of operations as per the demands of the customers. As per Pantano (2014), the organization is facing competency related to promotional strategies that are developed the business. The lack of proper control over the different departments has affected the promotional elements of the business. On the other hand, the lack of adaptability of the organization to different technological innovations has affected the progression of the business as per the needs of the customers.
Therefore, from the above analysis it can be stated that the different technological innovations has ensured the smooth functioning of the retail chains through the identification of the needs of the customers. The digital integration of organizations has helped in enhancing the chances of progression of businesses through IoT and AR technologies. In this connection, Coles must take steps to implement AR technologies in the websites in order to bring forth changes in the operations as per the needs of the same while operating in the different international markets. On the other hand, the different technologies that might assist the organization in understanding customer preferences and demands will be helping to enhance the product and service offerings to ensure the future dealings in the retail industry.
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