Published on in RetailDigital Transformation

Across sectors, competition is high. For most, digitalisation has caused retailers to think outside the box in order to not only attract new customers, as well as keep existing ones.

Choice is not restricted to what consumers buy: customers can now choose when, where and how they shop, giving them more control than ever before.

This creates a task for retailers and brands to find new ways to create unique shopping experiences to engage their consumers and attract new audiences, with the hope of building brand loyalty within both groups.

In order to reach them successfully, retailers are required to understand what shoppers want, and one way we’ve seen them carry this out is through collaboration.

Last year collaboration between retailers grew as we saw the likes of the Post Office and WH Smith team up, Tesco and Arcadia do more together, as well as the fruitful acquisition of Argos by Sainsbury’s.

Collaboration at its best

With the war on the high street in full swing due to the surge in online, high street retailers can benefit from working with an e-tail counterpart to offer added convenience to their customers.

Meanwhile, the ready-made high street customer base and guaranteed footfall are some of the benefits online retailers can look forward to receiving from a brick and mortar partnership.

This year we’ll see these types of collaboration continue, as retailers find ways to maximise their in-store footprint and see consolidation as an effective way of doing this.

How to do it right

With increasing competition on the high-street, non-competitive partnerships like the one between Argos and Sainsbury’s can offer real success.

Each complements the other’s principal offering, allowing customers to purchase everything they need under one roof.

Retailers considering this avenue would be wise to spend time researching the organisation that best fits with them: one that’s different enough not to simply take their customers, but similar enough to drive conversion – something evidenced by Sainsbury’s record Christmas grocery sales growth after acquiring Argos.

This type of collaboration appeals to an increasingly busy customer base which not only has limited time to shop but also a wide variety of interests and lifestyles.

Retailers should be looking at Sainsbury’s approach and learning from, it especially to ward off inevitable declining sales at particular points in the year.

If done right, they, like Sainsbury’s, can look forward to the fruits of a wider customer base: more sales and happier customers.

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Rupal Karia

Head of Public & Private Sectors at Fujitsu UK & Ireland
Rupal leads Fujitsu's business serving public and private sector organisations in the UK, encompassing Retail, Hospitality, Public Sector & Government, Manufacturing, Utilities, Telecoms and Services.

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