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Business team celebrating a triumph

5 Ways Retailers Can Adapt To Changing Consumer Expectations

Retailers are responding to consumers’ changing expectations by realigning their organizational structures to better meet these needs. A blog post on explores this trend.

Drawing from a recent study sponsored by, Jim Okamura of Okamura Consulting and Brad Brown, REI senior vice president for digital retail, share their thoughts on adapting organizational structures to the changing consumer.

As the blog post explains, the objective is to increase sales based on improved customer experiences. Satisfied customers lead to repeat business. That’s the name of the game right now.

It’s important to establish a strategy and goal for your organization that’s not based on what everyone else is doing, but rather what makes the most sense for your business. Then use technology to align and support that strategy.

While it’s possible to do things with paper and pencil, organizing that information later is going to be a real headache. You’ll have lots of information in disparate sources. If businesses are serious about shifting their approach, they need a retail management ERP system to capture and organize information.

In the blog post, Brown and Okamura highlight the five keys to adapting to consumer expectations in today’s retail environment.

  1. Define expectations: Cross-channel means different things to customers and employees. A company’s C-suite should understand these different expectations of mobile, ecommerce and traditional retail store channels.
  2. Embrace e-commerce: An online retail forecast conducted by Forrester Research predicts online retail sales to grow from 7 percent of overall retail sales in 2011 to 10 percent in 2017. That’s why the e-commerce department should report directly to the CEO. However, in most organizations today, e-commerce reports to the chief marketing officer or chief operating officer.
  3. Combine marketing efforts: Consider integrating digital marketing (mobile, social and email campaigns) with corporate marketing strategies.
  4. Use mobile technology: Understand that mobile technology is quickly closing the gap and serving as the organizational bridge between digital function and strategy, as well as being an extremely important conduit to customers.
  5. Establish measurement indicators: Measurable metrics and incentives keep organizations on track to work together and achieve long-term success. For example, Brown tells that to facilitate his company’s goal of delivering “seamless service” to customers it established metrics and removed internal obstacles to help employees meet that goal.

Source:, April 2013