Marketing, buying and merchandising, IT, store operations, ecommerce - it’s the retail structure we know and love.

Marketing, buying and merchandising, IT, store operations, ecommerce - it’s the retail structure we know and love.

Unfortunately, most customers don’t think about the organisational structures of the retailers they buy from when they are crossing channels, switching devices and updating their social media feeds on their latest purchase.

Today’s retail organisations are set up first and foremost to serve the brand, not the customer.

However, over the past decade the balance of power has shifted, driven by the proliferation of channels, product choice, fulfilment and returns options. The consumer is now very much in charge of where, when, how and who they buy from. This leaves us with 20th century retail organisations that are at odds with 21st century customers’ needs and wants.

It’s no longer about location, location, location. We are rapidly moving towards the only model the customer is really interested in, which is ‘anything, anytime, anywhere’.

The differences in the digital performances of retailers - and some corresponding like-for-like falls in store sales - over peak show why there’s no time to take your foot off the pedal.

There are some very meaty, transformative projects being kicked off by retailers who realise that using digital to tinker at the edges of their propositions and business models is no longer enough.

Argos and Tesco are just two examples of businesses that are thinking about the new ways of retailing that will be crucial to their success. Most multichannel retailers are making some progress, but for it to be a differentiator requires step-change.

We’re helping several retailers with decisions about replacing the technical infrastructure underpinning their businesses, organisational redesign plans and preparing for continued shifts in consumer wants and behaviour.

Projects being kicked off in the coming weeks will eventually help to create businesses that are fundamentally different to the ones we know today.