by Brooke Gocklin
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Navigate Supply Chain Pitfalls and Satisfy Your Consumers This Holiday Season

Retail holiday 2021Retailers are scrambling to meet demand, given supply chain pitfalls this holiday season. Whether it’s supplying the right amount of inventory or employing enough staff to deliver on consumer expectations, the holidays are bound to be a challenge yet again. 

While sales are expected to increase year over year, the hoops that retailers must jump through to see this revenue is problematic. Supply chains are continuously backed up, awaiting raw materials for production or managing unreliable logistics. While these challenges are intensified due to the pandemic, research shows that this phenomenon is shedding light on a larger problem within supply chain organizations. Today’s consumers are expecting companies to deliver products faster than ever before. However, traditional supply chains are not made for same-day deliveries with excellent service.

Overcoming Supply Chain Pitfalls

“As omnichannel shopping is becoming the new norm, consumer and retail companies must be ready to deliver fast, impeccable omnichannel service. Doing so requires a new supply chain network approach,” research from McKinsey states.

Innovative supply chain leaders are looking into technology solutions that streamline the production, logistics, inventory, and distribution of products. They are already utilizing big data across the supply chain to predict how much inventory they will need in the future. While no one anticipated this pandemic, supply chain leaders have felt the repercussions of not adopting omnichannel AI solutions faster. 

When leaders empower their teams with data, they can source the right raw materials, produce the right amount of products, distribute through the right channels, and monitor consumer trends. With this data, leaders are able to make informed decisions about their supply chain and create meaningful partnerships with suppliers and distributors. So what does all of this mean for retailers this holiday season?

The Washington Post found that there is a high demand this year for consumer electronics and home goods, including furniture. The article encourages consumers to buckle up for a bumpy ride this holiday season, as they report on limited inventory, increased prices, and shipping delays. With supply chain challenges wreaking havoc on retailers large and small, companies must prepare to meet consumer demand in more ways than one.  

With the use of AI technology, companies can not only monitor supply chain trends and forecast upcoming demand, but they can also create authentic relationships with their consumers. Several organizations are adopting technology that enables them to structure their first-party data and apply it to their business goals. 

Retailers in particular are leaning on technology to communicate with customers and monitor the interactions. Today, it’s more important than ever to communicate effectively and showcase the core values of your company at every consumer touchpoint. So, how are retailers preparing to meet consumer demand this holiday season?

Preparing to Meet Consumer Demand

With more and more shoppers ready to purchase the latest technology and home furnishings this season, retailers must be prepared to communicate clearly with their consumers. Shoppers are anticipating shipping delays by shopping early. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t expect their favorite brands to deliver before the holidays.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that retail sales will grow 8.5% to 10.5% year over year. This equates to a total of $843.4 to $859 billion dollars in sales over November and December 2021 alone. Online sales are a part of this projection, expected to bring in 11-15% more revenue than last year. 

While these numbers seem promising, it’s dividing retailers into the “haves” and “have-nots” when it comes to delivering on consumer expectations. Forbes reports that there are retailers experiencing no shortage of supply, while others say the supply chain continues to be a challenge, resulting in goods dwindling despite the demand. 

To combat the frustrated shopper, retailers must communicate clearly with their customers to deliver on expectations. This means that organizations must find a way to connect on a personal level with every shopper, creating meaningful connections with authentic messages.

Satisfying Consumers While Reaching New Retail Goals with AI

Consumer loyalty is not in fashion this year. In fact, research tells us that competition is higher than ever before. Consumers are expecting more from companies. They want authentic, personalized communication. They want to know a brand’s stance on social issues. They want to see their own values within the brands they choose to buy from. And they want shopping to be easy. Easy to find. Easy to buy. Easy to return. 

With this much pressure to exceed expectations on a grand scale, enterprise corporations are finding it impossible to meet the growing consumer demand to create personalized content at scale. You can see why. It is humanly impossible for Fortune 500 retailers to compete in a world that wants individualized messaging for each consumer. 

That’s why forward-thinking leaders are adopting AI as part of their marketing team, automating the mundane, manual tasks and empowering human team members to focus on more strategic and thoughtful work. Organizations everywhere are changing the way they view their teams, especially during COVID. 

Whether your company has chosen a fully-remote workforce or a reorganization of teams, chances are the pandemic changed not only the way you work, but what your company’s expectations are for your production. Those who work-from-home are spending more and more time at their desks, producing more work in less time. While leaders who are revamping their teams are adding more technology to enhance the way they do business and streamline processes for team members. 

So, how are language and retail success related? The words we choose to use offer transformational moments that connect your brand to your customers with human emotion. Words are everywhere, and customers have trillions of messages rushing at them every single day. Despite all of these messages, only certain ones break through. 

Consumers want to feel connected with brands, and forward-thinking leaders understand that there is a better way to speak to consumers. By utilizing AI-generated content and mapping it to human emotion, companies can create authentic connections with consumers to unlock incredible value. 

Along the way, they learn about their consumers’ interests, and track engagement to drive a deeper understanding of the consumers they serve. These learnings take the guesswork out of creative, so teams can make informed decisions on implementation and meet business goals. Discover how Persado has helped several Fortune 500 companies transform their content and realize unprecedented value from their creative.