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Pandemic drives boom in retail risk taking

Risky business: SME retailers are taking more chances

Some 60% of UK retailers are taking more business risks than before the Covid-19 pandemic, as they drive for financial growth, company value and to attract more customers.

According to research conducted by Opinium and LiveArea, a Merkle Company, businesses are reacting to changes in consumer behaviour and gambling on new services or offerings.

As well as taking more risks, the process of implementation has sped up. When it comes to approving new products, features, or solutions, over half (54%) stated that approval process has become quicker as a direct result of the pandemic. Moreover, 64% of businesses are quicker at making business decisions and 23% are much quicker.

When introducing new ideas to the market, technology was seen to be the main driver. 6 in 10 (60%) stated technology drove innovation, while nearly half thought that profits (49%) and customer demand (48%) were key drivers.

‘The pandemic has highlighted some of the glaring faults in many retail companies. For too long they have feared introducing new technology, utilising new platforms, or stepping outside their traditional audience,” says Samantha Mansfield, Senior Strategy Director at LiveArea, a Merkle Company.

She adds: “This can simply no longer be the case – brands need to take risks but do so in a data driven manner. The keys to modern retailer success lie in being able to innovate, test, and rollout new products, services and features quickly, and then having the insight and flexibility to consistently optimise its performance. Companies able to so will thrive in our new digital first economy.”

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