How can the retail sector maintain its good run this year

Retailers had a great 2022, especially during Q4 thanks to Black Friday sales and holiday shopping. So how can they keep the streak going in the new year? Read on to get the full scoop.


by Aline Barbosa

01/07/2023 | Updated on 01/11/2023

Things are good for now, but they can be better! Check out how to thrive in 2023.

How can retail keep thriving in 2023? Source: Freepik.

Even though we are currently experiencing new levels of depressed consumer confidence, an ongoing rising inflation and a high COL, the latest data from BER Retail Survey shows that retail confidence had a significant improvement in South Africa during Q3. 

Black Friday sales also shined a ray of optimism in the retail sector. According to NielsenIQ, the promotional period surpassed Christmas shopping in the country in 2022. 

The research company said that Black Friday week in 2021 also surpassed holiday shopping week. Retail sales of consumer goods were 23% higher than all month-end weeks throughout the year. 

Technology keeps the retail business afloat

Of course that bargain-hunting by the cash-strapped consumer helped Black Friday and other promotional periods become a success. However, there are also other forces at play. One of the reasons retail keeps coming off the other end is due to its adoption of technology.

A good example is Shoprite Group’s on-demand delivery service called Sixty60. Even though the service was only released in 2020, it claimed over 75% of market share in the last quarter of 2021. 

Its appeal to the ever-present Gen Z consumers have surely helped to establish Sixty60 as the driving force amongst grocery delivery services. The fact is such an impressive growth could push other retail sectors into introducing their own delivery services soon. 

Other retailers chose to pursue tech partnerships in an effort to avoid investing in new infrastructure. Juma – Africa’s biggest e-commerce retail announced recently a partnership with Zipline in order to employ drones into their on-demand delivery services. 

The fusion of online and physical retail is undoubtedly increasing the customer experience as well. Woolworths recently launched a tester in which customers can try on clothes and makeup through a virtual agent. That allows them to see how they’ll look before a purchase.

As more and more retail stores adopt online commerce, customers will be able to experience a series of new innovations. The idea is to see how retailers will adjust to technology in order to provide an enhanced customer experience. 

How can retail keep its success in 2023

Check out our suggestions for the new year. Source: Freepik.

Keeping your head above water in the current economy isn’t an easy task. However, there are a few key priorities retailers need to take note to keep their golden run in 2023. 

First, retail stores can improve their use of analytics to develop new services and offer innovation. A big number of retailers have access to customer purchase data which they can use for insight into personalised promotions, products and experiences. 

Secondly, using the same type of data, retail stores could offer tailored subscription services to its user base. For instance, the company could use their customer data to figure out which products a person purchases the most. 

Doing so would guarantee repeat business for the company and provide an extra layer of care for the customer. It would remove their need to constantly go shopping to stock on something they constantly use. 

Third, retail stores should invest in their employees’ capabilities. Nowadays, customers expect a great personalised service while they’re shopping. For retailers to win their customers’ hearts, they need to ensure a well-equipped staff to deliver a good experience.

These days, having an employee stocking shelves and processing purchases is simply not enough. For a retail store to thrive, companies need to invest in a way to attract and retain good talent to ensure that the customer is always taken care of. 

About the author

Aline Barbosa

Aline Barbosa is an editor, writer and learning-enthusiast. Passionate about music, books and human behavior. Curious about the unknown. Believer that learning is a life-long process.

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