Like all sectors, consumer and retail businesses face a different world in the wake of COVID-19. Widespread lockdowns during the pandemic hugely accelerated consumer migration to digital and ecommerce channels — a trend that looks with us to stay. As a result, it is a clear priority for companies in this sector to create enhanced digital offerings that provide customers with seamless shopping experiences, and to scale investments in gaining insights into customer behavior and sentiment.
Going beyond customer centricity to “customer leading” is key. This must be driven through a recognition that customers don’t always know what they want; the new reality will be built on thinking beyond what customers are saying to anticipate future trends and requirements. To enable that, companies are leaning hard into accelerated digital transformation with digital leaders performing 20–30 percent better than their competitors, by investing in data and analytics, trust through security, frictionless sales and supply chain management, and new channel and interaction models. With many consumers tightening their belts in uncertain economic times, having the right products available at the right time is critical.
When addressing strategic priorities for the future, consumer and retail CIOs know they must be focused on one thing: adapting the customer experience to the new reality. Investments that enhance customer experience and engagement are at the head of the list — 21 percent more so than in other industries — while generating customer insights through data are another prime concern. At the same time, security and privacy are indispensable to maintaining customer trust, loyalty and
confidence. Technologies to improve the efficiency of distribution, supply chain management, inventory management, and shipping and receiving will also be pre-requisites. It is encouraging for the sector that CIO representation on the Board is 18 percent higher than the cross-industry average.
While KPMG firms are some of the largest providers of services to consumer goods and retail organizations globally, we take a boutique approach to client issues with a focus on flexibility, adaptability, and innovation. We recognize that there are many on-ramps to supporting IT transformation and we’ve tailored our services accordingly: