In the first quarter of 2016 China’s economy developed at an annual rate of 6.7%. This represents its slowest quarterly growth rate since 2009. This turbulent economic state has a negative impact on the UK retail industry as well as on Chinese consumer spending.
Impact on the UK retail sector
The UK retail sector will be greatly affected by China’s slower economic development, in particular the luxury brands industry. Retailers will have to struggle to maintain profit margins despite a smaller customer base. To combat these challenges, UK retailers must consider technology, as a means of remaining competitive. Nitin Rakesh, CEO and President of Global IT and business solutions provider Syntel supports this idea, stating that retailers can use technology to “enhance the buying experience”.
Many retailers have not taken full advantage of the technology around them. Customers have access to many ‘smart’ devices, which help to make the shopping experience more efficient. However, the vast majority of retailers do not embrace these technological channels. Rakesh believes that “Brands need to adapt to meet customer expectations”. He insists that digital technology is the way forward such as “real-time analytics tools that monitor customer needs, preferences and behaviours”.
Digitalisation of retail markets
Rakesh’s company Syntel has integrated innovative new technology into retail businesses, in order to challenge the volatile markets. The company has incorporated automation and real-time streaming analytics. These changes have helped to transform customer interaction, brand projection and day to day running of operations, ensuring that retail companies are able to adapt to unstable markets.
Edited from press release by Ruby Arenson