Assisting players in the retail sector in adapting their organisations to the transformations linked to the growth of digital uses

The retail sector is undergoing a radical transformation generated by the growth of digital uses and its players are facing various impacts: competition from e-commerce, increasingly hybrid customer paths (online information, physical purchases and vice versa), increasingly informed and demanding consumers (high expectations in terms of services and customer experience, lower tolerance for irritants such as queuing).

The sector must also respond to the challenges of societal changes  (responsible consumption, disaffection for hypermarkets) and adapt to the strengthening of suppliers’ bargaining power (brand power, disintermediation of distribution through direct sales).

Products and services still dominate household spending and the sector has the assets to remain competitive against new web players. There are many opportunities to differentiate yourself.

  • Rethinking store formats, especially when it comes to hyper-segmentation logics
  • Offering new services to meet new requirements  in terms of time, comfort and convenience
  • Leveraging the digital part in physical networks to ensure an expanded customer experience
  • Coordinate the distribution strategy to switch from a multi-channel to an omni-channel vision
  • Capturing, exploiting and enhancing all consumer data

At the same time, the sector needs to reduce its weaknesses with regard to web players (price, product choice and information, practicality).

New ambitions are emerging for physical stores. The old rivalries between canals are giving way to a recognised and encouraged complementarity. We are witnessing a convergence of the strategies of pure players and bricks and mortars who are tending to broaden their distribution panel and erase the boundaries between channels.

Colombus Consulting has sectoral and digital expertise to help companies secure their positioning and access pockets of value.

We work on customer knowledge, on the development of in-store traffic and on the customer relations excellence.

  • Development of in-store traffic and average basket
  • Monitoring the performance of web marketing campaigns on retail turnover
  • Implementation of customer knowledge systems (retail analytics)
  • Reconciliation of the customer base with web data (on & off line browsing)
  • Improved customer experience (personalized and multi-channel routes)
  • Setting up new organisations and steering governance to support continuous improvement processes

Optimisation of waiting time in a distributor’s shops thanks to the development of a team sizing tool

A major player in the FMCG sector aims to reduce waiting time in its stores, optimise staff levels in relation to the number of customers and define a plan for hiring staff.

Colombus Consulting was selected to implement a retail analytics tool, model sales distribution patterns for more than 30 countries (250+ stores), develop a team sizing tool based on Erlang’s distribution and implement several service levels in stores to improve the customer experience while queuing.

Launch of an innovative and autonomous distribution channel for a retail player

The group, leader in its market, aims to offer an innovative distribution channel aligned with the brand’s values and positioning. To do so, it aims to create a proof of concept for a 24/7 standalone hi-tech vending machine and to guarantee the multi-channel customer experience (online, in-store, vending machine, etc.).

Colombus Consulting was chosen to validate the concept with the selected suppliers, conduct the business analysis, manage the production & installation of the prototype, conduct the tests (technical, functional and end-user acceptance – focus groups) and identify potential improvements.