BTS 2023: What to expect?

July 28, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau

BTS 2023: What to expect?

That’s right, it’s time for BTS. No, we are not talking about the K-pop band. We are referring to Back-to-School and what it means for retailers in the region. In an exclusive Q&A Shehbaz Shaikh, Chief Retail Officer, REDTAG talks about BTS trends and more.

Let’s start with your plans for BTS and if consumption pattern has changed.

Currently, BTS shopping is boosting overall store footfall and online traffic, and this trend will continue well into September as children return to school and get back to the grind. With parents eager for replenishment, retailers have a timely opportunity. Having said that, BTS shopping behaviour has changed drastically in recent years, requiring retailers to do their due diligence. Rising prices are driving parents to perform rigorous comparative analyses before spending. So, BTS shopping is becoming more intuitive than impulsive. And children, for their part, are acutely aware of various cartoon- and superherothemed clothing, school supplies and accessories. Factoring in the distinctive expectations of parents and children, we have launched our biggest, most strategic BTS collection to date. This includes characters from popular shows such as Spiderman, Sofia, Friends, Frozen, Tom & Jerry etc. and set-of-six merch bundles, among other fun and affordable items to make the BTS experience memorable.

If inflation is inducing a change in shopping behaviour, how are retailers dealing with it?

Inflation has definitely impacted consumer behaviour. On average, the value of purchases has increased due to the rise in prices. So, for the same amount, the number of items a customer can purchase at a store has reduced over the past couple of years. As a result, customers are averse to discretionary spending. However, even price-sensitive customers are willing to pay a premium for products with demonstrable value, certifiable quality and justifiable price tags. On another note, as the techsavvy younger generation is drawn towards online and offline shopping it is reinforcing the need for retailers to build omnichannel capabilities, ensure faster delivery timelines and streamlined services in line with customers’ evolved expectations.

How is REDTAG optimising its omnichannel strategy?

The foresight into the Big-Data eventuality led us to start building a repository of information a few years ago. In recent months, we have incorporated technologies to maximise the utility of the colossal data we possess. Firstly, we adopted a customer data platform (CDP) to unify data from across channels and departments and achieve a comprehensive view of a customer’s journey and shopping behaviour. Concurrently, we onboarded a customer experience management (CEM) platform to harness the unified data and derive insights for personalised campaigns. The objective was to standardise our customer experience (CX) across channels, while tailoring it to every shopper’s unique expectation. We are optimising our omnichannel strategy by fortifying it with cloud-based solutions and tools such as net promoted score (NPS) to gauge customer satisfaction.

Finally, what are your sales projections for the second half of 2023 and beyond?

Factoring in historical data and potential outcomes of recent campaigns, we are anticipating sales to grow by double digits year-on-year in 2023. Our projection is particularly inspired by the traction of our e-commerce segment, whose contribution to the revenue is expected to double that of last year. Hence, we are making the online shopping experience more intuitive, secure and user-friendly.

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