CFOs Predict Healthy Retail Growth, Strong Digital Marketing Strategies for 2014
| 2 minute read
You know it’s good news when CFOs, the gloomiest members of the C-suite, start releasing positive projections. In the BDO USA, LLP survey, CFOs for top U.S. retailers signaled their confidence in the economy by predicting a 5.1% increase in revenue this year. These CFOs also gave some insight into which marketing strategies their companies will be using to compete in the e-commerce sector.
While retailers are feeling optimistic about their results this year, they’re also concerned about employment numbers. 39% say that any significant increase in unemployment could negatively impact retail sales. The same holds true for personal credit. At least 18% of CFOs say that limited credit availability has the potential to drag down the retail sector.
CFOs see a strong future in e-commerce. At least 40% of these businesses anticipate hiring additional employees and analysts believe these new workers will be supporting logistics and providing online customer service. The e-commerce sector promises to be competitive though as smaller establishments go head-to-head with the industry giants. CFOs note that the following marketing strategies succeeded in the most recent retail season:
- Free shipping 28%
- Email and social promotions 24%
- Extended hours 40%
- Price matching 20%
The move into free shipping and price matching has implications for the bottom line, however. As retailers compete for online market share, reduced profitability will be a concern. If consumers are only focused on price, smaller retailers will not be able to compete successfully against larger competitors who can afford to take a loss on some items wile profiting on other items. The best long-term strategy will likely be to offer sole-sourced or unique items.
Do you agree? Or do you think that some consumers will stay true to their favorite retailers because of loyalty?