Brick and Mortar Retail Challenges

Your Natural Advantages are the Key to Success

Retailers today face seemingly impossible obstacles – rising operational costs and ever-evolving customer expectations, retail tech constraints and labor shortages, and (of course) fierce competition. Get ready to realize your brick-and-mortar strengths with unified commerce. It's time to rise to the challenge.

Book Your Demo

Today’s Top Retail Challenges for Mid-Market Retailers

You can probably relate to some (or all) of the top challenges facing brick-and-mortar retailers today:

  1. 1. Fierce Competition
  2. 2. Legacy Tech Constraints
  3. 3. Customer Expectations
  4. 4. High Operational Costs
  5. 5. Labor Challenges

Fortunately, regional and mid-market retailers have natural advantages that retail giants just can’t beat. With the help of a unified commerce platform, you can leverage these advantages and take back market share. Here’s how...


Challenge #1:
Fierce Competition

Retail giants have deep pockets – fueling innovation and growth. They set sky-high standards that many mid-market retailers struggle to meet like free same-day shipping, endless aisles, and race-to-the-bottom pricing. Not only are you competing against the online giants and mega-retailers, but everyone else in your vertical. How do you stand out?

Play to Your Strengths

Not only can you win back market share, but you can create an even better shopping experience than the giants. Mega-corporations, big box stores, and direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands can’t match the personalized shopping experience of a brick-and-mortar chain that goes beyond omnichannel with unified commerce. Chains that leverage unified commerce can align their entire operation around the needs and preferences of each customer (efficiently and at scale). Mid-market retailers and regional chains can even tap into consumer preferences to tailor to their niche and local community – when they fully understand their customers.

Challenge #2:
Legacy Tech Constraints

Cobbled tech stacks hold retailers back. Disconnected systems with ongoing integrations, data siloes, manual workarounds, and layers of complexity prevent retail chains from adapting and innovating – and even increase your security risk. Switching to another traditional system brings its own challenges – retail ERP systems are often too complex, expensive, and require specialized IT staff to run, while POS systems alone aren’t enough. So, what do you do?

Switch to Unified

Time to ditch the cobbled tech stacks. A unified platform connects the core retail systems needed to run a thriving chain. It combines customer value and operational efficiency so retailers can adapt to ever-changing customer expectations and grow profitably. Unlike massive enterprise companies, mid-market retailers are nimble enough to make a fast switch to a unified platform – for FieldStack, our software can be implemented across an entire chain in as little as 12 weeks!

This quick implementation is critical – it instantly puts you ahead of most retailers from a customer experience and efficiency standpoint. And once you get ahead, you’ll continue to outpace the competition with the adaptability of our continuously updated platform.


Challenge #3:
Customer Expectations

The bar is only going higher for consumer expectations thanks to the digital transformation and shift to flexible fulfillment options (fast-tracked by the pandemic). Today's consumers demand convenience, flexibility, and personalization. They want a frictionless experience – no matter where they shop. Shopping, purchasing, and returning goods should be seamless across sales channels. Despite tremendous efforts, most retailers today fail to consistently meet expectations.

Deliver Omnichannel Excellence

A unified approach to omnichannel gives customers exactly what they want – exceptional customer service with flexible fulfillment options like curbside pickup and BOPIS. With the right technology in place, retailers can leverage their customer data to create personalized shopping experiences and incentivize repeat business.

Plus, when not constrained by technology, mid-market retailers are more agile than retail giants. This allows them to adapt quickly to changing market trends and consumer preferences.

Challenge #4:
High Operational Costs

Inefficient operations cost retailers time, money, and opportunities to put capital to better use. Common problems with inventory and supply chain management, pricing, and distribution create a long list of costly challenges – overstocks, out-of-stocks, holding costs, price erosion, and more. Add labor inefficiencies and the cost of maintaining legacy tech to the mix and you have a recipe for financial loss. Too many retailers try to combat these operational costs by slashing jobs or shutting down stores. But there's a better way...

Do More with Less

Before making cuts that don’t get to the root of the problem, it’s time to lean into running lean. Being resourceful is second nature for most mid-market retailers. Retailers are always looking for ways to streamline operations. With a unified commerce, continuous optimization is baked into the platform. You’ll experience a transformation that allows for actionable insights, automation, and better business decisions. This comes from the data.

Data within retail systems can finally be used to improve customer experiences, efficiencies, and profits – often with minimal human intervention. By reducing inefficiencies, retailers can look for ways to grow instead of downsizing – potentially even opening the door to new locations.


Challenge #5:
Labor Challenges

In today's competitive labor market, employee engagement is crucial. When associates are forced to constantly grapple with tech and operational inefficiencies, they're pulled away from high-value tasks. This not only leads to dissatisfied employees but also poor customer experiences. For retailers – it hurts the bottom line.

Empower Your Employees

Mid-market and regional retailers have natural advantages over large corporations when it comes to attracting employees. A smaller team means a more flexible work environment, a stronger sense of community, and closer employee and customer relationships. However, associates need to enjoy their jobs to improve retention. By removing tech obstacles and giving associates a unified experience with a complete view of the customer’s relationship with the brand, you empower your team to focus on meaningful work and deliver exceptional customer experiences. This is crucial at any level, but especially for customer-facing roles where associates have a direct impact on customer service.

“FieldStack has helped enhance our ability to drive toward our triple bottom line sustainability objectives.”
Senior VP of Retail Operations, Goodwill Northern New England

Leverage Your Natural Strengths
with Unified Commerce

Mid-market and regional retailers have inherent natural advantages that set them up for success against the online giants:

  • Exceptional Customer Service: Offering personalized customer assistance, knowledgeable staff, and a friendly atmosphere creates a personal touch that larger competitors can't match.
  • Agile Decision-Making: Mid-market retailers have the flexibility to quickly adapt to market trends, customer feedback, and supply changes without the hurdles faced by retail giants.
  • Community Connection: Regional and mid-market chains can convey a sense of authenticity and local identity. An understanding of the local market allows retailers to tailor their offerings to resonate with the community.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit: Resourcefulness and entrepreneurial spirit are often ingrained in mid-market retailers – allowing them to take risks, explore new ideas, and foster a culture of innovation that might be challenged within larger organizations.

Unified commerce is the key to leveraging your inherent strengths. When retail chains surpass the omnichannel capabilities of retail giants and leverage their face-to-face advantages, they create memorable customer experiences that the giants can’t beat. Armed with streamlined operations and a lean back-end system, retailers can stand apart from the fierce competition and sustainably grow their businesses.

Ready to Rise to the Challenge?

It’s time to seize your natural advantages as a mid-market retailer. Together, we can beat the online giants and mega-retailers. Let's set your business up for success.