Not so long ago, ‘Big Four’ accounting firm Deloitte accepted the challenge of checking the pulse of the retail sector. Having shown remarkable resilience in emerging from the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses now found themselves battling market volatility, labor pressures and supply chain constraints and Deloitte wanted to explore how they planned to navigate the new challenges beyond traditional cost-cutting.
The result was the 2023 Retail Industry Outlook, a study based on interviews with 50 leaders that provided an in-depth outlook on how they felt about the current market and their strategies for driving future success. Among many findings, only a third of retail executives said they were very confident about maintaining or improving profit margins in what they expected to be turbulent times, pointing to factors such as inflation and reduced consumer spending.
Such concerns are supported by the likes of Foot Locker and Dick’s Sporting Goods recently cutting annual profit forecasts and department store giant Macy’s warning of “weak demand and a faster-than-expected rise in credit card payment delays”. It is a similar story for many eCommerce brands that thrived in the boom times of the pandemic but are now being warned to “forget the business-as-usual” and take a new approach to how they operate to “stand a better chance of surviving this tumultuous period”.
Amid such uncertainty, an increasing number of retail and eCommerce businesses are turning to a resourcing strategy that has been proven time and again to increase efficiencies, boost productivity and ease financial pressures. That strategy? Outsourcing.
Outsourcing in retail is the process of partnering with an external provider to perform tasks that would normally be completed by an in-house employee. By outsourcing certain business functions, retailers can free up resources to focus on core competencies and scale up and down depending on market conditions. The range of tasks that can be outsourced are diverse and partnering with quality offshore providers can save businesses up to 70% on labor costs.
The first priority when implementing an outsourcing strategy is to consider what tasks are best suited to being handled by an offshore employee or team. In the retail and eCommerce sector, options include:
No two retailers are the same so it makes sense that every business has its own reasons for outsourcing. However, the good news is that seeking one benefit inevitably leads to finding plenty more including:
The modern retail eCommerce environment is too competitive and challenging to go it alone. From global giants such as Walmart and Amazon to niche operators and aspiring start-ups, countless retailers are benefiting from partnering with quality outsourcing providers that are committed to helping them reach their goals and sustain their growth potential. If you want your business to join them on that upward trajectory, now is the time to find the offshore solution that works best for you.
Fast-evolving technology is changing the world of eCommerce for the better. Discover how chatbots and conversational AI are boosting sales, improving customer retention and mitigating the lack of physical retail assistants in online stores.
 2023 Retail Industry Outlook | Deloitte US
 Foot Locker Plummets, Drags Down Peers, on Forecast Cut | BoF (businessoffashion.com)
 Gloomy U.S. retail outlook dulls hopes of strong holiday season spending | Reuters
 How e-commerce scaleups can survive economic uncertainty in 2023 - Figaro Digital
 Why more and more retailers are outsourcing their IT | Retail Dive
 10 Outsourcing Statistics and Why They Matter - NearShore Technology
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