RSM Partner David Eu advises retailers to create desired shopping environments using tech

Eu said retailers and F&B operators can tailor their environment to the consumers’  expectations.

David Eu is a Partner at RSM, where he is responsible for a diverse portfolio of listed and privately owned clients and handles initial public offering (IPO) engagements. 

He is responsible for a diverse portfolio of audit clients in the industrial, consumer products, food & beverage and retail industries. 

David is a practising member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants and a member of CPA Australia.

The RSM partner spoke with Retail Asia to highlight trends that the retail and F&B industry can watch out for, as well as possible challenges the year might bring amidst the economic headwinds brought by global inflation and geopolitical tensions.

Eu highlighted that this year, consumers may have higher expectations in terms of ease of access to their desired products or services, given the rapid advancement of technology. This comes amidst a shift in spending behaviour brought about by the digitalisation of retail and F&B services. Consumers will be more inclined to prioritise purchasing experience, a cleaner environment, and speed of service delivery.

Retailers and F&B operators can leverage these opportunities by tailoring the environment to the consumers’ expectations.

“Get ahead of the competition by creating or providing a unique customer experience. [Use] innovation or technology to create a desired shopping environment to drive traffic to physical stores,” Eu said.

Soaring cost of food ingredients, production, labour, and freight charges, as well as sudden changes in the supply chain and inconsistency in the quality of ingredients caused by last-minute suppliers’ sourcing, might be some of the challenges retailers can face this year. 

To address these issues, Eu stipulates that businesses need to leverage partners’ expertise and resources to develop competitive products and expand new touch points with consumers by connecting the end-to-end processes that will help improve connectivity and ensure a seamless experience.

To help retailers and F&B operators maximise their supply chain capabilities, Eu noted that retailers and F&B operators should “ensure accurate and up-to-date data are easily accessible when needed, maintain a good relationship with [their] stakeholders”.

This can be done by improving processes and operations efficiency using software and technology such as inventory management systems and automated checkout systems.

Meanwhile, as many industries are now urged to incorporate ESG programmes into their operations, the RSM partner said retailers and F&B operators can source for sustainable products or raw materials, design greener stores and incorporate smart technology into their operations to reduce the usage of energy and water, as well as reduce carbon footprint.

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