What Is The Situation on The Macedonian Retail Market?

New time and technology certainly bring changes in sales as well. If up to a few years ago the world’s largest stores were physical, today it’s no longer the case. Amazon and AliExpress, but a bunch of smaller stores alter customer habits and change the reality for local stores. Macedonia is certainly not at the heart of these technologies, but traders have no choice, so they are joining the changes.

Insider ID has an interesting analysis of the situation in Macedonia in which they talk about the reality of e-commerce and the future of retail sales in our country. Here’s some of the data they shared with us:

New distribution channels

Of course, the most popular channel today is the Internet. Technology has changed the bunch of sectors and of course, retail cannot remain exempt.

“It’s no longer a question of whether a company should be ready for e-commerce or not. It certainly needs to have an e-store, simply because consumers move from traditional to online channels to buy products. ”

Sellers who sell wholesale at least in brief can sigh. Wholesale sales are not too busy with technology, or rather it has not been affected for now. The estimates are that by 2025 they will reach up to 15%, which is certainly not an impressive figure. For a decade today, the percentage will surely climb to 20%, which is still a serious amount as sales finance.

In our country, only a part of the markets has their own website for online sales. The first one that entered the market was SP Market with Reptil, Granpa, Market Zur are just a part of online stores. What can be noted is that the biggest retail chains are not on this list, although Tinex announces the online sales.

Software and new processes

Certainly, the analysis would not be complete unless we talk about software, automation and the possibility of reducing costs.

Macedonian companies still lag behind in the implementation of advanced software solutions, pre-defined pressures to reduce costs and increase the margin compels companies to find new advanced ways of organizing their operations. Under the pressure of global trends, in the respective segments, it will be almost mandatory to introduce many new systems and operating procedures.

“In the next decade, retailers in Macedonia will be forced to implement warehouse management software, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), automation in product delivery and the management of an absolutely complex ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) that will fully cover all segments of operations, “according to Insider ID.

It seems that the greatest obstacle to change is not the lack of solutions or rigidity in the market. The problem is in the habits of owners and managers who want micro control over all information. Because of this, BI (Business Intelligence) systems are not used that will allow tracking key performance indicators for companies. On the basis of these indicators, then it is significantly simpler to make the right decisions.

Markets without employees

Non-employed markets are part of the latest global trend. The stores are fully automated and there is no need for workers. This removes the possibility of a mistake from the employees and allows for lower costs that will reduce the prices of products.

Certainly laying off workers will be a more serious problem. Reducing the need for workers will, of course, be a problem that involves more branches, and it is likely that the whole society will have to answer this question.

The initial investment in the software will be serious. In addition, there is investment and hardware, such as sensors and cameras. Finally, these systems need to be maintained, and one hour for a developer or engineer is usually much more expensive than the hour of an employee in the market. Finally, if the store chooses to cheaply maintain a few hours of error, it can bring serious losses.

“Although in the near future markets will certainly not be able to function completely without employees, the trend in the developed world is to place self-collection bills, ie, the consumer is allowed to read the barcodes of the products and make the payment.”

There are several technologies that can help for more comfortable shopping.

RFID technology – by passing products in the bucket immediately and automatically calculating the total amount that the consumer should pay.

Setting up barcode readers on the shopping baskets themselves that directly calculate the total amount that the consumer should pay for the products and direct card collection.

Employees can also be substituted for receiving products in the warehouse space and placing the products on the raft. Systems allow the entire process to be downloaded from software or installing racks that allow automatic recharge.

Analyzes of “Big Data”

Knowing the consumer is crucial for creating personalized offers. These offers should meet the requirements of each buyer. This should also open an option for additional sales. Micro-targeting with promotions of consumer interest will be one of the main ways to increase revenue.

“If one consumer markets constantly pasta, he will be targeted with promotions for ready-made dressings. If she buys diapers, she will be targeted with baby food. ”

Using Big Data Analyzes is key to “familiarizing” buyers, from what they buy, to the number of family members. However, this is not a simple process.

In Macedonia, companies collect data using club cards or memberships that have already been implemented by nearly everyone in the national chains. Certainly, there is a reason why this is “Big Data”. Here, the stock of information that is processed from stores is at the initial level.

Virtual supermarkets

It seems that the final part of the analysis may be furthest from Macedonia. Virtual markets are stores that provide a blend of expanded virtual reality and stores. The technology allows simulating the complete setup of a supermarket or a single product.

“The probability of being implemented in everyday work in Macedonian companies is very small even in the next decade. It is likely that such an option will be implemented by a company that is not inherent, that is, it works in another segment. An example of an IT company in co-operation with a market or ready-made systems from abroad. However, the likelihood of implementation for a solution of this kind in Macedonia is unlikely “.

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