With each day comes an astronomical increase in diversity. With this diversity comes changes in people's orientation and attitude towards things. Businesses must update themselves with the ever-changing society ty. The present and future of retail activities and business as a whole is inclusion and diversity. Both terms can sometimes be used interchangeably but they are notably different.
Consumers are becoming more inclined to retailers that share their views on various situations and value them. The underrepresentation or unrepresentation of some set people e.g gender group, ethnic group, or people with disabilities may lead to them leaving a retailer for a competitor that values them and represents them well. It should be noted that diversity is not limited to physical attributes alone but stretches down to a way of life, personal belief, and well beyond. Also, inclusion can be mistaken for accessibility which are different things. A group might have access to an opportunity but still not feel included. The said opportunity might portray them as being different rather than giving them an equal opportunity as other users. A glaring example is having separate clothing shelves for oversized clothes and normal-sized clothes in a store. The people termed oversized truly have access to the store but will lose the sense of inclusiveness when they fail to find their sizes in the termed normal size shelve, as they are portrayed to be beyond the acceptable size. Retailers more than ever need to have a better orientation of the Inclusiveness and diversity policy. Transparency-inclined consumers are quick to realize the brands that stand for them, that are connected with them, that share their beliefs, and most importantly accept and embrace diversity in people.
The I&D (Inclusiveness and Diversity) does not necessarily mean you have to throw out the whole of your business plans and methodology. It only needs you to understand your customers, and focus more on what suits them best with aim of representing them, and making them feel a part of your business. Also, the methodology of I&D is not fixed, it varies from one location to another and from one business to another. Another thing to know is that when you decide to take on the I&D principles you will most likely lose some customers for new ones. You just need to consider the ones that are worth the risk and effort and the majority opinion in your location. In a nutshell, for retailers to effectively implement the I&D, you need to consider factors such as what you sell (products), where you sell (touchpoints), how you sell (advertisement) and who sells your products (workforce).
Benefits of Inclusiveness and Diversity.Increase in revenue: Virtually the most important part of any business. Various studies have shown that retailers with a high level of diversity and inclusiveness have higher revenues than their counterparts. One such study is the 2014 Gallup poll of 800 business units from two different companies in retail. The result showed that the with a higher gender diversity had 14 percent higher average revenue than the notably less diverse businesses. Customers are more connected to diverse retailers: The customer's inclination cannot be overlooked as it breeds trust which in turn turns to patriotism. The patronage is what yields revenue for the retailers. Also, customers connection leads to very good reviews and recommendations. This increases popularity and portrays a good image for the business. Diverse retail businesses are more innovative: Innovation is very important to the progress of businesses. It is a key piece in the relevancy of a business and a strong weapon against competitors.
In conclusion. According to Forbes “Global Diversity and Inclusion”, it was found that among companies with more than $10 billion in annual revenues, 56% very much believe that diversity increases innovation.