Catman: The future of retail will be transparent, dynamic, and seamless.

 

Going forward, expect retail to be:

1.-Transparent – Shoppers already have unprecedented access to detailed information about retailers’ pricing, promotions, and individual products. Recent data from Deloitte suggests that $0.64 of every dollar purchased in retail stores is digitally influenced, so don’t count on shoppers being uninformed.

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2.-Dynamic – As ecommerce and digital influence grow, many aspects of retailing are becoming more dynamic. Profitero data shows that Amazon, for example, changes prices on millions of products daily.

LEA TAMBIÉN: Catman: métodos de evaluación de la participación en anaquel. Parte I

Greater transparency means that your competitors likely have better intelligence too. Anticipate that competitors will see anything shoppers do, and consider investing in competitive monitoring capabilities to take advantage of growing transparency.

Business planning cycles that used to take months or longer are being compressed   to near real-time. Expect more retailers to invest in capabilities that give them continuous visibility into key performance indicators like stock levels, sales, and staff scheduling and help them make optimal decisions on the fly.

Tomorrow’s shoppers will expect a consistent experience online and in-store and transactions as quick, easy, and personal as some of their favorite non-retail experiences.

Forward-thinking merchants will set the bar high for their customers’ experience and eliminate friction in everyday customer interactions like paying for or returning products.

12 Retailers must make authentic connections.

With today’s shopper and her new shopping journeys, it’s becoming more important than ever to optimize a shopper’s visit to store or site. This can be   through an understanding of what she’s shopping for and ensuring there’s available inventory on site, or at least a very convenient option – to the shopper – to deliver products to her.

Specific to retail stores, because of the lower frequency of shopping trips and store visits, the imperative arises to deliver an authentic, seamless, branded shopping experience – from the most optimal shopper interactions with staff to the minimum points of friction in the shopping process. These are the things that will establish a store as a ‘retailer of choice’ and keep her coming back. To position itself best in the competitive retail space, a brand should utilize technology touchpoints to connect with the customer, with the goal of capturing opportunities to engage and retain a loyal following. Some of the best examples include fitness apparel, where companies like UnderArmor and Nike have invested in fitness apps, giving them a very authentic way to connect with customers.

Authenticity is so important. Shoppers can sense a lack of authenticity, and because of the wealth of alternative products, channels and retailers, they quickly move off one brand and onto another.

Lastly, retailers need to ensure in-store technology is designed around the shopper, her journey, and resolve her pain points. The shopper is key – what’s good for her is good for the business.

13 The future of retail is mobile.

The mobile device is increasingly becoming an essential part of the customer’s shopping journey. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons, NFC and QR codes are  the latest proximity technologies on offer to retailers, providing an opportunity to engage with customers via their smartphone. Mobile payment technologies such as Apple Pay are already using this type of innovation but, despite the relatively slow consumer uptake of this technology, the smart retailer will be looking beyond just mobile payments.

Retailers should be thinking ahead about implementing these technologies within a mobile strategy that cleverly integrates mobile payments with customer loyalty and marketing initiatives. This is where the future will get interesting.

Retailers that have designed a mobile offering that links mobile payment infrastructure with sensitively planned marketing messaging and valuable loyalty initiatives will have the best chance of delivering a unique and engaging mobile- enhanced in-store shopping  experience.

14 Retailers must get back to the basics.

It is very remarkable that most companies predict that they will be competing mainly on the level of customer experience instead of price or products in a few years time.

It’s the result of a customer (r)evolution. Shoppers now want to have it all: they demand convenience, speed and ease, yet they don’t want to sacrifice either the quality of the products or the quality of the shopping experience.

We believe that the best indicator is the typically huge gap between online sales conversion rates and that of physical stores. Approximately $4 trillion worth of merchandise is left in online shopping carts each year. For bigger companies, this means lost revenue, yet for smaller companies it translates not only into ‘profit loss’ but also an existential threat.

Our personal learning is that if you can recreate a real store experience 100% online, then the sales conversion you can expect is closer to in-store conversion than to online rates. As digital interactions already influence one third of spending at physical stores and cross-channel shoppers tend to spend more according to studies, omnichannel solutions will hold huge business potential in the future.

What can you do to prepare for the future?

The key to success is to adopt what I like to call the 4 pillars of Amazon’s success:

1.-Be Customer Centric – Ask yourself: will you be in the business of helping your customers buy, or in the business of trying to sell them hard?

2.-Be Creative – In today’s environment, and with our need to keep up with our customers, we must find ways to experiment. Figure out what works, what doesn’t, and what is going to work next. Start small but keep experimenting.

3.-Be Focused on Customer Experience – What are the little details of your store saying to your customers about what you think of them? What are the remarkable things in your customer experience?

4.- Continuously Improve & Optimize – What data are you using to make your decisions? How often are you acting on this data? Is this data aligned with your brand and customer experience?

Cortesía de : www.TheRetailAcademy.org

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Luis Herrera - America RetailEditado por Luis Eduardo Herrera, Ingeniero Bioquímico con un MBA del ITESM. Consultor activo en áreas de planificación de negocios, Shopper Marketing, Gestión de Categorías y Marketing Digital. Expositor y ponente en México, Estados Unidos y América Latina. En la actualidad es Vicepresidente Ejecutivo para América Latina en la Category Management Association; consultor socio de Shopper Marketing-WSI y el presidente de la junta para Latinoamérica de la CMA. Cuenta con amplia experiencia en el sector del comercio minorista.


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