07th Jul, 2021
, , Designation
- Digital retail solutions can help retailers optimize their day-to-day store operations.
- Data-backed retail execution and store planning is the need of the hour for the retailers to stay competitive.
- Automated solutions are the future of retail operations.
The retail industry is going through a rapid transformation propelled by several factors such as changing customer behaviour, favourable credits, covid-19, and rising digital commerce. The retail industry faces increasing competition every day as they adapt to the new market order. Pandemic has had a widespread impact on the buying behaviour and selling models of retailers all across the world. The retail industry must move towards digital technologies and automated operations to compete with the e-commerce alternative that the buyers have preferred since the pandemic outbreak. The new market order is one where the customers are the same, but the alternatives have multiplied. However, with the new challenges and roadblocks have arrived new opportunities for the retail industry. A host of measures that seemed imperative in the years to come have been forced on the retail business by the new market dynamics. Retailers have to overhaul their operations to deliver a personalized buying experience to the customers wherever they are.
The important question is not how the retailers are going to adapt but when are they going to adapt?
The questions and the challenges laid before retail moving forward into 2021 and beyond are quite apparent. How are the retailers going to increase their revenue while influencing customers to return to the store?
Digital Marketing Solutions
As the world becomes more and more connected online, it is apparent that retailers, too, need to establish digital footprints and leverage the technology to become competitive. Digital marketing campaigns can be used by the retailers to forge stronger ties with the existing customers, foster community relationships, and identify otherwise potentially missed opportunities. Several digital marketing tools, such as SEO, PPC, social media marketing, E-mail marketing, etc., can be used to improve customer relationships. The last two years have seen an unprecedented spike in online commerce, and it is high time for retailers to strengthen their online presence to connect with customers at their comfort in these challenging times. Since digital marketing is a data-efficient medium, it can help retailers leverage the data collected across digital touchpoints to improve their in-store operations, merchandising, and customer service. It can also help retailers to improve their company branding at a time when the industry is facing the issue of waning customer loyalty.
Quick read – B2B Digital Marketing Campaign Checklist for 2021
Omnichannel Support through Virtual Solutions
Reduced footfalls due to public health emergency created by covid-19 has seen the retail industry in tatters trying to merely survive. Customers shopping indoors through e-commerce platforms are deprived of a personalized shopping experience. Virtual retail solutions will allow retailers to provide omnichannel support to the customers while offering them a personalized shopping experience. This allows the retailers to link online, and in-store experiences offer consistent customer support at every turn. Integrating virtual retail with home delivery and installation services will increase sales and add value to customer’s purchase journeys. The omnichannel approach empowers retailers to map the customer journey and identify different touchpoints that can be the difference between sales and missed opportunities. It reduces inconsistencies and takes the business where the customer is and not the other way round.
Retail Audits and Compliance
The competition in the retail industry is cut-throat, and every retailer must continuously address issues in their operations to improve. Be it day-to-day operations, promoter experience, or brand compliance, every retail store aspect must be up-to-date and consistent. Retail audits can help maximize sales by making sure that retailers are compliant and consistent with brand merchandising requirements, fixing inventories, promoter training, and Planogram adherence. Real-time retail audit data allows businesses to make quick changes in the Planograms, merchandising, and inventory placements based on customer feedback and preferences. Also, the data collected through retail audits can empower retailers to make smart decisions based on predictive behaviour and trends. Retail audits scrutinize retail compliance with placement, pricing, and promotional agreements. It enables the retail store to effectively measure the success or failure of specific campaigns, marketing signage, SKU arrangements, and more. Using the retail audit solutions, retailers can examine the preparedness of promoters and the buyer’s experience in-store.
Visual Merchandising and Planogram Management
Attracting customers into the store is the primary concern of the retail industry at present. Everything else comes later. A retailer might argue that they have the best products or the best deals, but if the customers are unaware of those, then it means nothing. The retailers need to get customers to know about their products and deals in the first place. Smart visual merchandising leverages data-based insights to make the retail space more appealing and relevant for the customers, increase footfalls and drive impulse buying. Good visual merchandising starts outside the shop, where customers first interact with the retail store, e.g., Signage. The next step is to create a free-flowing merchandising layout inside the store that directs customers towards highlighted items and displays. This can be augmented with a consistent promoter experience to give customers a positive buying experience. Visual merchandising should be planned scientifically using solutions such as Planogram and DenRex to enable perfect store execution. A unique merchandising will help the retailers stand out from the competition and give customers a unique and personalized buying experience. This will have a compound effect on sales and brand loyalty.
Quick Read: Case Study- Improving Retail Merchandising effectiveness using Data Analytics
End-to-End Retail Solutions
Instead of segregating operations and managing workflows separately, retailers should look for comprehensive retail and business management solutions. This will help them effectively manage all the operations, from retail activations to inventory management and promoter training to retail audits. Deploying smart technologies such as DenRex will facilitate the perfect retail execution and deeper retail penetration across sectors. Automated solutions take care of the manual operations and allow stakeholders to prioritize customer support and sales generation campaigns. Data-driven solutions help in planning the entire retail journey at once and generate more visibility across all the channels.
Data Analytics and Business Intelligence
The world is moving towards data-oriented practices to better serve the market. It is no secret that the retail industry is lagging behind in it. Retail businesses work in a siloed environment and lack adaptability. However, with quality retail analytics, businesses can leverage data and advanced business intelligence to integrate all the operations. It effectively captures data at every stage and cuts through the heap to produce actionable BI insights that can be applied quickly. By harnessing sales data analytics, retailers can identify their target customers based on age, preferences, location, purchasing patterns, and more. It also helps store managers to optimize inventories and distributions. Retailers can use retail analytics to optimize their promotions and marketing based on historical data and trends.
For retailers to stay competitive during this transitory phase, proactive measures have to be taken up. Retail businesses need to adapt to the emerging trends and technologies to maintain an edge over others. Retailers need to understand that while the medium of shopping may have changed, buyer’s motives have not. Personalized and trustworthy customer support is still the need of the hour, and retailers have to make use of smarter technologies to get around it. Today, businesses must reach the buyers at their place of comfort and not the other way round. From digital marketing to virtual retail solutions and from Planogram management to retail analytics, retailers need to adopt intelligent solutions to increase their sales in 2021 and years beyond. Retailers have to reach the customers at their homes and offer them the same in-store experience that they are used to.
As retail businesses get back on their feet and wade the challenging waters ahead, several new and intelligent solutions have come up that will help them stay afloat. Get in touch with our experts if you want to know more about the new-age retail solutions or click here to read more about it.