Ongoing business analysis is a must for organised retail
Today’s digital era has changed the traditional ways of running a business. Like other sectors impacted by this change, it is imperative for retail to modernize to stay relevant in this age. Retailers need to transform their business to be more agile to their clients’ needs and requirements. In order to adapt to the changing business landscape, more than 60% of retail has moved or is moving to the cloud. While this shift could be viewed as a cost-based technology imperative, there are further business drivers that warrant this change. In this age, data is present everywhere and the real measure of success is how quickly retailers can leverage this data into actionable insights.
Improving product design & testing
With a plethora of products’ choices and variations, it is indeed a challenge for branded retailers and consumer goods manufacturers to command a premium while preserving their brand identity. It is far more lucrative to allow the consumer to design his/ her own product of choice (wherever applicable) and command a premium through that. This helps increase the customer experience and is also a strong propellant of the ‘personalization’ era.
Seamless connect through digital with consumers
The growing evolution of digital channel and its impact on the customer behaviour patterns has made retailers think beyond their brand. The ability to eliminate noise and listen to the trends and adapt to trends is the key challenge.
With a plethora of channels available to a consumer to engage with and access a product, it has become important to give him/ her a seamless experience regardless of whichever channel the customer engages with. It is also important to provide a 360-degree customer view so that personalized or dynamic pricing becomes possible. Based on the customer search profile or preference and purchasing history, it is now possible to give the customer timely inputs like competitors’ price points and the resultant savings. Offering these services at the time of purchase provides for a higher possibility of sale. To facilitate this 360 degree view or enhanced customer touch points, the technology backbone has to be elastic and hyper-agile.
The sync between digital systems and brick & mortar stores has to be seamless so as to aid in making these decisions data driven or informed. The online e-commerce giants have taken the price game to a new high and there are a whole lot of machine learning techniques employed to churn out such insights.
Better operational efficiencies for an effective supply chain
Retailers have tried to tackle supply chain problems by bringing in operational processes to consolidate the channel. However, given that businesses are now hyper-agile, the operational processes are lagging and there is a need to optimize the process and also have a technology solution that provides for realtime or short latencies. In summary, it is prudent for retail to develop systems and rely on a continuous analysis of data, where effective storage and retrieval of vast volumes and variety of data becomes feasible.
Modernizing to aid monetization is imperative for retail to thrive in this dynamic market state. So, why wait?
The author has over 30 years of learnings and winning experience with Food Retail, New concept/ brands, FMCG and Organised Retail. Currently he heads Dubai Overseas Trade office in India and is on the Board of Skill Development – SME for Retail – besides also advising on international food retailing in India. He is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org