On­go­ing busi­ness anal­y­sis is a must for or­gan­ised re­tail

Progressive Grocer (India) - - Contents -

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.

Pric­ing dy­nam­ics

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 rakeshgamb­hir@im­ages­group.in

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