What do today's shoppers want? Quick and easy shopping experiences.
Customers want their shopping experience to be quick so they don't need to spend too much time searching for the item they are looking for and waiting in line before they can pay for what they bought. They want it easy so they don't have to travel just to get to your store, manually comb through hundreds of items before they find the product that suits their taste, and take them home on their own.
Today's customers also want self-service shopping with limited human interactions. That's why ahead-of-the-curve customers prefer using their digital devices when shopping rather than visiting physical stores. According to Statista, more than 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online in 2021, up from 1.66 billion global digital buyers in 2016.
To win digital customers, you need to be digital as well. And this entails more than just putting up a website or rolling out a mobile app. This does not necessarily mean closing down your physical stores to become a pure e-commerce store. Many shoppers still choose brick-and-mortar stores because they can "see, touch, feel and try out items" at physical stores.
Being digital means constantly transforming every aspect of your retail store (i.e., people, processes, and technologies) to become truly customer-centric and data-driven rather than product-centric. As Forbes puts it, "instead of buy low, sell high, and optimize everything in between (a supply chain view), retailers need to focus on the digital value chain – one focused on collecting data (about products, customers, and locations), turning that data into insights, and then turning those insights into action." McKinsey, on the other hand, suggests that being digital means having these three key attributes:
- Creating value at the new frontiers of the business world,
- Creating value in the processes that execute a vision of customer experiences, and
- Building foundational capabilities that support the entire structure.
How to Digitally Transform Your Retail Store
Digital transformation does not happen overnight. Even the ""total, rapid transformation" path to becoming digital entails various complex, time- and resource-intensive processes. In addition, digitally transforming your organization requires holistic and futuristic approaches that are powered by technology. You need to invest in cutting-edge tools that that can automate decisioning using A.I and M.L. technologies in order to balance dozens of variables that need to be optimized for making every decision. Doing so will deliver exceptional customer experience while maximizing profitability.
- Optimize your purchasing and working capital. Implement a solution that leverages Artiﬁcial Intelligence and ﬁnancial portfolio algorithms, allowing you to achieve significant working capital savings and margin recovery, fully automate purchase orders, and make rational and optimal product mix decisions.
- Enable "Buy Anything, Get Anywhere." Combine Big Data and smart algorithms to deliver an omnichannel purchasing solution so you can successfully maximize margins, increase customer loyalty, and enable real-time decision support.
- Optimize demand planning and forecasting. Invest in a next-generation platform that leverages enterprise big data, A.I. and machine learning to help your organization sense, shape, and serve demand.
- Balance supply and demand. Use a powerful Supply Chain Management and Distribution Planning solution that allows you to optimize reserved product levels according to priority, shipping coverage, and reserve coverage strategy; significantly reduce inventory; eliminate out-of-stock items; improve product routing; reduce logistics cost; and improve customer service.
- Stay on top of product logistics. Arm your planners with an AI-powered retail solution that allows them to sort and stack important data, arrive at the best possible decisions, strategize for the most viable ways, and deliver better customer experiences.
- Enable seamless collaboration between your central planning and PU (Production Unit) planning teams. Roll out a Global Capacity Planning solution that helps ensure that production capacity, delivery dates, and volumes are fulfilled on time and optimized based on market demand.
- Unlock the true value of your enterprise data. Supercharge your retail processes with an end-to-end data aggregation, assimilation, and analytics platform that brings together disparate silos of enterprise data and external data in the retail world.
- Perfectly balance price and demand across your demand cycle. Create a dynamic pricing system using a powerful tool for measuring and visualizing price versus demand versus margins. Enable your enterprise to maximize margins across demand cycles with data-driven pricing strategies.
- Maximize return on your promotional investments. Enable sales leaders to measure the impact of their promotional strategies on their sales and margins over time and drive systemic improvements to their promotional initiatives that enhance returns in a sustainable manner.
- Set the right benchmark. Understand your stocks better by enabling a platform that quantitatively evaluates the past performance of the color, style, and design of your products across seasons, stores, and locations.
- Enable visibility across every store. Address the difficulties store operations executives face in analyzing the health of your stores with the aim of improving operational efficiency. Create powerful visualizations of store operations by providing staff with the analytical insights and operational visibility needed to drive impactful transformation across the business.
- Build test scenarios at rapid speed. Implement a powerful tool to study clusters of data by grouping a set of objects in such a way that objects in the same group (called a cluster) are more similar (in some sense or another) to each other than to those in other groups (clusters).
To save on costs, invest in a retail platform that empowers you with all these capabilities.
Digital customers can be hard to please. But with the right technology-powered digital strategy, you can successfully transform your retail store from the inside out.
Talk to a retail transformation expert to learn how you can modernize your enterprise using AI and ML driven cutting-edge solutions.