With thousands of retail companies around the globe vying for customers' attention, how can your retail store stand out from the noise?
Today's competition is tougher than ever. Customers are more sophisticated and harder to please. The supply chain is growing in complexity. Using old retail practices and strategies will make you lag behind your competitors. But with the right approach, you will be able to overcome these challenges and deliver the right experiences to customers.
Here are smart retail strategies that can help you thrive in today's highly volatile market:
Don't Just Sell; Coach Your Customers
According to Jeffrey Lipsius, author and president of Selling to The Point, the new problem customers are facing is that they have too many choices. They need someone to coach them through the decision process.
To stand out from the rest, be your customers' coach. Rethink how you engage them throughout the entire Buyer Journey. Examine how you tailor your sales and marketing content and see if they lack the element of coaching. Simply flaunting your product alone won't compel them to buy. Show them how, by consuming your product, they can achieve their goals and become a better version of themselves.
There are a myriad ways to coach customers. The key is personalization because individual buyers have their own personalities, preferences, and expectations. Aside from personalization, you also need to present them "right-moment coaching." Know what they want to achieve at the moment. By so doing, you will be able to provide them with the right guidance, successfully lead them to buy your product, upsell, cross-sell, and encourage them to come back to your store.
It is not easy, however, to pinpoint your individual customers’ wants and needs using manual and traditional approaches. But by using an advanced Big Data and Retail Analytics tool, you can transform your retail and customer data into useful and actionable insights, allowing you to deeply understand your customers and tailor right-moment experiences for them.
Simplify Shopping through Supply Chain Optimization
Speed and convenience will always be a great selling point. According to a Capgemini survey, 75% of consumers say they would spend more and shop more frequently with a retailer that offers timely delivery. If you fail to satisfy their need for speed and convenience, customers are more likely to abandon your store and look to other retailers. This is easy for them to do because they can quickly obtain information about other stores — thanks to the Internet.
To prevent this from happening, optimize and streamline your supply chain processes. Break your silos and minimize the number of steps needed to complete a process. This is not an easy task because today's supply chain is highly complicated due to the diversity of actors and the numerous procedures, protocols, and standards involved. But by leveraging a next-generation retail supply chain solution, you can successfully simplify your supply chain and satisfy your customers’ need for speed and convenience.
Invest in an AI-powered retail platform that leverages smart algorithms for streamlining and modernizing your supply chain and logistics processes to empower you to break silos and provide customers with flexible buying and delivery options. Enable "buy anything, get anywhere" capability using a solution that combines enterprise big-data and smart algorithms to deliver a revolutionary omnichannel purchasing solution that maximizes profitability while reducing costs.
Supercharge Operations with AI, ML, and Big Data
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Big Data can help radically improve customer experience and boost retail performance. By leveraging AI, you can obtain a number of competitive advantages including cost savings, increased productivity and revenue, and faster problem resolution. Machine Learning, on the other hand, allows you to build models to optimize how you sell, understand Customer Lifetime Value, and ensure profit. And using Big Data, you can successfully make data-driven and customer-centric decisions. This is why most retail giants like Walmart, Amazon, and ASOS use these technologies. Walmart and Amazon even built their own AI-powered technologies.
Build or buy? It depends on the financial and technical capabilities of your retail company. Do you have enough capital and human resources to kick off a software development and implementation project? Buying ready-made, customizable solutions can be a good alternative provided that they meet your company's unique needs and goals.
Another factor to consider when planning to implement AI, ML, and/or Big Data solutions is the specific software products you need to achieve your goals. Identifying your specific needs will help you decide whether to buy à la carte solutions or invest in a platform that can provide you all the functionalities you need.
Looking Ahead: Enable a Future-Fit, Future-Proof Retail Store
The competition is getting tougher and tougher and only the fittest will survive. Several trends are continuously disrupting the retail ecosystem. In order to keep pace, you need to implement business strategies and technological solutions such as AI, ML, and Big Data that can future-fit and future-proof your retail store.