Imagine the future!
It's winter, yet you have to leave for a vacation in the Caribbean. You’re in a dire need of resort wear. 5 years ago, you would have headed to the mall to shop. But today, you shop from your couch by video conferencing with your personal concierge at a retailer where you’ve shopped before. The concierge recommends several items, superimposing photos of them onto your avatar. Without moving from the comfort of your couch, you research how the dress would look on you, review customer reviews and prices, find better deals on other retailers and finally order it.
The future of retail is data-driven!
Today, retailers are adopting data-driven retail approaches to make the customer indulge in a wholesome, enjoyable shopping experience. Over the next few years, data will become a cornerstone separating retail winners from losers. Data-driven decision-making is one of the most sought-after topics in retail and discovering exactly what the idea entails will act as a redefining moment for the retail industry.
Identify right data-driven retail approach
In today’s multichannel world, retailers are splurging exorbitant sums of money on marketing, advertisements and loyalty programs to gain customer favor. In spite of this, many struggle to remain profitable and reap the desired profitable growth results.
This is because retailers are not optimally using the vast amount of data available to them.
The problem isn’t lack of data, but the lack of tools to demystify their true potential. As a result, retailers are missing out on opportunities for better decision making using that data. Retailers now realize that espousing data-driven retail strategy is the key to improved decision making.
The Post-Channel Retail World
If I’m looking for a new dress, being forced to decide between going to the store and navigating that particular time sink is not enjoyable. On the other hand, buying online doesn’t ensure if the dress would be a right fit before making the purchase.
Solving the above conundrum, the “post-channel” world works to solve problems inherent to both in-store and online. Retailers leverage information about past purchases, sales and conversions and brand interactions, and suggest the dress I may want. The choice of my product would then be delivered to my home. The retailer to dive headfirst into this is Amazon, providing a plethora of products in a seamless manner.
Playing around with big data may seem enticing, but it brings a whole lot other challenges with it. Organizations contain massive amounts of data, but unless it’s organized, it can become a huge mess. That data could be the numerous kinds of information generated by consumer interactions on e-commerce portals, social media, geographic information, smart tech, and the IoT.
Such challenges entice us towards RFID-instrumented stores. These allow retailers the ability to build a system of data that is explorable, searchable, dynamic, and responsive to customer needs and demands.
Alongside this data burst, mobile devices have redefined retail experiences for both the retailers and consumers. Retailers now understand the importance of displaying their business as mobile friendly. Mobile devices have enabled retailers to gather customer information in-store or use smart devices to track inventory and update signage. This has not only enhanced the ability to make a business omnipresent but is also unlocking new opportunities and challenges.
The Future of Retail
The Data-driven approach towards business management is redefining the meaning of a “product experience.” We are moving from the traditional model, where you buy a product, and that’s the end of your experience. Personalized shopping is taking over where the curated assortments of goods and services to personalized consumer information about new products and offerings.