Here are 5 strategies retailers must consider to future-proof their success:
1. Attract customers with in-store experiences
Did you know that Nike’s New York store now offers customers an in-store basketball court? As customers play, cameras analyse their footwork and generate shoe recommendations.
By investing in such innovative, engaging experiences, retailers can maintain their bricks and mortar premises and compete with on-line businesses.
2. Enhance assortment planning with AI
If retailers could know exactly what their customers wanted then marketing and inventory management would be minimised, allowing retailers to invest in an engaging shopping experience. This will of course be specific to their products but this is an opportunity to introduce exciting robots to deliver the service whilst entertaining their customers.
The adoption AI-driven Business Analytics will allow the retailers to understand exactly what their customers want. This allows retailers to more effectively manage their operations, which involves establishing small outlets that stock exactly what local shoppers are looking for. By offering smaller, smarter product inventories, retailers will reap higher ROI and is robotics are part of this customer engagement then high labour costs are greatly reduced.
3. Coach customers through their decision journey
Winning customer loyalty is a game, and consumers are gaining more knowledge than ever before. To convert consumers into customers, retailers must meet them at every moment of their decision journey.
In conjunction with store enhancements that are designed to fully engage the customer, retailers also need to use the on-line tools and dynamic channels to attract customers to their stores. Thus, marketing skills also need to be in harmony with the customer engagement experience in the store.
4. Give customers a greater connection to products
This is also a marketing challenge. The retailers vision needs to consider the social impact of their products and this engagement needs to address all age groups. A strong social message empowers the customers who feel that they are part of the social good being offered. Classic examples are environmental challenges, association with certain charities and important social issues- homelessness, cancer research etc to mention a few.
5. Simplify shopping at every stage
In today’s complicated world, consumers are starving for simplicity. To stand out from the noise, retailers should offer simpler access to their products and services.
Simplicity and efficiency are the key to providing customer satisfaction. Modern technology allows this to occur with ever increasing speed.
Just as technology is evolving at an increasing rate - so do retailers need to monitor, research and engage to remain relevant.
As with all businesses - Complacency is the pathway to failure.
(extracted from article by Paul Dearlove)