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23-Mar-2021 By - team

There is no doubting that the term "omnichannel" has become a buzzword in the retail sector; in fact, some specialists in the field have even urged people to stop using it altogether.

Nevertheless, the idea is firmly entrenched, and for many, the term "omnichannel" accurately describes a tightly integrated retail system that enables businesses to be present across a variety of channels (such as in-person, online, mobile, etc.) while allowing customers to move and transact seamlessly from one channel or platform to another. In recent years, omnichannel retailing has grown in popularity.

The four major devices of inventory management are ABC inventory analysis, economic order quantity (EOQ), safety stock, and reorder points.

There are four main types of inventory: raw materials/components, WIP, finished goods and MRO.

Inventory refers to all the items, goods, merchandise, and materials held by a business for selling in the market to earn a profit. Example: If a newspaper vendor uses a vehicle to deliver newspapers to the customers, only the newspaper will be considered inventory. The vehicle will be treated as an asset.
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Chapter 1: 5 Examples of Omnichannel Retailing Done Right

In the past, omnichannel capabilities were considered a valuable feature or industry best practice. However, omnichannel capabilities are already regarded as standard fare in the industry.

According to the statistics collected by the industry, seventy-three percent of customers shop using more than one distribution channel. This is especially true for members of the millennial generation (i.e., the largest consumer group today). According to research, sixty percent of today’s young adults “want a consistent experience from companies regardless of how they interact with those brands—online, in-store, or over the phone.”

If you’re trying to improve your omnichannel game, the following examples can provide both a source of inspiration and a guide for your own work.

Customers receive benefits through Smack Bang’s loyalty programme regardless of where or how they shop

Smack Bang is the next company on our list; they are a business headquartered in New Zealand that provides pet accessories and treats.

Smack Bang, much like many other kinds of businesses, has a multi-channel presence and conducts business both online and in physical stores. In other words, they sell their products in both locations. One of our favourite characteristics of this particular organisation is the manner in which its customer loyalty programme operates consistently throughout all of the company’s many sales channels.

Because of this, customers who are part of the Smack Bang loyalty programme have the opportunity to earn and redeem rewards regardless of the store in which they make their purchases or the method used to make those purchases. Because of the remarkable loyalty widget that the company utilises, customers of the Smack Bang brand have an amazing time when they interact with the Smack Bang brand. The widget incorporates the design motifs and colour palettes that are utilised in both the physical store and the website.

Expand your company with the comprehensive toolkit for customer retention marketing. Marsello’s intelligent and targeted marketing, which is meant to boost client retention and sales, is delivered through a combination of data-driven automation, email, short message service (SMS), and loyalty programmes. The typical return on investment for Marsello shops is 44 times.

Reordering products from Sephora is quick and simple

Customers can shop at Sephora through both physical and digital channels, enabling the company to operate as an omnichannel retailer. Clients have more access to information on their purchase history, which is one of the many outstanding things that Sephora is doing for its customers.

On the Sephora website, under the section labelled “Purchase History,” one may view a list of all of the products that they have previously purchased, along with the date and place of the transaction. Because Sephora has such a large variety of items, this page was created to streamline the process of placing product replenishment orders for existing clients (i.e. online or in a specific store).

Customers can quickly add an item to their shopping basket by clicking the “Add to Basket” button that is situated next to each product. This allows the customer to rapidly add an item to their shopping basket.

The returns procedure at Nordstrom is simple and adaptable

A terrific omnichannel experience isn’t only about letting customers buy across multiple channels. Handling returns efficiently is critical to providing a positive experience for customers and should be prioritised. Customers are most dissatisfied when they are required to jump through an excessive number of hoops in order to return an item.

It is vital to review the particulars of the transaction before agreeing to accept a return, but you should also look into ways to make the process more pleasurable for your consumers. This should be done before you ever consider agreeing to accept a return. And in this day and age of omnichannel shopping, one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to allow people to return their items through the platform or channel that is most convenient for them. This is one of the greatest methods to accomplish this goal. To achieve this objective, this is without a doubt one of the best ways to get the job done.

This is an area in which Nordstrom truly excels. The procedure for returning items to the department store is streamlined, and shoppers can do it at any location (sometimes even curbside). In addition, customers who would rather return their purchases by mail are able to do so; all they need to do is start the returns procedure online.

You might want to think about incorporating something comparable into your company. Make sure that your offline and online platforms are connected to one another and that you have the ability to accept returns from any store, regardless of whether the original transaction was done offline or online.

You may do a search using the customer’s name or the receipt number, locate the relevant transaction, and then immediately process the refund. You may relax knowing that the stock will be shown accurately at each outlet and that it will also be shown accurately in the reports that you get.

Grain & Vine accepts and processes orders through a variety of sources

One of the most impressive examples of omnichannel sales and fulfilment practices comes from the establishment of Grain & Vine, which is located in New York.

Grain & Vine provides customers with a number of different fulfilment choices, including in-store pickup and same-day delivery, in addition to the ability to make purchases online or in-store.

It is a wonderful concept, especially given the current climate in which customers are required to remain inside their homes. The streamlined fulfilment choices offered by Grain & Vine unquestionably differentiate it from other sellers.

Are you prepared to step up your omnichannel commerce skills?

The previous instances of omnichannel shopping should have, with any hope, suggested some ideas for you to think about adding into your own retail platforms and experiences. It is important to keep in mind that going the omnichannel way is not an option in this day and age; rather, it is a requirement.

Therefore, before you can begin to make your customers happy, you need to first get all of your retail ducks (channels) in a row.

Chapter 2: Retail Analytics: How to Use Data to Win More Sales and Customers

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It bears repeating, as we have done so many times before: Being more data-centric is one of the keys to gaining success in retail, which is one of the keys.

Suppose you want to make better decisions that will lead to increased earnings, improved customer pleasure, and an overall more fantastic business. In that case, relying on retail analytics and real data rather than guessing is the way to go.

The encouraging news is that it seems as though a significant number of participants in the retail business have already recognised the significance of data. According to the findings of a poll conducted by Alteryx and RetailWire, 81 percent of respondents said that they obtain shopper insights, and 76 percent believe insights to be crucial to their business. The survey was conducted with roughly 350 retailers and brand makers. The bad news is that although many retailers are gathering data, the vast majority of them are not making efficient use of it. According to the survey findings, just sixteen percent of respondents believe themselves to be data harnessing specialists. In comparison, twenty-four percent and sixty percent define themselves as “newbies” or “getting there.”

Being data-centric is, of course, something that is simpler to say than it is to practise. Because of this, we have developed a list of helpful recommendations to assist you in collecting data and making use of it in your retail business. After reading the information about them that is provided below, evaluate whether or not you are able to implement them in your enterprise:

Start with the right tools.

It is possible that you may encounter challenges with your data-centric initiatives because you do not have the appropriate tools to collect and utilise information. You can be in possession of the necessary equipment but lack the expertise to utilise them to their fullest extent.

Take into account the following:


You are obviously passing up opportunities if the only thing your point of sale system is being utilised for is to ring up sales. Most point-of-sale systems available today come equipped with reporting functions that may shed light on critical data such as profit margins, basket sizes, client counts, sales patterns, and more. These features can be found in most current POS systems.

If you want to know exactly which items or suppliers are generating revenue, for instance, looking at your sales statistics will tell you this information, and then you can arrange your stock orders appropriately.

The data from your POS system may assist you in streamlining both your workforce and your operations.

Simply glancing at the data from their POS systems may provide retailers with a wealth of information on both their company and their customers. Therefore, if you haven’t done so before, investigate the reporting options of your POS system and educate yourself on the metrics that you may measure (and how to track them).

Email marketing software

Track the percentage of emails that are opened, the number of clicks and the amount of time consumers spend engaging with your messages if you communicate with them by email. Your email marketing software should provide this information; therefore, anytime you send out messages to your list, you should constantly investigate the provided data.

You may better understand which subject lines are successful by analysing open rate statistics, which will help you optimise those subject lines moving ahead. In the meanwhile, paying attention to the times when individuals are reading your messages might help you better schedule your efforts.

Foot traffic analytics

If you haven’t already done so, you should think about adding foot traffic analytics solutions in your business if you haven’t already done so. People counters and beacons are two examples of useful tools that may collect data such as client counts and dwell periods.

You will be able to derive further information from that data, such as the amount of traffic you are getting, the areas of your business that are receiving the most and least visits, and other information.

Learning from your mistakes is a common theme in many proverbs and phrases about life, and one might say the same thing about the retail industry. When you examine the data from your prior sales and inventories, you may find that it reveals useful insights and action actions that you can put into practice right now and in the future.

What were some of your most popular items throughout the previous season? That are the consumers who made the highest purchases? Which manufacturers or designers were the most well received by your customers? The decisions you make regarding ordering and the promotions you run in your shop can be aided by the answers to these questions.

Mix and match metrics or reports

If you only look at one metric, you won’t see the overall picture, and you won’t be able to understand the worth of what you’re looking at completely. This is like concentrating on just one painting section or facet.

Examining the connections between the various metrics that you’re tracking is essential if you want to get the most value out of the data you’re gathering. Instead of looking at each report separately, try if you can piece together information from a few different ones to have a better understanding of the situation.

You may calculate your conversion rate by dividing the total number of transactions by the total foot traffic. This formula is transaction count multiplied by gross traffic. This is a useful indicator that provides information on the proportion of people that visited the business to the total number of customers who made a purchase.

And let’s say you analyse your revenue and transaction count together (total revenue divided by transaction count). If this is the case, you will be provided with your average order value, which will give you an overall picture of how much money people spend in your shop.

These are just a few instances of how you might combine multiple measures in order to get more conclusive results. There are many more possibilities. Investigate the information at your disposal and search for more reports or data points that may be combined.

Use timing to predict what your customers will buy next

When doing an analysis of the data, timing is one of the most important factors to consider. While this does not mean that timing is “everything,” as the cliche goes, it is nevertheless quite significant.

If you ask a consumer when they last looked at a product or made a purchase, you may gain some insight about what they are likely to buy next and when they will buy it.

Let’s imagine you own a business that sells baby clothes and products, and one of your customers recently made a purchase of some apparel for her kid, who is only three months old. Using this information, you may be able to anticipate what she will require in three months’ time or a year’s time, and you may provide pertinent product suggestions as a result.

Enfagrow is an example of a firm that excels in this area. When mothers and mothers-to-be join up for the brand’s mailing list, Enfagrow gathers information on the age of their child or the due date of the mother’s next pregnancy. The information is then put to use by the corporation, which sends emails to customers that are very relevant to their children’s ages.

Empower your customers to share their details actively

It is crucial to get data on sales and shoppers’ behaviour; nevertheless, you do not want to be the store that merely gathers information in the background. (If you want a reputation for being creepy, that’s a wonderful way to do it.)

Make sure that your clients are involved in the data collecting process so that you can get the most out of your efforts. You may encourage people to share their data with you by having talks with them, conducting surveys, or using other research methods. Not only will doing so help you get to know them better, but it will also help create trust between the two of you.

The fact that they are actively gathering data with your consumers (rather than merely carrying it out invisibly in the background) demonstrates to customers that you appreciate the feedback that they provide. And when they realise that you are making excellent use of the material that they have provided, they will be more likely to share it with you!

What is the most effective method for gathering data from customers? That is entirely dependent on your shop and its clientele. The solution may be as simple as having a conversation with customers and noting their preferences in your customer relationship management system.

When it comes to getting to know their customers better, some merchants are turning to more high-tech and engaging methods. Look at this illustration from the Sephora store in the South Coast Plaza Mall. In one particular case, Sephora utilises in-store iPads to provide quizzes for customers to take in order to choose the appropriate product for their needs.

Combine online and offline data

When you combine the analysis of data collected online and offline, you will have a comprehensive picture of the purchasing experiences of your clients. Remember that modern consumers move via various channels on their way to purchase, so if you store and analyse their information in silos, you are going to receive fragmented profiles of your shoppers, and you might lose out on essential insights and chances.

Barneys is a fantastic illustration of a shop that comprehends the significance of having uniform data. According to statements made by Matthew Woolsey, the executive vice president for digital at Barneys, when the company looked at the customer behaviours of both online and offline customers, they discovered that many of the women who buy fine jewellery in their brick-and-mortar locations have previously browsed for it online. This information was given to the Washington Post.

You can see that if Barneys had only looked at the data from their online shoppers, they would not have realised that some of their customers who browsed their website eventually made purchases in-store, and they also would not have obtained a comprehensive understanding of the path that their customers take before making a purchase.

Combine data with human insight

It is essential to acknowledge the significance of human insights, despite the fact that computers and algorithms can provide you with a robust understanding of your company.

You can get the figures from the retail analytics and reporting platforms you’re using, but you should also consider your employees’ input and experience.

Check out what the folks at Stitch Fix are up to. When analysing a user’s preferences and making recommendations, the online personal styling service draws upon the expertise of human stylists as well as computer algorithms.

When a person signs up for the Stitch Fix service, they are required to take out a survey, and the responses they provide are then entered into a data system that generates suggestions. On the other hand, the ultimate selection of apparel is made by human stylists working at Stitch Fix.

When it comes to making decisions on employment or operations, combining data with human insights might also prove to be beneficial.

Let’s say the data from your foot traffic tools show that customers spend more time in the store’s front than they do in the back. Why not hone in on this insight by chatting to the people working on the sales floor to find out the motivation behind this behaviour and better understand why it occurs?

You could want to give your product assortments a little bit of a facelift, or perhaps your sales employees might do a better job of persuading customers to explore the entirety of the shop. No matter what the circumstances are, you should probably discuss it with your personnel and get their input before making any changes.

Final thoughts

It is financially irresponsible for retailers that want to prosper in the future months and years to make decisions without taking data into consideration. The knowledge and insights you acquire will make it all valuable when you’ve mastered it. Yes, putting in place the appropriate procedures and understanding how to gather intel might take some work, but once you’ve mastered it, the knowledge and insights you gain will make it worthwhile.

In what ways are you putting retail analytics to use in your company? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Chapter 3: Retail Automation and the Future of Commerce: How to Prepare

Cafe Owners

The amount of time that may be saved because to automation is a common selling point for its use. However, automation’s benefits extend beyond simply enabling you to do chores more rapidly. In point of fact, the benefits it provides are so extensive that they permeate nearly every aspect of your retail business.

And the automation of retail is expanding. In point of fact, analysts anticipate that the global market for retail automation will be worth more than $19.5 billion by the year 2024.

Automating retail is the wave of the future in terms of how business is done.

In the following paragraphs, let’s look at what retail automation is and some strategies that you may think about using now and in the future for your own retail company.

What is retail automation?

Automation is both a concept and a technique that refers to utilising computers and other forms of technology to programme systems, procedures, and workflows so that they may operate on their own or with just minimum human intervention. The execution of activities and the prediction of future scenarios may be accomplished through the use of automation, which uses technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Depending on who you ask, “retail automation” can refer to a variety of different concepts. It could have anything to do with:

  • Putting formerly manual retail processes with automation: This comprises activities like as inventory management, accounting and bookkeeping, reporting on analytics, buying, and other jobs that are analogous to one another and involve repetition.
  • When we talk about automated commerce, we’re referring to things like automatic purchases, subscriptions, recurring payments, and other related ideas.
  • Using technology, it is now feasible to automate marketing tasks such as email sequences, retargeting campaigns, and other marketing strategies to promote your company without requiring excessive ongoing maintenance.

Benefits of retail automation

Even if it takes time and money, particularly in the beginning, retail automation is an investment that ultimately yields a return. After you have made the first investment in retail automation, the benefits will trickle down to your company and employees, just as they will to your bottom line.

Increase accuracy

One study found that more than half of manufacturing companies are still using pen and paper to keep track of their workflows and procedures. Because of this, firms are susceptible to unintentional human mistakes, resulting in expensive business choices made based on inaccurate data. According to the results of one study, computers were shown to have a 95 percent accuracy rate in reading lips, whereas humans only had a 52 percent accuracy rate.

When some retail processes are automated with computers, an additional level of precision is introduced humans cannot match that on their own. Inventory management, analytics reporting, accounting and bookkeeping, payroll administration, and other business processes are all greatly impacted as a result of these benefits.

Reduce labour costs

Automation and increased use of technology are largely responsible for the progressive increase in labour productivity seen in the retail industry. Because labour-intensive jobs are being transferred to computers, you will require a less number of staff hours to achieve the same level of productivity. One example of a business that produces retail robots is Symbolic, which has the potential to cut down on labour expenditures by around 80 percent.

However, it is essential to emphasise that the loss of employment is not directly attributable to the rise of automation. According to Fair Workweek, 62 percent of employees believe that retail automation and the internet of things will provide additional employment opportunities in the future.

Free up time

You are able to save money on labour while also gaining back time. According to McKinsey & Company, almost half of the jobs that are being performed today may be automated. According to the findings of another study, if a typical grocery shop utilised all of the automation solutions that are now available, they could run their business with anywhere from 55 percent to 65 percent less hours.

Target spent $7 billion on remodelling and expanding its retail shops in 2017 as part of an ongoing commitment to the company’s strategy to remain competitive. Automating repetitive processes was a portion of the investment that was made.

Cashiers were able to spend more time on the floor servicing clients and cultivating connections since automated cash registers freed up their time. And in situations where human interaction isn’t necessarily being replaced by automation, it assists in achieving those manually performed activities more efficiently customers

Greater efficiency results in a more smooth experience on the backend, which transfers into the expertise provided to the consumer. This comes into play in a variety of different ways, some of which are as follows:

  • avoiding stockouts, which ensures that customers may always get what they require
  • Inventory visibility, which provides customers shopping in-store or online with real-time information on the availability of products
  • messages, offers, and promotions that are tailored to the individual based on the data collected
  • Quick order processing, packing, shipping, and/or pickup and/or delivery

Protect your business

Every retailer faces the very real risk of fraud. In point of fact, this is the primary concern of the vast majority of merchants. You may add an extra layer of protection for your company by utilising technology and automation as a defence mechanism. You would be joining the other 70 percent of merchants who place a high priority on using machine-learning analytics as a means of preventing fraud in their operations.

Activity that looks to be hazardous or fraudulent can be detected by computers and flagged. For example, this may take place during the processing of a credit card transaction.

Incorporating automation into your retail biz

Between the years 2015 and 2030, it is anticipated that businesses will raise their spending on technology by more than 50 percent, and automation will surely play a significant role in this.

Because retail automation has been around for a long time, this indicates that there are many possibilities, virtually unlimited in number, to take into consideration for your company. Everything boils down to figuring out your own goals and then tracing those objectives back to your requirements.


The self-checkout system is one of the retail automation’s least complicated and most widely anticipated applications. And they are thrilled with it. One poll found that two-thirds of customers prefer self-serve choices, with the majority feeling that it will improve the overall quality of the customer experience.

One of the earliest examples of a retail store that eliminated the need for cashiers was Amazon Go, which is often mentioned as an example. The scanning, pricing, and payment processing can all be handled automatically via retail automation, so customers may basically just walk in and out. Additionally, they have installed Amazon Hub Lockers, self-service storage facilities, in over 900 locations worldwide.

Even the process of purchasing a car may now be done independently, thanks to vending machines provided by Carvana. Also, self-checkout kiosks are making their way into stores that aren’t precisely grocery stores, such as Zara and Rebecca Minkoff, which are trendy apparel labels that are now testing out the technology.

In-store robots

Retail establishments are also beginning to implement robots to do tasks such as stocking goods, serving clients, and keeping an eye out for shoplifters. According to one estimate, more than 150,000 robots will be working inside stores by 2025.

Up to one thousand of Walmart’s shops already use robots to pack orders, scan shelves to notify employees of low supply, and scan shelves to alert employees of low stock. These robots also help speed up the fulfilment process for online sales.

Automated robots are not only conducting kerbside collection, but they are also cleaning and sanitising the area. This is especially vital in an economy as advanced as COVID-19. The Broad Branch Market in Washington, District of Columbia, has begun using robots to fulfil the role of delivery “drivers,” bringing customers’ products to them even amid social isolation and lockdowns. The same thing has been done for kerbside pickups at the Save Mart flagship location in Modesto, California.

Inventory management

Another essential umbrella concept, automated inventory management, can refer to a variety of different practises, including the following:

  • Forecasting the level of demand
  • Reporting on the inventory
  • Purchases made automatically
  • Counting one’s stocks
  • Warnings of low stock levels
  • Aging stock alerts


One study found that by the year 2024, 61 percent of warehouses are anticipated to mix the use of manual labour with automation in the storage and retrieval of goods. In addition, it is anticipated that more than one-quarter will become entirely automated. Many people feel that maintaining a healthy balance between human and automated retail systems will result in a workforce that is able to handle an equal amount of work.

You may also automate many other aspects of your business, in addition to using robots to assist fulfil orders like Walmart does. The employment of some robots may assist with warehouse space optimisation and guarantee that not a single inch is wasted, therefore freeing up room for additional goods or lowering holding costs along the way.

You also do not require the use of robots. Picking, packing, and sorting are all made simpler by the use of automated put walls, for instance. When employing the technology, two to three people may fulfil 2,400 things in an hour, however, typical put walls may require 10 times the quantity of labour in addition to ten times the amount of area.

You may also automate the unloading of inventory in the back room, scanning barcodes and collecting data, upkeep and maintenance of equipment, and personnel management.

Retail marketing

Automation and retail marketing work together in many different ways, but ultimately, the end goal is to save wasted time and increase the efficiency of your marketing initiatives. In marketing, several tasks are amenable to automation, including the following:

  • Emails sent to abandoned shopping carts and retargeting advertisements
  • Email receipts
  • Recommendations of products tailored to the individual
  • Campaigns aimed toward retaining existing customers

Numerous marketing automation solutions, such as Marsello, make it simple to automate and personalise communications in response to the actions and preferences of customers. Customers who haven’t made a purchase in a while will receive a reminder from this feature, which, in addition to providing individualised discounts and benefits to loyal customers, will remind them to return to your store.

OnceWas, a clothing and accessories retailer, uses automated email sequences to engage various client categories. Marsello uses consumers’ behaviours to categorise them into different categories automatically and delivers them relevant information as well as promotional offers.

Hiring and recruiting

Hiring new employees and finding new employees are both difficult and vital in the retail industry. It is crucial for retailers to acquire great personnel, but they confront various problems, the most significant of which is time. Finding the ideal applicant requires a significant amount of time, which is something that busy professionals don’t always have available to them.

A brief case study on the use of retail automation in the employment and recruitment process is as follows:

“For instance, one retailer that we are familiar with came up with an app-based hiring tool in order to simplify the process of employing shop staff. The procedure of finding new workers for the project was challenging when it first got started. The process took an average of forty-five days from beginning to end, during which time each candidate had to submit over fifty papers and make as many as five trips to the business’s headquarters. To make matters even worse, over forty percent of the new colleagues employed quit within the first six months of their employment. The organisation formed an agile and cross-functional working team to address these issues, which developed minimum viable products in just ten weeks. These products included a mobile app that candidates could use to browse available jobs and submit applications for them and a web-based application that HR managers could use to screen and identify potential hires. The solution has now been implemented in more than 1,000 stores, and it has not only reduced the amount of time spent hiring new employees by more than 80 percent and the amount of time spent on administrative tasks in stores by 20 percent, but it has also improved the quality of new employees by applying advanced analytics to application data.

These benefits come in especially helpful at busy times, like the Christmas season, when you need to engage seasonal employees who can assist you in meeting the increased demand that has arisen.

Prepare now for the future of retail automation.

You might not be prepared to make a large investment in a fleet of robots just yet, but there are accessible methods to utilise retail automation right now, and doing so can both position you for more important and more sophisticated prospects in the future. Every choice you make for your company should consider not just what is happening and what you require at the moment but also how it will help you get to where you envision yourself in the foreseeable future.

When it comes to retail automation solutions, there is such a wide variety of options accessible to merchants that it can be difficult to choose just one. When it comes to selecting the most useful tools for your company, you should search for solutions that can expand along with your company. Even if you are not currently thinking about it, advanced functionality and integrations with third-party apps should be major factors in the course of your search.


Retail automation is now a reality, and it is reshaping the way business is conducted going forward. Small companies are given access to the technology they require to create remarkable experiences for their customers and compete on a wider scale. Prepare yourself today with the appropriate tools and techniques to help you make the most of future opportunities to benefit from the expansion of your company and advances in technology.

Chapter 4: 6 Retail Technology Trends That are Making Waves — and How to Capitalize On Them                           

Fashion Designers Working With Sketches

The challenge of predicting future developments in retail technology is a challenging one. There is no shortage of buzzwords in the market, and many technology suppliers say that their solution is the next big thing in the retail sector.

Which current technological developments in the retail industry live up to the hype? And how do you identify which activities are most beneficial for your company to undertake?

Answer: you should rely on the data. Pay close attention to the changes that are occuring in your market, particularly in terms of the tastes and behaviours of buyers. Every market is distinct, and the technology that should be implemented will change from business to business and from client to customer.

We took a look at some of the retail technology trends that have been making waves as of late, and we compiled a list of the top tech trends to keep an eye on, along with instructions on how to use them successfully in your company.

Solutions that enable “pre-store” research

Move over FOMO (fear of missing out). The customers can now experience FOGO due to COVID-19 (fear of going out).

People are growing more wary, particularly when it comes to buying in traditional stores. Many are modifying their purchase behaviours to reduce the number of times they go shopping. “Pre-store research” is becoming increasingly popular among consumers, which refers to the practice of looking up information on a store or product online before physically going to that place.

Before the epidemic, ninety percent of consumers reported that they look for information on a product online before going to the store to buy it. In the most recent few months, there has probably likely been an increase in that number.

What does this imply for you moving forwards?

First, you are missing out on possibilities to make sales and attract customers to your physical location if your business or items are unavailable on internet platforms such as Google. It is essential that you implement strategies that bring your company in front of customers when they are in the “pre-store” research stage of their shopping experience.

This implies that you want your store to come up in their search results for your items whenever they do a web search for such products.

Integrating your point-of-sale (POS) or inventory management system with Google Search and Maps is one way to accomplish this goal.

This is made very easy by applications such as Pointy, which Google bought in the year 2020. Simply link Pointy to your point of sale system, and it will immediately begin displaying your current, accurate inventory online. This will make it much simpler for your consumers to see what you have available.

Dingo’s is an excellent example of how this trend is now being implemented. The items that are stocked at their establishment are listed on their Google Business Profile, allowing customers to check on their availability before making the trip to the store.

  1. Retail ecosystems 

It takes a variety of instruments to successfully run a retail firm. You have your point-of-sale (POS) system, eCommerce shopping cart, payment processor, accounting software, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and the list goes on.

Because it will be difficult to find a single solution that is capable of doing all of the aforementioned things exceptionally effectively, retail ecosystems are of vital significance. You can maintain the smooth operation of your retail business by integrating all of your applications in a way that is completely seamless.

The last thing you want to do is piece together multiple solutions or do manual entry because both of these practices lead to inefficient operations and a negative experience for the consumer.

Therefore, if you want your company to succeed, you need to develop retail connectors to ensure that data moves freely throughout your systems.

There should be no doubt that the requirement for open ecosystems will continue to expand as customers’ demands continue to rise and the complexity of their shopping trips increases. Adopting technology that can be readily integrated is one way to ensure that your retail company is ready for anything that may come its way.

  1. A-commerce technology

The process of automating the purchase journey is at the heart of automated commerce, sometimes referred to as “a-commerce.” The following are some of the various shapes that e-commerce may take:

Automatic purchases

Certain stores would benefit from automating the purchasing decisions of their customers. Examples of this include retailers who have adopted subscription-based ways of doing business. Retailers may minimise customer frustration and simplify their customers’ lives by automating mundane tasks like purchasing consumable products (like razors and toilet paper, for example).

The most innovative organisations are currently conceiving of ways to fuel automated commerce with the use of technology such as linked gadgets and the Internet of Things (IoT).

According to the Retail Council of Canada (RCC), these advances may also become commonplace in our homes in the not-too-distant future. The smart appliance business, which is expected to be worth $20 billion, is creating thermostats and other appliances capable of learning individual consumers’ behaviours and adjusting their operations appropriately. In the future, smart refrigerators will be able to determine when food has become spoiled and automatically place online orders for its replacement.

Marketing automation

A-commerce may also take the shape of marketing automation in some circumstances. The methods retailers employ to acquire and utilise information about their customers are getting increasingly sophisticated to drive higher spending. Where do we begin? It is possible to automate the process of collecting such information and carrying out campaigns that are supported by data.

Platforms for customer communications and marketing automation such as Marsello give businesses the ability to personalise their messages and offers for their customers depending on the individual actions taken by those consumers.

If a consumer hasn’t made a purchase in the last half a year, for instance, the platform will automatically send them an offer to entice them to have a look at the new products that have been added to the shop. On the other hand, a distinct message will be directed at a devoted client who frequently shops at the retail establishment. This may take the form of an unexpected reward for their continued support.

Consider the example of OnceWas, a women’s clothing retailer. In order to engage different client categories, such as first-time consumers, window shoppers, and inactive customers, OnceWas employs automated email sequences.

Marsello engages each consumer group with a campaign that is geared around their buying behaviours and automatically segments the customer base of OnceWas based on those categories. This ensures that clients receive communications pertinent to their requirements, which, in the end, enhances the possibility that they will convert.

Process automation

Additionally, e-commerce can be used to the back-end operations of your company. Take into consideration the following examples of retail automation:

  • prompts that are displayed automatically to cashiers in order for them to capture serial numbers when consumers buy things such as electronics;
  • Verification of a customer’s age when purchasing age-restricted commodities, such as alcohol; updating your online and offline stock levels whenever an item is purchased through either channel; automating your re-ordering procedure in the event that stock is running short

Adopting an e-commerce platform that allows automation is the first step in integrating a-commerce into your business’s procedures and operations. Once more, the use of a solution that can readily interface with many other applications is essential. Make sure that your operating system supports the “talking to each other” of different applications, as this is essential to the success of app-based commerce.

  1. Platforms that focus on virtual customer engagement 

As a result of the epidemic, the number of calls and conferences conducted using Microsoft Teams in China increased by more than 500 percent between January and March of 2020.

This demonstrates that despite the fact that individuals are going out less, their need for social connection is greater than it has ever been. This pattern of behaviour has significant repercussions for the manner in which companies should support interactions and conversations with customers.

Finding methods to engage with customers electronically is one way for retailers to maintain their competitive advantage. That action might have many various connotations, depending on the brand you run. One-on-one consultations tend to yield the best results for certain types of shops. Others flourish when they participate in community activities such as courses or workshops.

In order to choose the best strategy, you should consult your existing clientele. After then, figuring out the technological aspects of the situation is the next step to take. You’ll need to switch to a reputable communication platform that gives you the ability to run meetings and other activities over the internet.

In some instances, all it takes is a quick jump on Instagram live to do that. But if you want more involvement or if your demands are sophisticated (for example, guest registration, selling tickets, moderating webinars, etc.), then adopting a ticketing system like Eventbrite and a webinar platform like Zoom would be a smart idea. Both of these tools are available at reasonable prices.

  1. Contactless payments

There is nothing novel about contactless payments; technology such as mobile payments (Apple Pay and Samsung Pay) or tap-and-go have been around for a number of years. However, the pandemic has significantly sped up the progression of this tendency.

According to the findings of a survey conducted by Mastercard, nearly half of all consumers around the world (46 percent) “have swapped out their top-of-wallet card for one that offers contactless.” The proportion of younger consumers (those under 35 years old) has a higher rate of contactless payment adoption (52 percent). Additionally, 82 percent of respondents stated that making payments using contactless technology is much more hygienic.

It used to be desirable to have the ability to support contactless payment methods like Apple Pay. However, by the year 2020 and beyond, they will essentially be expected standards.

In addition to that, make sure to get the word out. Informing clients about your contactless activities should involve using all of your available communication channels, including email, social media, in-person interactions, and so on. Encourage your consumers to adopt these solutions; they provide an efficient approach to restrict touch, therefore maintaining the safety of both your customers and your personnel.

  1. Order management and fulfilment platforms 

In terms of fulfilling orders, rapidity and adaptability are crucial qualities to possess. The stores that can get things into customers’ hands in the most expedient manner feasible will be the most successful in the retail industry. This entails providing services such as in-store and kerbside pickup and same-day or next-day delivery options.

Your inventory management and order fulfilment system will have a distinct appearance depending on the technologies and procedures that you now use. However, to more effectively manage your sales, items, and orders across all your sales channels, it is helpful to have a single platform that is strongly linked with the other channels.

How will you leverage technology trends in retail?

There is no shortage of retail technology innovations that assert themselves to be THE one that will revolutionise your company. Take an objective look at your business’s operations and various projects to determine what you should be concentrating on properly. Learn as much as possible about your consumers and their demands. Think about the things that are holding your company behind or the things that are holding you back. Conducting an analysis of these factors will shed light on the next measures that should be taken moving ahead.

You should also think about having conversations with retail professionals who can provide you with advice on how you may enhance your company.



Guest post by : team Form -

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