Getting a 360 Degree View
Today’s retail software has become very good at providing detailed online order history that can provide merchandising suggestions for the customer’s next visit. The next step to get a true 360-degree view of the customer is to integrate online and in-store behavior. In order to do this, retailers need a modern POS that can put all shopping behavior, online and off-line, along with merchandising suggestions, cross sell and up-sell opportunities in the hands of the store associate.
Bringing All Together
The retail platforms of the future are those that can bring it all together. Retailers need the right tools for the job. But it is important to be realistic when it comes to new technology. It is important to focus on what you need to build. If your primary need is to be agile and experimental, look for platform that can do this natively.
Reporting and Analytics (social, mobile, reporting)
With reporting and analytics, we sometimes forget that data is just a means to an end. The end goal being customer intimacy. Charts and graphs can be sexy, but keep in mind the information you need is what helps you better know and sell to your customers. Make sure you partner with industry experts that know what they are doing in this space.
E-Commerce (B2C, B2B, Mobile Commerce)
It is a shame how B2B and B2C platforms have become so separated. Retailers will get the most bang for their buck with selecting a platform that can perform both of these functions, along with desktop and mobile within one page design.
Core Operations (Store operations, merchandising, Infrastructure)
Kibo recently did a secret shopping in-store pickup study. One of the most revealing items the results highlighted was the lack of modern integrations. We found only 7 percent of retailers attempted to save the sale. This point to a lack of technology and/or incentives for store associates. Retailers can really seize this opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Transforming the In-Store Experience
Retailers must make the transition from big data to small data to become more intimate with customers, and provide an enhanced, personalized shopping experience. Small data will allow store associates to greet customers by name, have online and offline shopping history in the palm of their hand, allowing them to make product suggestions based on this history, and offer additional cross-sell and up-sell suggestions. Retailers that enable these personalized services and provide this added value to an in-store visit will ensure their success for the future.
The Trending Retail
Same day delivery will be a big trend to watch over the next few years. As was recently discovered in Kibo’s consumer trends survey, the demand for this service is there, but shoppers may not find the expense worth it. Our survey found 1 in 3 consumers want same day delivery but are unwilling to pay for it. So the cost for this service needs to come down before it will be widely adopted by consumers.
It is also a wide open field for retailers that can provide in-store pickup. Retailers have not yet solved the problem to provide this service successfully. In the same Kibo consumer trends survey, we found 1/3 of consumers are less likely to buy from retailers unable to offer in-store pickup. So the demand is there for this service and if retailers are unable to provide it, consumers will find a retailer that does.
A final trend to watch will be the accelerated convergence of in-store and online channels. Modern retail commerce software will be key to providing the technology and toolkits needed to make these trends a reality.