Oliver GuyOliver GuyJuly 2, 2020
mike-petrucci-c9FQyqIECds-unsplash-1280x853.jpg

5min979

When the pandemic began, we saw so many changes to ‘normal’ that ‘normal’ meant expecting change. Even running out of coffee became an entirely new experience.

Shopping – if the shop is open – has meant a 45-minute queue, and often we’ve been greeted with empty shelves. Online shopping has been a similar gamble, with websites crashing and home delivery booked up weeks in advance.

Soon enough we realised this wasn’t a sustainable approach. So, we adapted. We’ve joined new online retail sites and ordered in advance. For some, this was the first time they’d signed up to digital and mobile services because there were no other options.

Consumers changed, but many retailers did not. Those without an online presence found trading had stopped overnight and they had no other means to reach out to their customers when the doors were forced to shut. This has not been a temporary phenomenon. The retail industry was already changing, the virus is only accelerating it.

Over the next six months to a year, we will see dramatic shifts in consumer retail habits. As consumers loosen their pursestring and increase their spending again, retailers have a prime opportunity to forge the way and demonstrate innovation that will entice customers back.

Here are three ways retail will change forever:

1.Online shopping will continue to grow, doubling over the next 12-18 months, as people continue to focus on safety.

Those retailers without a strong presence online will not survive.

Retailers will invest strategically in online and omnichannel to build capacity and benefit from economies of scale. They will overhaul and adopt more efficient processes and facilitate real-time responses, enabling supply chains to build capacity and grow market share.

They will also want to find a way to make online profitable. Take grocery as an example, the average online order is about £80, but it costs the retailer £5 to pick the items and about £8 to deliver. Asking customers to pay for shipment will only turn them away, but offering free delivery service is not a sustainable model for the long term, certainly not for the small to medium size businesses that are already struggling to stay afloat.

2. Stores will rely on technologies to deal with social distancing.

Reducing shoppers’ anxiety and risk will go alongside brand affiliation, as customers seek the safest possible shopping experience.

Retailers will adopt automated technology and occupancy control systems to limit the number of people in store. To help manage product availability in-store and online, retailers will increase the use of the Internet of Things and real-time store monitoring to increase business visibility.

With more people now shopping online, consumers can expect more retailers to add immersive and mixed reality platforms such as virtual reality to voice assistants to aid shopping from home. As for delivery, we may start to see more drones and robots being used in warehouses and on the road, to reduce the need for person to person contact – protecting both workers and customers.

3. Planning for the next crisis will be a top priority.

Against a background of economic downturn, retailers will do everything it can to minimise the impact of future peaks – or indeed any other events.

One way to achieve this goal, is to have better connection between on-shelf demand signals and orders to limit shortages of some key grocery items. Retailers can also use ecosystems to help provide elasticity of resources to meet demands.

Like everything in life, there is a silver lining.

This pandemic could well galvanise the retail industry and create a burst of innovation like never before. Digital transformation was already underway, and we have a new opportunity to reinvent the retail experience. Those retailers willing to go one step further will uncover new services and process in a truly connected world.


Oliver GuyOliver GuyMay 24, 2019
lifebelt-4148444_1280-1280x716.jpg

7min1212

Imagining a world whereby stock isn’t tracked and managed is barely worth thinking about.

We’d miss out on sales, end up with too much stock to store in a back office – or even worse, suffer from increased costs as a result of missing a shipment or rescheduling one. To avoid stockout and maximise return on investment, retailers rely on a robust inventory management process. However, the problem is that retailers are drowning in a sea of inventory.

The more the sea rises, the harder it is to stay afloat. On the other hand though, should the water levels decrease, the boat encroaches on further danger. It’s important for retailers to find the middle ground – and sail by calmly.

To avoid the stormy seas, retailers need to prepare to face difficult journeys along the supply chain.

Avoiding the stormy seas

The retail supply chain used to be simple. From supplier to distribution centre, distribution centre to the store, and store to the customer – it has barely changed in 150 years. Yet, today retailers face a stormy journey. As consumer expectations continue to change, and rapidly. The need to fulfil these increasing demands across multiple new channels driving up inventory.

In fact, according to Gartner, 54 percent of retailers say that fulfilling online orders from store increases store inventory by 10 percent. Essentially, even the best run retailers could be having issues with increasing inventory as they expand across channels.

However, what’s more, it’s quite likely that the inventory is covering up issues, not just with the production system, but with issues with the overall omni-channel fulfilment system. These issues can include poor sales forecasts, problematic inventory placement decisions, supplier delivery delays, missing process orchestration, data silos and inefficient manual processes.

Finding the middle ground

To avoid these bumps in the supply chain and to improve the process, retailers need to implement the right technology to facilitate necessary data flows. This applies to both inside and outside of the organisation.

The best place to start is in finding out what the source of these issues is. In doing this, the inventory can then be controlled.

When it comes to inventory and visibility, a great starting point is real-time inventory visibility. This offers instant insight into stock. Think about it. It’s 11am and you’re expecting a bulk delivery, but you have no idea where it is. A real-time inventory visibility solution can help every retailer to overcome this with real-time insights that can make it possible to meet the demands of customers and planners through any channel. By understanding real-time inventory status across all your locations, you can determine the most beneficial way to use the inventory at any specific time to maximise sales and profits. This, whilst also ensuring customer satisfaction.

Increased visibility over the supply chain is crucial in maintaining an updated view of inventory, regardless of the number of systems any retailer has.

A calm sail

We live in a more digital world than ever before. This means consumers are far less patient when going into a store when it comes to finding a certain product they are looking for. If a retail assistant were to walk over to a shelf to see if the product is still in stock, the customer might not wait. The ability to check the online systems is therefore key to giving accurate and up to date information to a customer regarding the location of an item – or alternatively, when the next shipment is due.

This doesn’t just apply to retailers. But, to the customer too. Today’s customers are no longer just going to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. They are shopping online via mobile devices, iPads and tablets. This means they expect to be able to check whether or not a certain product is in store – or if in fact, it’s stocked in a store nearby.

Whilst implementing real-time visibility into the inventory process may take time; it’s easy to understand. This is why it is important that retailers take their time to find the best solution for them.  The retail industry is as its most competitive yet. To stand out in an already crowded space, customer experience must be at the centre of everything we do. This means ensuring every customer is satisfied, with the products they want – as available as they can possibly be. Managing stock efficiently and effectively is crucial to facilitating a top-quality Customer Experience – and in ensuring return purchasing.

 


Oliver GuyOliver GuyJanuary 7, 2019
kayla-harris-1042455-unsplash-1280x853.jpg

5min1469

Retail disruption is now a market ‘given’ and many think that the future is starting to look brighter. 

Why? Because winning retailers are grasping the technology to innovate; enabling them to develop new business models, drive operational efficiencies, and improve Customer Experience. What happens in retail is driven by consumer choice, how retailers respond to that will determine their future.

Here are some ways retailers will respond in 2019:

1. Retail Therapy: “How does that make you feel?”

More retailers will exploit emotional differentiation, targeting potential customers’ feelings. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers”.

This is why John Lewis spends so much on Christmas advertisements, to create an emotional connection with its brand. Part of this drive will come from personalisation, plus retailers have hyper–personalisation (context, real-time) in their sights – for both product and experience.  Artificial intelligence can help with this, but AI relies on quality data so a large constraint will be data availability and collation.

2. Note to tortoise: This time the rabbit wins

Retail keeps getting faster – customers demand things faster and the bar keeps getting higher. Like Gartner said: “For modern retail, lack of speed in decision making is deadly.”

This relates to internal operations – being able to respond in good time. As well as investing in process automation from RPA as a step toward full business process automation, retailers will consider real-time analytics to respond to what is happening with customers, in their own supply chains and in their stores. They will learn how to operationalise AI and machine learning technologies in order to deliver real value.

3. Is IoT a highway to the danger zone?

The Internet of Things may be the road to a successful future for retailers, but many consider it fraught with risks. Concerns about security, complexity, and connecting to the existing IT ecosystem will restrict uptake for a time. Smart retailers will look across what is being done in other industries and seek to acquire a platform with carrier grade security, from a vendor with a proven track record.

4. No man is an island, entire of itself

Ecosystems will become more complex. Retail expert Jon Bird said: “Traditional barriers and frameworks will fall by the wayside. Everyone can be a retailer and every surface a store.”

The most popular way to break down those barriers today is with mergers and partnerships. Examples include Amazon’s relationship with the UK’s Morrisons, using stores as local distribution centres. Kroger and Sobeys outsourced online grocery sales to Ocado, while Kroger also bought meal-kit vendor Home Chef.  These kinds of deals will grow and will only become more complex.

5. Consciously decoupling: Off with their heads

Winners will realise that to innovate they need to decouple back-office systems from the customer touch points; this is known as headless commerce. This gives them flexibility to continuously tweak and improve the customer journey at the front end, without having to constantly re-platform.

As was illustrated in Software AG’s 2018 Retail Digital Adoption Survey, digital leaders are using “third-party integration platforms to insulate digital platforms from change, to increase extensibility, and to gain deployment speed”.

One thing is clear: In 2019, the distance between retail leaders and the rest of the pack will continue to increase. Response to consumer demand will determine success levels. Leaders will continue to actively apply digital technologies to business problems. Predictions of customer choice will drive growth in areas. Without fully committing to digital transformation, the rest will probably fall by the wayside.




Inform. Inspire. Include.
A free way to improve your business.

Customer Experience Magazine is the online magazine packed full of industry news, blogs, features, reports, case studies, video bites and international stories all focusing on customer experience.


CONTACT US

CALL US ANYTIME


UK Trademark UK00002648900

EUIPO Trademark 018131832

Contact Information

For article submissions:
Editor
Paul Ainsworth
paul@cxm.co.uk

For general inquiries, advertising and partnership information:
aleksandar@awardsinternational.com
Tel: 0207 1932 428

For Masterclass enquiries:
vuk@awardsinternational.com
Tel: +44 20 86385584

Customer Experience Magazine Limited
Company number: 12450532
International House, 24 Holborn Viaduct,
United Kingdom, London, England, EC1A 2BN

JOBS IN CUSTOMER SUPPORT

Find a job in customer support with Jobsora


Newsletter


weight loss: rapid tone weight loss candida diet weight loss kirsten gillibrand weight loss 10 top weight loss pills weight loss transformation male e z weight loss pills ajwain for weight loss weight loss tulsa good weight loss programs walking 3 miles a day weight loss superset workouts for weight loss keto thermo diet pills most effective weight loss workout dmaa weight loss c section vs natural birth weight loss diet plan for weight loss for female dr oz recommended weight loss pills loss weight for free weight loss surgery orlando weight loss pills that are fda approved weight loss clinic roseville ca weight loss for life in 10 easy steps 3 week weight loss results weight loss machines that shake you pure protein shake for weight loss prescription weight loss pills ultra slim weight loss pills 1200 calorie diet weight loss plan weider weight loss pills the lemonade weight loss diet pills phen phen diet pills online tru vision weight loss order diet pills weight loss center slim xtreme platinum diet pills quick weight loss protein diet kosher diet pills annapolis weight loss water pills to help lose weight refirm weight loss pills vegetarian diet for weight loss fast 30 day yoga challenge weight loss snorting adipex weight loss mantra keto advanced weight loss pills ingredients weight loss pills prescriptions

male enhancement: men sex drive sildenafil for ed male erection exercises male enhancement reviews youtube goodrx cialis average cost of cialis pills for keeping you hard male celebrities with big dicks penis exerciss vasodilators supplements levitra shelf life when does your body stop growing pics of erections provigor male enhancement penis enlargement methods tip on sex enlarging penis size what is sexual stamina penis puming sex stimulating herbs average diameter of penis erectile dysfunction appliances vitamin d3 dosage for men no 20 pill yohimbine review us average penis how much arginine for ed huge erections best supplements for size how big is too big penis define impetant alpha x supplement blister on dick girls sex position lump inside penile shaft male ultracore side effects men vibrators cialis dosage for ed girls on penis size how do you increase your sex drive foods bad for testosterone prime weight loss pills how to make your cum shoot stendra 100mg reviews male enhancement treatment boost ultimate male enhancement

vape: eternal vape cartridges review pachamama peach papaya coconut cream gentlemans vape vape weed vape documentary smoke shop miami best cbd vape juice for pain vape fuchai 213 vape is harsh vape rules high watt tank smok color pro remedy vapor discount vape pen bed bugs vicks vapor rub lipoid pneumonia e cigarette vapor authority promo code best electronic cigarette 2015 ecig ohms law uwell cardimizer ecig import requirement smok tf t3 coil holy grail elixir vape tanks brands e cig explosion lawsuit ecig cartridges compatable with south beach damage vaping causes to lungs cheap box mods ebay juul battery replacement vip smoke shop smok top fill tank smok t priv skin smok app not working ecigs store luxotic surface how to turn on voopoo drag g320 smok milkman e juice smok g priv kit gold what is worse vape or cigarettes smok tanks leaking solar panel ecig authentic uwell crown distrributors vapor distilled water with electrolytes voopoo alpha 1 battery door uwell crown tank ebay

cbd oil: cbd regulations cbd oil relaxation colorado cbd oil mexican restaurants auckland cbd jaydens juice cbd oil pure essential oils amazon love cbd cbd oil legality texas cbd producers 100 cbd vape oil cbd 25mg cbd scams cbd indica oil compound description cbd oil hair regrowth que significa cannabis cbd oil receptors cbd for digestion bulk hemp cbd oil unsubstantiated synonym buffets sydney cbd premium cbd gummies cbd oil migraine with aura cannabis oil to treat cancer cannabist oil medicinal value take definition creches in kempton park cbd marijuana for anxiety dimethylheptylpyran synthesis human ultracell focus cbd peppermint review canabbis oil healthy harvest cbd oil is raw cbd oil better what you know no good real cbd oil amazon ebay cbd oil cbd oil columbus oh liquid hash oil cbd oil antidote to thc toxicity is cbd oil good for my liver difference in different types of cbd oil reliva cbd relief stick fountain of health cbd oil 500mg pure kana premium cbd oil drops