An intelligent retail model can create rich, customer-first experiences at all touchpoints, from backend operations to front-of-house innovations. To keep pace with the rapid changes every retail business must excel in a number of core areas—personalization, staffing, supply chain and cross-channel experience. Foundational to each of these new requirements is the ability to leverage data-rich intelligence and ensure these insights are distributed across all levels of the organization.
Know your customers
Developing and maintaining a two-sided, ongoing relationship with consumers is a foundational strategy of any brand. From the initial discovery stage and product recommendations to post-purchase support, companies need to collect consumer data from all touchpoints and deliver personalized support at every stage of the purchase path. By developing a 360-degree view of what customers need across channels, retailers can eventually provide anticipatory support before it’s needed.
Brands can utilize powerful algorithms to learn a consumer’s behaviors and preferences, reaching them at home more effectively than ever before. Advanced CRM and marketing systems develop a detailed shopper profile through repeated interactions and utilize this information to deliver proactive and personalized outbound marketing and tailored recommendations.
63% of online shoppers are more open to sharing personal information if it means brands and retailers can better anticipate their needs. As retailers and brands take advantage of internet-enabled technologies alongside AI to better track and respond to shopper behaviors, purchasing habits and broader contextual cues, service will shift from reactive to proactive. Customers will seek out companies who are equipped to offer this next level of personalization, which will evolve towards just- in-time assistance and predictive care.
Empower your employees
Despite their attraction to digital modes of shopping, customers largely prefer interacting with human associates for immediate support and guidance. A superior retail experience starts with developing a frontline workforce that is knowledgeable and passionate about products and empowered to solve any problem. Retailers need to ensure their workforce is equipped to safely and efficiently respond to customer needs and preferences by democratizing access to customer data and purchase profiles. By having critical data readily accessible, employees are now empowered to handle any and all customer requests, effectively driving ROI and optimizing the customer experience.
Despite collecting a variety of insights on individual shoppers from their online browsing behaviors, purchase history, loyalty membership and location, most companies fail to develop this information into an actionable customer view. Providing 360-degree customer profiles to the frontline enable associates to recognize their customers and deliver personalized service and advice to improve the sales or service experience.
New merchandises, special offers and continuously changing inventory levels are challenging for the sales staff. To help employees better respond to immediate issues or improve the store operations with a forward- looking view, companies are equipping their employees with AI-enabled tools that provide in-the-moment access to key information and analytics and streamline communications between staff.
Enable an intelligent supply chain
The optimal infrastructure is crucial for retailers to reduce costs, meet rising consumer needs and improve communication between suppliers and partners. As inventory becomes an increasingly important differentiator, stores need to leverage intelligent supply chain strategies to ensure availability of the right products, at the right time to every customer.
Retailers are adopting a 360-degree view of their entire supply chains—from raw material acquisition to production to last-mile delivery, by adopting intelligent, data-driven processes to not only predict inventory and aptly respond to consumer expectations, but synchronize information sharing amongst all members of the supply chain.
Data-driven communication channels and omnichannel solutions can help optimize fast and responsive communication between factories, warehouses, stores and other supply chain elements, sharing key information between partners through cloud infrastructures and keeping everyone on pace to deliver excellence. Successful brands and retailers build agile inventory and operation resilient to rapid change. These data-led initiatives enable them to quickly adapt or even anticipate shifts to be first to market with new products inspired by local purchase patterns to better serve the needs of their customers.
Often the retail experience customers receive isn’t tailored to their specific needs or preferences. Retailers need to reinvent their business models by prioritizing agile and innovative solutions, and focusing on creating the services, products and experiences their customers crave. By seamlessly integrating web and app-based digital channels into the in-store experience, retailers cannot only elevate customers’ purchase journey, but power end-to-end omnichannel analytics capabilities.
As personalization and recognition across channels becomes a greater expectation among shoppers, retailers and mall operators are creating systems that ‘log’ customers into physical stores. When customers enter, the system automatically triggers recommendations and in-store activations, and informs assistants to deliver personalized service. Stores are increasingly adopting AI-powered and voice enabled devices to provide these seamless, connected, and tailored experiences customers now expect, at scale and through contactless solutions.
Businesses are deriving insights from product interactions, loyalty engagement and shopper feedback to improve their customer experience. This information than helps to create more personal offers, recommendations, flexible rewards programs and technology investment to continually refine the front-end experience.
Through digital transformation strategies all customer experience can be powered. Contact our team and ask for a council with one of our experts.