Looking to adapt to the new retail reality? Here’s 3 ways we can help

Posted on: 10 March 2017
by: Arul Mony
Posted on: 10 March 2017
by Arul Mony

The retail environment, as we know it, no longer exists. It is being disrupted rapidly to a point where what we imagine when we talk of retail is going to be radically different from what it was 5 years ago. And there is one major reason for that… Amazon. Thanks to Amazon, you can now speak orders to your Echo, or you can re-order detergent while doing laundry through a Dash button. Even if you feel the need to walk down a store, you don’t have to wait in interminable checkout lines thanks to Amazon Go.

The new reality that this has created means that retailers can no longer afford to think within standard channels to market like stores, online and mobile. Today’s customers expect to be served whether they’re at home or in the car, whether they have their smartphone on them or not, and whether they’re at their office desk or at the dinner table. In fact, Pawan Verma, CIO/CTO at FootLocker, in a May 2016 article talks of the concept of ‘no-channel’ which means that you are accessible to customers wherever they are, not where you are. In essence, that means that retailers now have to be everywhere., that they now have to be universal.

For the Amazon-challengers, this presents a fundamental challenge since it requires them to:

  • Innovate at the speed of the customer: Your customers are on top of the newest trends and technologies, and if you’re not supporting those then they’re going to be looking for someone who can. Creating an innovation-mindset in an organization can take time and that’s a resource that you don’t have. You need a way to tap into innovative solutions quickly, try them out and implement the ones that fit your brand and customer engagement strategy, before someone else does.
  • Leverage all the data at your disposal: Which can appear to be a tall ask. Enterprise data is contained in a multiple systems and applications, several of which are not integrated. And even if you could combine all your data into one place, could you mine it in real-time so that a call-centre could tell their customer that the dress that they like is unfortunately out of stock in a size 10 (their size), but a similar dress in red (their favorite color) is available in a size 10.
  • Make your enterprise smarter: Smartphones are no longer the only devices that are ‘smart’. Across the enterprise, the proliferation of smart devices continues – whether it’s store shelves, grocery carts, checkout machines, you name it. They’re all getting smarter, and if you can harness their connectivity to boost customer experience, then you’re going to be earning yourself a lot of loyal customers.

Many of you reading this are probably saying, “Sure, I want to get on top this and be universal. But how?”. We’ve got the answer. The Cnetric Universal Commerce Suite of SaaS-based solutions is powered by industry-leading technology, and it brings together an innovation lab that lets you test out new capabilities prior to implementing them; integrates to Watson AI to enable you to leverage relevant data in real-time; and ties in IOT-powered ‘smart stores’; all to help you be everywhere, which is exactly where your customers are.

Drop us a note, or give us a call, or you could even drop by at our booth number at IBM Amplify 2017, and we’d love to tell you more about how we can make your organization ‘universal’.

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Looking to adapt to the new retail reality? Here’s 3 ways we can help

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