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Future of Retail — Omnichannel


issue 07


“Take time to understand your channels and learn from their channel behaviour to improve and deliver real value.”


retailer stands no chance of delivering the ‘omnichannel experience’ let alone a high value and personal journey.


4. Offer intelligent and personalised interactions Personalisation is the hallmark of customer centricity. It is also the most meaningful way for a retailer to differentiate themselves from other stores that sell the same products at comparable prices. Offering customers the same thing makes no sense - they are individuals with different interests, tastes, and requirements. Offering them what they want, or need can only be achieved via the application of high-quality customer data. Retailers have begun to arm store associates


with a variety of technologies to serve and support today’s demanding customers, including everything from handheld devices, inventory management technology, in-store operational analytics, clienteling functionality and mobile POS tools.


This is the age of digital disruption and the era of intelligence You might go as far as to say that data is the new currency. Together, data and analytics will impact the retail landscape of the future. Why? Well, consider that retailers both online and in-store are fighting fierce competition with the likes of Amazon – who consider themselves a technology company and not a retailer. What can we learn from this? Forward thinking retailers are embracing a


data-first strategy. From understanding their customers, to matching them to products and personalising the shopping experience, retailers are finding innovative ways to draw


insights from the ever-increasing amount of structured and unstructured information available about their customers’ behaviour. Through applied analytics, retailers can work


out popular products, predict trends, forecast demand, optimise pricing, identify new customers, and apply specific and marketing strategies alike. Retailers of all sizes have been reaping the


benefits of analysing structured data for years, but there is undoubtedly still a great deal of untapped potential in social media, customer feedback comments, video footage, recorded telephone conversations and locational data. The successful retailers of the future will


profit from data-driven knowledge of their customers, and the market – as well as from an ability to predict future trends to drive competitive advantage. Finally, do not mistake the idea of


‘omnichannel’ for a suggestion that all channels are equal. Customers have a very distinct reason for engaging in certain channels. It makes sense to buy some products through a website and others in bricks-and-mortar. It may be better suited to your customer to contact your live agent or use email or live chat. Omnichannel does however command a


unified experience across all these channels. Take time to understand your channels and learn from their channel behaviour to improve and deliver real value. In my opinion, great benefits will come to those who apply technology to innovate and automate their approaches to a customer driven business. Armed with better insights, retailers can enhance the customer experience and reap the rewards.


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