Why Should Retail Companies Think Beyond an E- commerce Website?
The digital revolution has long been upon us. Ideas and concepts that were once considered novel have now become a staple in the marketplace. Almost every industrial sector has altered their practices to meet the demands of the digitized world; the retail sector is no different. The times today are no longer conducive to operating a physical store alone. With the emergence of the economy of the internet and companies like Amazon and Alibaba, retail stores have shifted their base to the online domain.
Most consumers today browse products and advertisements and make their purchases on their laptops and smartphones. While the marketplace has flourished on the internet, today, it is no longer enough to just have a simple website. Retail stores need to go a step further in order to attract the customers and increase their consumer base. There are several digital technologies available today which retail stores can incorporate into their operations in order to improve their service and productivity.
Going beyond the website
Technologies such as AI, IoT, automated data analysis and apps among others are providing a deeper level of penetration with consumers and boost in sales. Retail businesses need to have a foolproof plan to represent their operations online and on all of these levels. Some of the various applications of these technologies are mentioned below:
AI and Machine Learning
AI or artificial intelligence refers to a computer’s ability to automate mundane tasks, and at the same time, learn and improve over time to overcome challenges. AI and machine learning have innumerable applications in the business sector. One of the most common applications includes automated chatbot, which are always online and ready to solve any kind of consumer query. The bot emulates the behavior of a human executive and interacts with the consumer. AI can also be used for the management of leads and consumer data. AI programs can learn to identify patterns in consumers and target customized ad content. Apart from this, AI-generated sales pitches can be implemented which reduces the bulk of the work done by the marketing team..
IoT (Internet of Things)
In order to revitalize the actual retail stores, retail businesses need to update them with the latest technology that attracts consumer attention and makes them a viable concept once again. By integrating IoT or internet of things, retail companies can bring back the importance of retail stores. For example, by combining IoT in their products, the products can communicate with each other when there is a fault or a deficiency in a particular utility. This can generate an automated prompt to the retail store to approach the consumer automatically and offer their services or refill them.
The smartphone has become one of the most integral features of the modern consumer. They are the most effective digital media that consumers are constantly connected on. Simply operating a website in the world of smartphones will not cut it at all. All kinds of retail businesses should develop an app that is customized according to the service that they offer. The app should have an extremely easy user interface and must be attractive enough to keep the consumer hooked. Apps can provide numerous other facilities such as payment integrations and click and collect options. Developing an app is a staple of the business world today.
Click and Collect
Just like IoT, click and collect options make physical retail stores viable again. Whenever consumers have any kind of requirement, they can simply go to the retailer’s website and click on the product and quantity that they require. The stores will keep their product ready by the time the consumer reaches the location. Businesses can go even one step further and offer door to door delivery services. By connecting the digital platform with the physical store, retail businesses can ramp up their sales, boost their productivity and satisfy customers better through improved service.
In today’s fast growing technology, buyers have become smarter and they look for more than just discounts. Same day delivery, time interval delivery, faster and smoother returns and exchange in the store try or returns etc. are the demands of today’s customers. Omni channel order management helps bigger brands optimize their supply chain and deliveries using a back end algorithm. This system makes sure there is less expense of time and money on delivery and brand can concentrate on product and marketing.
The retail sector has become incredibly competitive due to the inclusion of these new technologies. Moreover, consumers are far more difficult to impress and retain due to the sheer availability of choices available to them. Websites are no longer enough; the retail sector needs to actively look for the latest technologies that they can implement.
Ambab is a pioneer in successfully delivering large multi-channel transformation programs for retailers for the following services and many more:
In-Store Portal: Improve collaboration, inventory and promotions management within and across stores by offering services like in-store catalog viewing system, Digital kiosks management system, etc
Online Portal: Help launch businesses on the web and mobile including integration with other native tools/ERP/ CRM
Omni Channel Order Management: Carry out the entire purchase cycle across multiple channels including Inventory management, warehouse management and click and collect facility
Multi-Channel Customer Engagement: Leverage social media and BOTS to engage customers on multiple channels and encourage them to buy more
Retail Data Analytics: Leverage predictive analytics and big data to harness transactional, social, location and demographic data
In-store Employee Engagement: Motivate floor managers and other in-store employees through gamified or customized engagement solutions