Retailing dynamics have evolved tremendously and several reports suggest this won’t change anytime soon. While retailers were in power before when it came to selling, the focus is entirely on hyper-aware customers as they are the drivers of how retailers sell. Today, hyper-aware customers have higher expectations from retailers and retailers must do everything in their power to ensure they use technology advancements to innovate and better serve their customers if they want to be future-ready. Innovation is the way to go for retailers because without it retailers will lose out to their competitors. And technology is one big part of it that no retailer should ignore.
But which categories should retailers innovate? The short answer is everything they can because innovation is the future driver of the retail industry. Whether you have brick-and-mortar stores or you operate an online business only, or both, innovation should be in every process because it is the essence through which you will move forward. Innovation mixed with other processes will drive you to success in the short-term and long-term. Every business that is standing on its feet today is due to innovation. Innovation and its effects will be visible in the way you do business. Here are some ways in which innovation can help you become a leader in retail.
Customer experience is what every retailer is working towards. The better the customer experiece the higher the chances of customer loyalty and repeat buying. Innovation in this section is undeniable and customer experience must be top-notch. When you put innovation in improving the customer experience then you can certainly see a growth in revenue. For example, using AI solutions, retailers can ameliorate customer interaction and engagement. This is particularly visible in new-age shoppers, such as the youth, who are driven to shop at innovative stores.
With the help of retail intelligence software, retailers can innovate and know when the right time is to serve their customers. That is, there are certain times when shoppers are more willing to buy such as before Christmas and before schools re-open. When retailers use this information to leverage what and when the customers are looking for, they can promote their products and incentivize during those times. For example, this can help retailers develop campaigns when they will have maximum impact because people will buy during those times.
Innovation in pricing is vital because coming up with a foolproof pricing strategy is difficult and retailing is a highly competitive field. But not when you are working with effective tools such as ecommerce pricing software that helps you track, analyze, and monitor pricing data which can make a big difference to your retail business. It helps you understand the market thoroughly based on price and the factors that affect the price. It helps you price your products at the sweet spot so you enjoy the benefits of a high-profit margin and your customers get the product at a price they don’t mind paying.
With the help of a pricing engine or a price comparison engine as it is often called, you can put your products out there for customers who are ready for buying. A price engine can help you develop the image of your retail business and can help you get insights into your competition such as competitior price tracking which can help tweak your product prices intelligently. A price engine can give you a clear picture of your position in the market and the weaknesses of your competitors that you can use to your advantage. Innovation using a price engine is a must as it can help you cement your place in the market.
Supply Chain And Operations
Innovation can help improve supply chain planning. For quite some time, this process was manual in retail but due to the ever-expanding industry, AI automation can help retailers innovate to make this process smoother than ever. This can help give rise to better decisions by retailers because data analytics is at the root. AI solutions can enable retailers to determine tradeoffs and can help make repetitive tasks easier by automating them. Retailers can use innovation to have product assortment that matters and that will tailor how customers are served.
Retailers need to match supply with demand and with innovation such as using AI solutions they can ensure they meet customer demand. If retailers have overstock, then it will lead to markdowns and if retailers don’t have enough stock, they are going to lose customers to the competition. When retailers know what to do because of innovation, they are better equipped and can handle bottlenecks efficiently. Innovation for a retail business in this area can help reduce costly mistakes and ensure agility that is a must.
Any retail business, regardless of its size and market hold, should continuously revise its business models when necessary. A business model is crucial for retail business as it defines the strategy that retailers need to take to generate profits and provide value to customers. In retail, this is a ‘do or die’ situation because if you refuse to innovate, you are missing out and before you know it, your competitors will surpass you. Innovation is the core of a business model whereby costs and prices are the two important levers.
A business model should be fueled by innovation because you want to capture the demand and the changing retail scenario. AI-powered solutions can help give insights through business intelligence. A study has shown that more than 80% of retailers are willing to use AI-powered tools to give them insights into the retail markets and to make changes to their business models. Innovation in creating and tweaking the business model is essential and will help retailers make informed decisions. This will have a major impact on the business in its entirety.
Traditional approaches might have worked in the past, but with the constant changes in the retail industry, retailers have to be on their toes at all times. Only knowing the latest trends won’t suffice. Strategically acting on how to innovate with the help of intelligence such as price intelligence is just as important. A little slip along the way can prove to be costly. Constant innovation can help you improve your margins, target your customers better, and make you future-ready so your business stays at the top in the years to come. Tools such as those offered by Intelligence Node provide retail intelligence that helps you not only thrive but excel in a world of intense competition.