Thought Leadership Article
The state of the retail industry in APAC: VISEO experts comment - Part 2
Our 4 experts tallk about the state of the retail industry in APAC.
In the first article, Céline, Digital and e-commerce expert; Kenny, Customer centric & CRM Evangelist; Nicolas, Supply chain expert focused on retail and Guillaume, versatile PM for ERP and connected planning explain what they think about the retail industry situation in APAC in light of of the recent events and trends. In this second part, our experts talk about strategies that should be favoured. Discover their views.
Consumers looking for new experiences
Guillaume, versatile PM for ERP & connected planning
Agility used to be a trendy word for new methodologies to implement IT projects. It has now settled as one of the pillars for most project deliveries: listen to the client, communicate frequently, gather feedback, etc. with the main objective to build a flexible solution which will adapt fast to ever-changing environments and requirements. The same can be said for retail today.
Consumers are now looking for new experiences, with brands in which they can identify. Traditional stores are being revamped to provide new experiences or services such as mirrors that chang the color of one’s hair based on the die product one has on hand or fixi one’s bike for free while one is shopping for accessories.
There is also a rise of pop-up stores which allows brands to gather feedback from consumer on a new service or product before deploying widely. In our analogy, this would be the “MVP of retail”, or Minimum Viable Product to test the usage before completing the solution.
The essential point is not about what you sell but how you sell it
Kenny, Customer centric & CRM evangelist
There could be several strategies in place depending on what type of products are being sold. For example, you would sell a water flask differently from a jacket. However, the essential point here is not really about what you sell but more about how you sell it. Gathering the transactions, the profiles, the feedbacks,reviews, time from cart to purchase, the number of abandon carts, the purchase trigger and many other statistics will form the basis of understanding the consumer spending habits. Understanding how, why, when and what the consumer buys or does not buy must be aligned with the products and processes in which the merchant engages. Understanding the consumer profile and how it evolves will also give the merchant a one up against the competiton.
Using a series of determinants, the merchant will then be able to reach out to the buyer at the right time, with the right product, at the right price with the right approach. Assuming the merchant is able to push a sale to a buyer and get a 50% (or X%) conversion rate, then the consumer can be defined as the new ‘loyal customer’.
Companies need building a more integrated retail experience
Companies should focus on keeping in touch with the customers, while they stay at home, stop travelling or going out shopping. To be visible online and keep items accessible, implementing an e-commerce website (if not existing yet) is the first solution to consider, in order to stay close to the clients, and from there create a customised experience, as described by Kenny
Furthermore, cost efficiency is another important topic for retailers, and it is the right moment to start building a more integrated retail experience, including online platform, offline stores and an adapted inventory strategy.
Companies urgently need to review and adjust current processes in supply chain and logistics
Not long time ago companies were wondering how to address omnichannel, customers experience, service and inventory levels; they may now consider that quick wins and straight forward e-commerce solutions should have been implemented to not only rely on stocks in the store to serve customers.
Pushing stocks to stores has always been a tricky strategy for instance if forecasts are wrong which is even more true in today’s situation (unpredictable in budget/forecasts). This needs to be adjusted now where the items need to be available to be shipped to the customers directly or picked at the store.
Being agile and find new ways to serve the customers through different channels or mean of transport can help. This requires also integration with other platforms and collaboration between services.
E-commerce, integration of systems, what-if scenarios and planning, current processes in supply chain and logistics need to be reviewed and adjusted quickly to avoid huge losses.
What would be the keys of success? Read the part 3 and discover how VISEO can help you