Software AG identified ten disruptive trends that Bricks and Clicks retailers should take note of this coming year. Here is the first five trends to watch out for:
Trends that Bricks and Clicks retailers should take note of
1. Fewer stores, more stuff
Bricks and Mortar retailers will add fewer new shops as they dramatically reinvent themselves to address multi-channel issues. To be honest, I’ve read ever more about retailers closing shops never mind not adding new ones! The Bricks and Mortar retailers that are remaining will serve more as pick up and fulfillment centers. The “endless aisle” concept will extend shelf space to the brand’s full catalog of products and accessible content.
2. Focusing on the individual customer – you
Customer-centric personalization will differentiate retailers by making their CRM strategies more targeted. Retailers may deploy customer-centric technologies such as easy sign-up, and RFID-tagged loyalty cards, which can send personalized rewards over mobile phones when in-store. The technology allows retailers to tap into internal information, known preferences, and social media data to better understand and delight their customers.
3. The right price
Differentiation by price will be much more dynamic in nature in order to beat the competition as customers become more aware and more sensitive to price. Also, real-time electronic shelf pricing will replicate customers’ online experiences, as well as optimize inventories and reduce labor costs. Real-time personalized discounts and special offers will further motivate shoppers to head to stores.
4. A master system to control cross channel activities
Today’s customers expect to get what they want—where and when and how they want it—and they achieve it by using multiple (Omni) channels for retail and marketing communication. Therefore the complexity of omni-channel processes and how these interact with multiple systems may require a kind of “mission control” center where retailers can see and control every activity across all channels.
5. Predicting your customer’s buying behavior
Predictive analytics in retail will enable stores to know, with a great deal of certainty, what customers are going to want and when. Predictive analytics tools, especially when combined with streaming analytics, offer retailers the ability to manage queues, customer expectations and inventories before there is an issue.
Finally, Bricks and Mortar retailers are battling to survive on their own. Retailers therefore need to integrate both the physical and digital systems to prosper and grow during 2016. The next five trends that Bricks and Clicks retailers should take note of will be discussed in a follow-up article.
Visit eBizplan for plans to integrate your physical retail shop with an online retail channel.