A business of any size – be it one person working from his/her basement or an already established firm trying to balance a profit worth millions – has to mull over how ‘digitisation’ is influencing the industry.
Companies must no longer think of “When should we innovate?”
Instead, think: “How should we innovate?”
A research has suggested that, in the coming 5 years, the digital profits of businesses would move up from 16% to 37%. So, as a small business, if you haven’t yet made ‘digital innovation’ a part of your present line of attack, charge now.
For your business to stay afloat, take a look at the waves of changes hitting the shore of retail business.
Retail has always been and will continue to be an industry where the phrase “innovate or die” has time and again proved to be ‘spot on’ for the old boys. Not to mention, it has also shown its worth in producing new giants like Amazon. And mind you, innovation never differentiates on the basis of a business’s profit margin and size.
Above all, being a small retail business, you ought to make innovation your number priority and take up the dread of diving deep into digital. You must stand in order to achieve the utmost potential by making digital alterations.
As a small business, by taking full advantage of ecommerce websites, marketing automation and CRM software, not only can you compete but also beat the big boys who have intricate and time consuming execution processes solely because of the use of legacy technologies.
It comes as no surprise that digitisation of shopping along with digital advancements in the neighbouring industries, is constantly changing the retail experience.
That being said, in this small business world, only firms that know how to reap benefits of the latest technologies will outplay and go beyond their competitors. Not to mention, for you to swim through a sea of changes in the retail industry, you need to consider the consumer inside out.
Well, here’s what you can do in order to beat and win in online retailing:
Guarantee A Flawless Shopper Experience
With the advancement in technology, customers have started using smart-phones to purchase items online anywhere and at any given time. So, it’s imperative to consider the transformations taking place in modern day customer’s path towards making a purchase.
In the previous year, nearly 51% of purchases were done online, over 90% of shoppers used their mobile phones to shop products in-store and 78% of customers around the globe were highly swayed by social media in some way or the other.
This kind of customer behaviour definitely calls for an integrated experience which is flawless not just in physical shops, but in online platforms as well – from purchase and delivery to the return of a product.
And for small business owners, who do not have an online app or aren’t planning to sell products online, can still connect with the digital crowd.
Make sure that when creating your website, you’re using the responsive web design approach. This way, it would look uniform in every device.
As a result, today’s generation looks forward to a completely different service when compared to people from 10 or 5 years ago. The majority of global population is made up of millennial and these tech-savvy people are anything but conventional when it comes to online shopping.
So, in order to draw attention and hold on to these people, customisation is the key! As a small business owner, if you’re giving away consistent yet bespoke offers, only then you can outpace your competitors.
Here what you need to understand is a flawless customer experience does not halt when you’ve lucratively synchronised both physical as well as online platforms. In fact, the key is to unify all the channels – break down the silos between in-store, mobile and online experiences- to ensure they function as a single, integrated system making shopper’s experience a priority.
Customise All Facets Of Communication
These days, developing a sense of customisation has become the ‘golden rule’ in the retail industry. This is solely because, whenever it comes to shopping, every consumer wants to feel that they’re unique.
So, by strengthening predictive analytics, businesses can foresee what the customer’s needs and wants are, in order to craft a personalised experience, tailored as per an individual’s liking.
To a greater extent, small business owners are making use of advanced technologies to seize, hoard and scrutinise their shopper’s behaviour – not only on online apps, but in physical stores as well. Not to mention, by keeping a track of shoppers behaviour all the time, conventional brick-and-mortar are on the same page – in terms of analytical abilities- as of that of online stores.
Needless to say, once the customer information is coupled with market trends, purchase history and behavioural analysis; the abilities are going to be never-ending.
To get a better understanding, let’s take a look at an example:
An online jewellery store offers its customers an exclusive in-store and online experience with the help of interactive displays, showing suggestions for future purchases, pictures of other customers and different ways to wear their products.
They also make use of their data to figure out which jewellery their customer might want well before they’ve even seen it.
When they surf the internet, the store collects real-time data about the outlets they visit, the designers they shop from and how long do they spend time on each page.
All of this might seem time consuming, right?
Nonetheless, by doing so, the site basically draws a clear picture of every shopper’s preferences, needs and style. Later, not only can this data be put towards tailoring the customer’s experience, but also to foresee the trends and decide on future designs.
Use Technology To Its Best
When entering the digital globe, small business owners ought to follow the example of old giants and collaborate with technology specialists to enhance their shopper experience. Bear in mind, building a tactical relationship has been a growing trend.
Co-innovation partnership lets to ramp up your abilities with the help of reliable technology specialists having immense knowledge and experience in accompanying you into future. Also, this helps to draw together people with expertise in the business as well as technological landscape.
So, now is the time for you to once again think about your industry and get inspired by big boys like Amazon and Netflix to know about the modern shoppers inside out.
By seeking guidance of professionals with flair of creative design, you can certainly meet your customer’s daily demand.
Undoubtedly, the retail industry is going through a huge disruption and there’s no way of slowing it down. Technologies such as automation, internet of things (IoT), 3D printing and artificial intelligence (AI) are no longer concepts. In fact, they have become the actuality of today’s business functions and needless to say, the advantages are endless.
The bottom line is, surviving this massive retail transformation is not just about taking up the latest technology. Instead it’s more about coming up with informed decisions regarding which technology is to be pursued and comprehending the right time to invest in them.
Small retailers who can pick up opportunities on the horizon, spot potential perils and re-examine their business tactics by making digital their priority can surely dominate the future marketplace.