Across the retail sector, there are three fundamental shifts that need to occur in the digital transformation journey. The first is the rise of the empowered consumer. The second is the omni-channel development of the agile supply chain. The third is the changing role of the store, which must focus more on engagement and creating an experience for customers.
Paul Winsor, Director: Retail Market Development, Qlik EMEA Region, shares his insights with SA Qlik Master Reseller, confirming that new store technology breeds new insight.
How Retailers Become a Data-driven Culture Organisation
“Retailers thriving in this complex new world are responding with agility to these three major shifts in the retail landscape,” states Winsor. To succeed, retail organisations must realise that analytics must be an integral part of the decision-making process. Using visual analytics in retail holds four key benefits:
- Increase revenue
- Reduce costs
- Improve governance
- Improve operational excellence
To develop the data-driven cultural organisation, information must be tailored to the business process. Role specific apps are required to ensure different employees, managing different processes are sufficiently supported. To succeed, this shift requires that complexity is reduced as user population increases.
The Three Major Retail Shifts: #1 The Empowered Consumer
Winsor confirms that the empowered consumer is more connected, informed and empowered than ever. “Today’s ‘hidden consumers’ use mobile and social media to compare and buy anywhere, anytime.” It is essential that retail businesses develop an in-depth understanding of consumers’ digital behaviour, and their physical behaviour as digital sales continue to grow. According to Demandware research, which analysed the behavioural trends of more than 200 million shoppers:
- Worldwide, mobile phones now account for 24% of all digital sales
- According to a Qwerty Digital survey, mobile is responsible for over 78% of all web traffic in South Africa
- Africa, and as such, mobile first strategies must be your first
- Digital shopping habits mean multiple visits
- Consumers don’t think about channels, they think about shopping
The Three Major Retail Shifts: #2 The Agile Supply Chain
“Omni-channel demands an efficient forward and reverse supply chain, letting retailers ship products within hours of purchase and offering flexible returns,” adds Winsor. Research into the reverse omni-channel reveals that the average returned purchase in the UK passes through seven pairs of hands before it is listed for resale. This is a process that must be carefully managed and optimised.
The Three Major Retail Shifts: #3 The Changing Role of the Store
He adds that “even the role of the store is changing. Still the primary sales channel, stores are transforming into customer engagement centers and critical supply chain hubs.” For continued success, the generation data gap must be evaluated as we enter the era of conversational analytics.