Beyond clicks: What it takes to win in the new normal of retail

retail

While no industry is immune to the impact of COVID-19, the traditional retail sector is arguably one of the hardest hit, with most brick-and-mortar shops reeling (and a number even shutting down for good) following the pandemic.

Given a slew of crowd management and safe distancing protocols, traditional retailers find themselves at the precipice of a new retail revolution and shifting from offline to online is the only option to transcend a physical retail landscape typified by limits.

Amidst the pandemic, Singapore’s digital economy grossed US$500 million annually. Additionally, digital payments are projected to make up 67 per cent of the total transaction values in 2025.

The numbers only mean one thing: Retail survival now mainly involves driving online footfall and successfully converting online leads into actual customers.

However, the whole process necessitates revamping the entire value chain and the underlying infrastructure to accommodate digital payment schemes and supply chain paradigms in the new retail ecosystem. While the focus shifts towards leveraging online platforms, this doesn’t mean the total demise of physical retail stores.

It only means that brick-and-mortar shops have to learn how to navigate a new retail world, where consumers value convenience, experience and instant gratification above all.

Also Read: Are retail malls dead? Time for big tech to disrupt landlords at their own game

Consumers today want more flexibility, freedom and personalisation in their retail experience- whether this involves interactions in-store or digitally – and brick-and-mortar stores have to keep up, should they wish to stay afloat.

New paradigms

One bottleneck traditional retailers need to bridge knowledge gaps as success in the new age of retail necessitates employing a more data-oriented approach.

But equally important is identifying the right technology that can serve as the backbone for brick-and-mortar stores’ sustainable expansion in the new normal and beyond.

Digital e-commerce platforms today allow retailers to monitor and generate data around consumer behaviour and preferences, which can complement their marketing and sales efforts.

Metrics such as sales conversion rates, percentage of returning consumers and shopping cart abandonment allow retailers to glean insights around critical trends and behaviour shifts, which are crucial in optimising the customer journey.

Local retailers are also growing increasingly cognisant of the benefits that e-commerce platforms can offer. Since the start of the pandemic last year, Ezbuy has shifted our focus to empowering local merchants, providing them access to real-time data-driven automation for consumer behaviour analytics and a new agile operating model to harness and put these insights into action. Within a year, the number of local merchants on our platform has already increased by over threefold.

However, silos across the value chain need to be eliminated first for the data-driven model to be effective: The retail model is no longer linear, as it had been for the last two centuries. Today, we are moving towards a holistic retail value chain, and the winning retailers have learned to integrate physical and digital touchpoints to deliver seamless customer experiences.

Also Read: Rewriting the retail blueprint: How data is shaping the future of fashion

Having more transparency, agility, and improved coordination across the retail business – from the supply chain to channels and marketing – starts with good change management and a more long-term view of the overall retail business.

Future-proofing retail businesses: The way forward

Increasing sales volumes and maximising profit margins entail coming up with competitive pricing strategies. E-commerce platforms like Ezbuy have artificial intelligence capabilities that provide insights around in-demand product offerings, so retailers can position themselves correctly and reach the ultimate goal of conversion.

We can effectively align our merchants’ products with relevant promotions while increasing offerings of more in-demand products. This allows retailers to optimise profitability – balancing product supply and demand while leveraging pricing polarity as a competitive advantage.

For example, local alcohol retailer The Liquor Shop witnessed an above-average increase in sales volume from partnering with Ezbuy during the pandemic.

Before that, alcohol sales remained stagnant until the platform connected the merchant with a new pool of customers, especially when physical interactions were not possible.

E-commerce platforms also allow retailers to incorporate better time-sensitive promotions, including hourly, based promotion codes and flash deals which can help convert leads to customers. When leveraged correctly, discounts can effectively translate to improved bottom lines.

Elevating the customer experience

In an increasingly experience-driven economy, retailers need to focus on satisfying customers. But developing a great customer experience is only possible if retailers know their customers inside out.

Also read: How your shopping habits are shaping the future of retail in Singapore

As customers’ needs evolve, a greater emphasis must be placed on onboarding merchants effectively to drive faster transactions and reduce waiting times.

As customers go mobile, retailers must adopt a mobile-first strategy to improve customer access to their services. Tapping on the capabilities of e-commerce platforms such as Ezbuy is a simple yet cost-effective way for retailers to expand their market reach in line with keeping up with the shift from desktops to mobile devices.

Consumers will continue to crave the human touch. Driving long-term sustainability in the omnichannel retail value chain means humanising and personalising the shopping experience while ensuring consistency and convenience throughout the customer journey.

Editor’s note: e27 aims to foster thought leadership by publishing views from the community. Share your opinion by submitting an article, video, podcast, or infographic

Join our e27 Telegram group, FB community, or like the e27 Facebook page

Image credit: comzeal

The post Beyond clicks: What it takes to win in the new normal of retail appeared first on e27.

,
retail

While no industry is immune to the impact of COVID-19, the traditional retail sector is arguably one of the hardest hit, with most brick-and-mortar shops reeling (and a number even shutting down for good) following the pandemic.

Given a slew of crowd management and safe distancing protocols, traditional retailers find themselves at the precipice of a new retail revolution and shifting from offline to online is the only option to transcend a physical retail landscape typified by limits.

Amidst the pandemic, Singapore’s digital economy grossed US$500 million annually. Additionally, digital payments are projected to make up 67 per cent of the total transaction values in 2025.

The numbers only mean one thing: Retail survival now mainly involves driving online footfall and successfully converting online leads into actual customers.

However, the whole process necessitates revamping the entire value chain and the underlying infrastructure to accommodate digital payment schemes and supply chain paradigms in the new retail ecosystem. While the focus shifts towards leveraging online platforms, this doesn’t mean the total demise of physical retail stores.

It only means that brick-and-mortar shops have to learn how to navigate a new retail world, where consumers value convenience, experience and instant gratification above all.

Also Read: Are retail malls dead? Time for big tech to disrupt landlords at their own game

Consumers today want more flexibility, freedom and personalisation in their retail experience- whether this involves interactions in-store or digitally – and brick-and-mortar stores have to keep up, should they wish to stay afloat.

New paradigms

One bottleneck traditional retailers need to bridge knowledge gaps as success in the new age of retail necessitates employing a more data-oriented approach.

But equally important is identifying the right technology that can serve as the backbone for brick-and-mortar stores’ sustainable expansion in the new normal and beyond.

Digital e-commerce platforms today allow retailers to monitor and generate data around consumer behaviour and preferences, which can complement their marketing and sales efforts.

Metrics such as sales conversion rates, percentage of returning consumers and shopping cart abandonment allow retailers to glean insights around critical trends and behaviour shifts, which are crucial in optimising the customer journey.

Local retailers are also growing increasingly cognisant of the benefits that e-commerce platforms can offer. Since the start of the pandemic last year, Ezbuy has shifted our focus to empowering local merchants, providing them access to real-time data-driven automation for consumer behaviour analytics and a new agile operating model to harness and put these insights into action. Within a year, the number of local merchants on our platform has already increased by over threefold.

However, silos across the value chain need to be eliminated first for the data-driven model to be effective: The retail model is no longer linear, as it had been for the last two centuries. Today, we are moving towards a holistic retail value chain, and the winning retailers have learned to integrate physical and digital touchpoints to deliver seamless customer experiences.

Also Read: Rewriting the retail blueprint: How data is shaping the future of fashion

Having more transparency, agility, and improved coordination across the retail business – from the supply chain to channels and marketing – starts with good change management and a more long-term view of the overall retail business.

Future-proofing retail businesses: The way forward

Increasing sales volumes and maximising profit margins entail coming up with competitive pricing strategies. E-commerce platforms like Ezbuy have artificial intelligence capabilities that provide insights around in-demand product offerings, so retailers can position themselves correctly and reach the ultimate goal of conversion.

We can effectively align our merchants’ products with relevant promotions while increasing offerings of more in-demand products. This allows retailers to optimise profitability – balancing product supply and demand while leveraging pricing polarity as a competitive advantage.

For example, local alcohol retailer The Liquor Shop witnessed an above-average increase in sales volume from partnering with Ezbuy during the pandemic.

Before that, alcohol sales remained stagnant until the platform connected the merchant with a new pool of customers, especially when physical interactions were not possible.

E-commerce platforms also allow retailers to incorporate better time-sensitive promotions, including hourly, based promotion codes and flash deals which can help convert leads to customers. When leveraged correctly, discounts can effectively translate to improved bottom lines.

Elevating the customer experience

In an increasingly experience-driven economy, retailers need to focus on satisfying customers. But developing a great customer experience is only possible if retailers know their customers inside out.

Also read: How your shopping habits are shaping the future of retail in Singapore

As customers’ needs evolve, a greater emphasis must be placed on onboarding merchants effectively to drive faster transactions and reduce waiting times.

As customers go mobile, retailers must adopt a mobile-first strategy to improve customer access to their services. Tapping on the capabilities of e-commerce platforms such as Ezbuy is a simple yet cost-effective way for retailers to expand their market reach in line with keeping up with the shift from desktops to mobile devices.

Consumers will continue to crave the human touch. Driving long-term sustainability in the omnichannel retail value chain means humanising and personalising the shopping experience while ensuring consistency and convenience throughout the customer journey.

Editor’s note: e27 aims to foster thought leadership by publishing views from the community. Share your opinion by submitting an article, video, podcast, or infographic

Join our e27 Telegram group, FB community, or like the e27 Facebook page

Image credit: comzeal

The post Beyond clicks: What it takes to win in the new normal of retail appeared first on e27.

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