The Retailer Winter Edition 2022


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Sarah Friswell CEO Red Ant

M aintaining omnichannel strategy and leveraging customer datawill ensure success

intelligence.” ‘‘

Defining omnichannel Omnichannel is about connecting all channels, and making the customer central to this can be a daunting task. According to a report by Experian, a staggering 92% of companies don’t have a single view of the customer, having many touchpoints with fragmented and siloed data. Retailers must consider the whole busi ness rather than marketing, sales, logistics and finance independently, but it’s hard to know where to start tomeet customers’ expectations. A single customer view is obtained using cloud-based commercial services and connect ing ‘layers’, such as API orchestrators, open up even the most locked-down legacy sys tems. Payment systems and customer data shouldwork together, with marketing and sales clearly aligned, utilising knowledge obtained from customer data. The right platform will enable this, and Red Ant’s cloud-based digital in-store platform, RetailOS, enables retailers to empower their employees to deliver the optimal experience. From clienteling and endless aisle to pick from store, BOPAK and personal shopping, cus tomers can shop how, when and where they want. The platform integrates microservices, IoT, machine learning and conversational commerce to deliver innovation and a truly connected store experience. Retailers are often overwhelmed with data and concerned about integrating their mix of legacy systems, third party systems, and new systems. But it’s possible to adopt innovative solutions that work with existing technology to provide a frictionless shopping experience for customers. It’s all about taming your data and making it work to provide next-level intel ligence, including personalised customer service, sales and promotional information, analysis of store associate performance and real-time stock and delivery updates. Taming data can keep up with customer demands

It’s all about taming your data and making it work to provide next-level

If the last 18 months have taught retailers any thing, it’s that they must commit to using tech to tackle modern retail challenges. Keeping up with customer demands for flexible, seamless shopping on their own terms isn’t easy. But what enables a truly successful transition to tech-led retail? It’s easy to be tempted by the newest shiny solution that promises everything, yet often doesn’t deliver the deep data integration needed to build a truly omnichannel business. To deliver flexible seamless shopping experi ences, three elements must line up to adopt new tech – strategy, systems and customer data. The first objective must be a defined digital experience strategy and vision, backed by the C-suite. Understanding customers’ needs and aspirations is vital. The business should then look within to its skills or partner with a tech nology expert to deliver this expertise. Most importantly, avoid the perils of overlooking data integration and capture the elusive single customer view.

Connecting with the customer

Generating the ultimate retailer-customer connection requires a deep understanding of your customers. Stats that can influence the bottom line are measurable numbers based on real customer behaviour throughout the retailer’s channels – recent purchases, shopping preferences – online, in-store, via mobile, and where – in store, in front of the TV. Other key stats include average spend, coupons use, click and collect – the more information the better. With the seismic shift in lifestyle and shopping behaviour of the last few years, retailers now need the technology to engage with custom ers wherever they are. This means flexible tech and an anytime shopping experience, via an app, clienteling, or through virtual appointments. Customers expect a consist ent personalised conversation with the brand whenever andwherever they are, in-store or at home. Providing remarkable digital customer experiences that outperform competitors and generate revenue is vital. Once the customer is central to all business functions, it’s clear why some new retail technologies haven’t yet gained traction - for instance, conversations around the shopping ‘metaverse’ demonstrate that its benefits are yet unproven from the shopper’s perspec tive. Surface-level technologies like this can’t establish what customers really want, lacking in-depth customer data that builds relationships. The foundations of retail CX must be secure before any trickery is worth an investment. Beware the promises of new retail tech


To deliver flexible seamless shopping expe riences, three elements must line up to adopt new tech – strategy, systems and customer data.”

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