5 retail trends that will enable seamless retail
- Posted on August 15, 2016
It’s no surprise that the retail industry is currently undergoing major changes. Customers are increasingly digital in their buying behavior, which means that retailers need to find a proper balance and harmony between digital and physical business operations. So what are the major retail trends occurring in the market and how can retailers quickly and strategically adapt to them?
- Customers are Increasingly Expecting Frictionless Shopping
In the US, Amazon introduced Dash, which enables consumers to order daily groceries just by scanning the product with the Dash device or just by talking into the device. Also, we see contactless payments becoming more and more popular. Consumers expect their retailers to know them, as well as their preferences. This requires an up-to-date information delivery platform with consistent data and the right functionalities to deliver this data to everyone involved.
- Click-and-collect will become More Important
The traditional click-and-collect program typically involves a customer shopping online and then picking up the item in-store. This enables the customer to get the item at his or her convenience. Supporting click-and-collect requires the right inventory solution so that the item that was ordered can be fulfilled when the customer shows up.
- Retailers Unify Their Online and Offline Data Collection
Traditionally, retailers use separate and disparate systems to collect all kids of data on customers, sales, inventory and more. This will not work in the future. As consumers use multiple channels when shopping, collecting and analyzing data in silos won’t work anymore. Retailers need one, comprehensive system to store all of their data. This enables for consistent data delivery to all parts of the business, as well as consistent analysis of data across all channels.
- More Retailers Will Select Cloud-Based Solutions
In order to be able to focus on the customer experience, retailers will need to rely on cloud-based solutions much more for back-office and front-office functions. This will free them from IT management, including patching and upgrading their systems regularly. Today, all ERP vendors (including Microsoft) offer a comprehensive cloud-based ERP platform, which enables retailer to scale quickly, work from anywhere, and get real-time insights into various aspects of their business.
- Omni-channel is the New Mantra
According to Forrester, cross-channel retail sales will reach $1.8 trillion in the US alone by 2017. This underlines the fact that that retailers need to merge their physical and digital systems to serve the omni-channel customer. In order to create a 360 degree view, one needs accurate and complete data on customers and sales.
In this evolving retail sector, data is becoming king. Therefore, retailers need to be more innovative and implement a reliable and cost-effective ERP platform that aggregates data sources, is geared to specific requirements and addresses the major retail trends that the industry is facing.