Making Retailers More Profitable
The mid-market retailer’s needs new, innovative, and transformational ways to manage their multi-channel businesses to offer customers a seamless experience during the entire customer experience process.
In order to be able to survive in the face of growing competition, retailers in particular need solutions that help them realize business advantages quickly and eliminate as many risks as possible. Continuous challenges in the retail industry forces retailers to adopt new technology.
The Omnichannel Dilemma
Consumers expect a seamless experience in the store, on the Web, or anywhere customers choose to shop. This idea of real-time retail will change the face of retail in the coming years and this is why “real-time retail” is the new imperative.
The technology is readily available to enable unified commerce. Now is the time to align the people and processes with the technology to make real-time retail a reality!
Retailers are being challenged to also clearly define the role of the store vs. other channels (e.g., e-commerce) so that each plays a distinct part in their model and offers incremental value to the consumer. Whether a showroom, transaction/fulfillment center, return center, source of inspiration, educator, or a combination of these or other roles, each channel needs to work together to deliver value to the consumer.
Point of Sale Security & Payments
The Evolving Customer Profile
Today’s consumers are highly informed, enabled by new technologies and tools which provide them unprecedented access to information like pricing, product reviews, etc. This, combined with the fact that the universe of retail options for many products is seemingly endless given online alternatives, makes it very challenging for retailers to win consumers’ spending dollars.
Today consumer’s expectations are extremely high. They expect the best of everything, 100% availability, fast delivery. The most affluent consumers find it silly to pay full price for most things, so stimulating purchases without being aggressive on price or delivering exceptional value is nearly impossible.
The consolidation we’re seeing in the discount and grocery sectors is indicative of the fact that there are fewer and fewer opportunities for growth. A few years ago, retailers were laser focused on cost-cutting to improve margins, but now the focus is on flexibility and speed to market. We’re seeing this specifically with inventory management.
Managing shrinkage and fraud are two endless topics for retailers. Therefore using technology to tap real-time data and to prevent fraud is always a challenge.
Having no time, retailers are having to transform rapidly. Retailers will need to improve all of their existing processes and newest initiatives – from IT infrastructure, product assortment, and customer analytics to in-store operations and digital customer acquisition.
The amount of data available today and the increased customer expectation to have access to a lot of product information has made data management a priority. PIM and MDM solutions are the solutions to supplement or even replace the legacy item master and data repositories.
Retailers are looking for ways to maximize the inventory they have and to ensure that it is accessible via all selling channels and customer engagement points. Although the solutions may be different by retailer the goal is the same.
A real-time retail model across all channels to enhance the customer experience. Retailers need to create a single, unified commerce platform which eliminates individual channel silos and offers a holistic customer experience across all customer touch-points.
If you are not already embracing digital (online and mobile), than you are behind the curve – the pace of growth in the online channel is significant and will only continue.
The number of shoppers leveraging mobile devices continues to rise. Regardless if the customer is purchasing, showrooming, browsing or bridging in-store and laptop/desktop experiences via their mobile device, the engagement is greatly impacting the overall purchase journey. A clunky mobile experience no doubt will impact sales expectations not to mention customer loyalty and brand perception long term.
When making improvements, don’t forget to address experiences by device type and operating system and target some key areas that will improve the customer experience.
Shrinkage and fraud remain key stock control issue for retailers. Improving end-to-end tracking of products and chain of custody through new technologies such as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) is one solution for the industry.
On the supplying side retailers understands that the selling seasons are short. Stock outs cause lost sales. Transfers are costly. Markdowns are a hit to the bottom line. Getting the right inventory to the right store/channel at the right time has a significant impact on overall performance. Proper Planning, Allocation, Replenishment (and the related issues such as Size Scaling) will make a big difference in a retailer’s bottom line.
Retailers have to listen to the voice of the customer, differentiate their offerings to the multi-generational customer base with drastically different needs, shopping habits and interactions with the brand. Once retailers master this challenge, they will become intimate with the many customer personas at store level to truly drive competitive advantage.
They must get better at using data to understand who are their most profitable customers and how to increase their sales and visits.
Growing concern over identity theft and credit card fraud has resulted in increased scrutiny over the security of customer data in the retail sector. Retailers access and often store confidential customer information through loyalty programs and credit card payment data. Security breaches have allowed hackers to steal credit card numbers and other sensitive information from large retailers. Adopting new security systems can be slow and costly, especially for retailers using older technology.
Here, innovation is the word. Innovation doesn’t necessarily mean creating something new. Innovation can also be rethinking and repurposing what you already have to make it fresh or improved in some way. Not all retailers are going to be able to implement the latest technology or come up with the leading edge concept for every aspect of their business but all can evaluate their customer, their customer needs and their competition and come up with creative ways to leverage some of the infrastructure they already have but in a fresh way.
SAP offers retail solutions tailor-made for the Retail industry. Soltius offers IS Retail for SAP Business All-in-One and iVend Retail solutions for SAP Business One.
These solutions are based on SAP Best Practices for Retail that provides highly-efficient solutions and proven industry-specific know-how.SOLTIUS, as an SAP Gold Partner, hasthe capabilities and experience to help retailers address their complex needs of an integrated system and achieve a workable and sustainable solution.SOLTIUS’s solution focuses on providing an overall application portfolio management strategy which is essential to ensure a company’s business agility and ability to innovate.
Our 15+ year experience provides priceless experience working with various industries. This collection of knowledge, we return it to our existing and our future customers as a solid and powerful industry solution.
Our industry solution, delivered by our experienced consultants will help our customers to quickly address their business needs. It is a constellation of knowledge, preconfigured solution and the use of a state of the art technology solution.