It’s no surprise the after shocks brought on by COVID-19 still haunt a number of retailers today. We have all witnessed store closings by some of our favorite retailers in our own backyards. According to Charles Darwin’s evolutional theory, only the fittest survive! But how long can some of these big box retailers survive if they are slow to adjusting to the “new normal.” “How many retailers can become more digitally advanced while still being more human-centric?” This was explored by a couple of folks at BearingPoint.
In today’s connected environment, populated by hybrid consumers who are always switched on and connected to one another, the authors believe that collaborative relationships between companies and consumers are the defining feature of sustainability. Such an outlook makes clear that customers are a company’s biggest resource in the development of products and services. In order to succeed, a business must unleash customers’ potential symbiotically.BearingPoint “Can Darwin teach us how to adapt to the era of the digital customer?”
We know some of the bigger box retailers like Best Buy, Apple, The Home Depot and WalMart to name a few, were able to pivot quickly as a result of their respective eCommerce sites being built on advanced platforms as opposed to those still on legacy technology. Meeting new customer needs both online, mobile (POS/receipt data) and in-store is imperative for your brand, think NPS (I had already blogged about this) sustainability, and of course sales. So having said all of this, how are you ensuring a seamless customer experience no matter what the buying channel is (in-store, online, mobile). One thing for sure is data plays a big part in all of this, if not the leading character!
BOPIS (buy online, pickup in-store) has been around for some time with Best Buy being recognized as one of the early adopters. Most recently, The Home Depot teamed up with Walmart’s GoLocal which uses Walmart’s wide reaching network to deliver products for businesses no matter the size. When leveraging Walmart’s GoLocal, Home Depot customers benefit from receiving same-day or next-day delivery on a number of home improvement products.
Customers don’t have to pay for shipping, wait for their items to be delivered, and deal with delivery problems and delays that often happens with order fulfillment. From a retailer perspective, order pickup is one of the most profitable areas since inventory data is shared and operations leveraged not to mention customers tend to spend on additional items in the store when picking up. No surprise here. At Citi I knew retailer gift cards not only brought in foot traffic but increased the average basket size (ABS) since people often spend more than the gift card value. This was not only a big selling point for my retail partners but a great driver of first party data! So, when taking into account the customer journey from online purchase to in-store pickup plus increased spend at store, there is a great deal of data points retailers collect in addition to inventory levels, popular items, impulse items in-store, etc…
Understanding your customers has never been more important than today. There are literally a “basket” of analytics retailers should be gleaning insights from; assortment optimization, demand/consumption predictions, propensity models, marketing and promotion activity, and attribution models to name a few.