Home Retail Review: Digital Transformation Strategy (Part 2)

Review: Digital Transformation Strategy (Part 2)

by Ozva Admin

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retailers must keep their operations as simple as possible for customers while responding to changes in the marketplace and embracing technology along with new ways to interact with shoppers.

This was the main message conveyed in the second part of The Retail Bulletin Digital Transformation Strategy 2022 webinar, where Nick King, Director of Auto Trader, suggested: “It’s about making things easy for the customer. We’ve all been through mass technology adoption during Covid-19 and if something is hard, we won’t do it, especially in this world of having everything instantaneous. Digital retail should make things easier for all of us.”

It also suggests that negative impressions affect consumers much more than positive ones, which can be very damaging for brands. Lee Jones, CEO of Worldline Merchants Services UK Limited, says that one in three customers who have had a bad experience leave that brand. To address this, he says companies “need to focus on improving the experience, and technology can help with this.”

Retention vs. Acquisition

This includes the adoption of loyalty programs, which he says can help deliver a more targeted and personalized experience for shoppers. This can lead to increased buyer retention, which Jones says is of great value because the cost of acquiring new customers can be four to 10 times more expensive, according to Bain & Co. research.

Again, there’s a need to keep things simple and easy, according to Aaron Chatterley, Founder and Chairman of Indu and Founder of Feelunique, who says that setting up a loyalty scheme at Feelunique meant going for the easy option, which meant a lot. measured in copying the basic model of his rival Boots with his Advantage card.

“We tried various things as benchmarks, but the only thing that stuck was spend X pounds and get X pence back. It keeps the outline front and center. [in customers’ minds]. It has to be easy to use and it’s a matter of keeping it simple. People don’t want to have to learn how to use it, they want it to be intuitive and simple. Don’t try to complicate it,” advises Chatterley.

simplicity is key

Simplicity is also a key factor in Ceridian’s recently launched ‘Dayforce Wallet’ solution, which is an on-demand payment tool that allows people to get paid immediately after work is done instead of having to wait a month. to receive payment.

Sarah Poynter, Account Executive at Ceridian, says: “Setting up just takes hours and requires no additional work from the payroll team. It’s all automated with on-demand payments reflected on your end-of-month pay stub. And with this you get a lot of happy employees.”

This is increasingly important in these times of chronic staff shortages in all sectors. “It is very difficult to attract talent to retail. How do you keep people from moving if both roles pay the same money? Pay on demand is a good tool to attract and retain talent. It makes companies sticky. People now want more rewards and not have to wait a month to get paid,” she says.

Accepting change is healthy

Embracing such solutions and different ways of working is inevitable in today’s dynamic marketplace and not to be feared, according to Jones, who says: “Businesses need to be receptive. Many organizations have stagnated and gone bankrupt. We always have to challenge the team as we can always improve. If we embrace the change, our people will have a better chance to thrive.”

He cites the mistakes that retailers have made in trying to adopt multi-channel strategies, but have been hampered by siloing their various channels. “They were missing the point of everyone being part of the same team. You have to break down the silos, which is very exciting,” says Jones.

On the contrary, it suggests that John Lewis has built a good business combined with its partners, which makes for a good in-store experience and the online channel is easy to use. Chatterley is of the opinion that the future involves multi-channel business, whereas when he created Feelunique it was possible to build a viable online-only retailer.

Multichannel is the only way

“The panorama in 2005 was very different. It was profitable to build a DTC (direct to consumer) brand. It was paid to play on social media channels and price comparison sites were reasonably priced. Now the cost per customer acquisition is exorbitant. The only winners are the ad platforms. You can only build a DTC brand by spending big or having celebrity endorsements that allow you to build it quickly,” he explains.

Chatterley points to Sephora, which has bought Feelunique, and is developing a bricks-and-mortar strategy in the UK: “With Covid-19, the high street was supposedly dead, but people really want the human touch. I am very nervous about any retail strategy that is only online or only bricks and mortar.”

Despite changing market dynamics, he remains an advocate of data use within companies since the early days of Feelunique and in his new business Indu, but he’s not wedded to it: “Our business was digital first. therefore, each business decision was based on some insight from the data. But I remain cynical about the obsession with data. Some people often miss the ‘why?’ They get the data but don’t know what questions to ask. The obsession is with the amount of data they have rather than with the questions”.

Jones suggests that companies need to understand what data can bring to their organizations and that the opportunities it provides can be enhanced by incorporating data from a variety of sources. “With payments data, we can tokenize card payments to track behavior across all channels and see how much time is spent online and in store. When retailers combine this with other data, they can create insights,” she says.

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