The COVID-19 pandemic has hit retailers hard. Overnight, malls, boutiques, and shops teeming with customers were evacuated. As the days dragged by and shutters remained close, many retailers had to let go of employees and even shut their shops permanently. We will see how, but this blog aims to show that this does not need to be the case for your retail business. You can still stay afloat, beat the competition, and rise to success with a little help from SAP!
Changing market conditions show no mercy on retailers
With the pandemic raising its ugly head, 2020 seemed to paint a dismal picture for the future of retail. Major retailers have been canceling orders and delaying payments to their suppliers. This forced some brands to store their seasonal articles or move them into distribution centers or outlets. For some retailers, the coronavirus pandemic increased the risk of bankruptcy due to store closures, while others barely made it through.
For example, Rubana Huq, the president of BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association), told the press that 3.18 billion orders were suspended. This had an impact on more than half of the 4 million garment workers in Bangladesh.
At the other end, brick-and-mortar presence is seeing a shift to the online commerce environment, which picked up at an exponential pace. E-commerce proved to be a pivotal moment for retailers, making it necessary for them to invest in digital capabilities. A critical aspect of staying competitive in such unprecedented times is the growth of technology and its importance in operational success.
Read on to find out how SAP plays a crucial role in turning things around for the retail industry.
SAP enables a differential strategy in the competitive market
More and more companies are recognizing the advantages of implementing SAP solutions. In the current recessionary and competitive market, delaying digital transition may prove a costly misstep that retail businesses will find hard to retrieve. Solutions offered by SAP can help retailers control various aspects of their business and identify trends in customer behavior and capitalize on opportunities at the right time.
With ever-changing customer behavior, SAP equips retailers to become customer-centric. It can help retailers analyze buying behavior by providing much-needed consumer insights. These insights will help them offer more personalized and delightful buying choices that attract customers and retain them.
Here is how SAP equips retailers:
- Provides real-time behavioral information, both online and in-store
- Reduces cycle time
- Helps retailers identify newer ways to find leads and build loyalty
- Streamlines operational process
Also, SAP solutions can help retailers offer a real-time personalized buying experience as it influences buyers’ behavior at the point of purchase. To create such a customized offering, retailers will need insight into buyers’ purchase history, profile, and shopping behavior. That’s where SAP solutions come to your rescue. SAP can provide retailers with all the information required to help them stay competitive.
SAP solutions help deal marketing and merchandise challenges
The retail industry can be volatile, especially during times like these. Retailers who manage seasonal merchandise might find it challenging to maintain multiple products and keep track of all that product data. Any incorrect data can prove costly for the organization. Such inaccurate data can also lead to a mismatch of data across all sales channels, presenting inconsistent product pricing and customers’ eventual loss.
Thankfully, SAP is the backbone for merchandise management, nullifying all these challenges. It comes with a simplified data model that offers end-to-end support for all retail functions. This concept works across the product lifecycle, from master data creation to stock management. It allows retailers to create and maintain the data effortlessly while ensuring pricing consistency across all the channels. These features can increase the organizations’ revenue, minimize data errors, enhance time to market, facilitate a better customer experience, and increase conversions.
Here is an example of how SAP solution helps:
Fewer markdowns: Retailers such as consumer electronics and fashion deal with seasonal goods. To stay competitive, retailers must ensure that these products are available in good time. SAP solutions offer more efficient season management and optimized ordering.
SAP solutions can help manage challenges in the supply chain
Inaccurate data can create challenges in planning, leading to longer response times and increasing the risk of losing the consumer to competitors. Fortunately, SAP solutions come with a single platform for all warehouse and transportation management. Features such as real-time analytics and advanced shipping capabilities can eliminate inventory challenges and enable live inventory management.
Thus, the supply chain process becomes agile and leads to higher revenue. It can also reduce the operating cost of the warehouse. By simplifying and automating processes, SAP can redefine retail and bring value to any retail business.
Following examples prove SAP helps with supply chain:
1. Fewer stock-outs
Supply chains are typically complex and need high levels of agility. SAP solution enables retailers to track procurement journeys automatically that helps reduce revenue loss due to the late arrival of seasonal goods.
2. Lower inventory costs
SAP can harmonize stock information and keep it up to date. At any given point, a retailer can intervene centrally and place a repeat order when necessary. This reduces inventory carrying costs and enables better inventory management which increases revenue.
3. Create seamless customer experiences
Retailers realize the significance of adopting sensor technology to create seamless and highly personalized business processes across all channels. SAP simplifies logistics and digital channel processes from order to payment, both in-store and online.
Key solutions from SAP for retailers
Here are some key solutions that SAP has made available, which can help your retail business:
1. SAP S/4HANA Retail solution for merchandise management
With the SAP S/4HANA retail solution for merchandise management, you can perform necessary checks on inventory, offers, availability across stores, and more in a single, unified view. It is instrumental in engaging your customers with cross-channel interactions.
Read more: SAP S/4HANA: Redefining End-To-End Solution
2. SAP Commerce Cloud
Through the SAP Commerce Cloud, retailers gain the ability to “launch new digital experiences with headless e-commerce capabilities.” SAP Commerce Cloud empowers your retail business with Web apps, chatbots, messengers, and other capabilities to enhance your customers’ digital experience, engagement, and conversions.
3. SAP Ariba Strategic Sourcing
The SAP Ariba Strategic Sourcing Suite is “a single, closed-loop, source-to-contract solution bundle for managing sourcing and suppliers across all spend categories.” It helps retailers efficiently manage their direct materials sourcing without going through laborious and faulty manual processes.
Read more: SAP Ariba & SAP IBP Integration to enhance supply chain visibility in manufacturing
4. SAP Extended Warehouse Management
The SAP Extended Warehouse Management system is a brilliant solution to managing high-volume warehouse operations. It gives you complete visibility of your supply chain logistics, warehouse operations, and distribution process, giving you seamless control and maximizing the use of your resources.
5. SAP Business One for Retail
SAP Business One for Retail is a comprehensive digital solution that enables retailers to manage all their retail operations, including Point of Sale (POS) insights. It helps retailers with better inventory control, a streamlined ordering process, and seamless multi-channel e-commerce.
Empower your retail business with SAP
An industry capable of adapting to new and evolving trends will rapidly recover from the pandemic’s effect. SAP solutions can help retailers examine those trends in great detail. SAP is a powerful tool that allows you to gather all the essential data needed to improve your business. Powered by insights gathered with the help of SAP solutions, retailers can redefine loyalty programs and stay competitive in the current market space.
Fingent offers custom implementation and migration services to SAP and can help you move quickly and make the best use of this technology NOW when you need it the most. Leveraging SAP solutions with a Silver Partner of SAP will give your retail business an added advantage. Drop us a message, and let’s get you started.
Why Does the Retail Industry Need to Embrace Digital Transformation?
The term digital transformation in the retail industry means disruption, new services, and improved functioning of the existing system using technology.
As the customer journey is evolving, retailers have to adapt and evolve as well. Also, with the shift towards personalized shopping, retailers have to go beyond focusing on a single technology in order to create new and innovative business models.
Location-based services, mobile apps, and big data analytics have brought about a significant change in the retail industry. This post details the significance of Digital Transformation in Retail.
What does digital transformation mean for retail?
Retailers will have to look beyond marginal enhancements and redefine processes to create a connected engagement using technology. Digital transformation is not only about agility, innovation, data intelligence, customer centricity, and new value propositions but also about streamlining processes, reducing costs, and improving productivity across the transactional cycle.
Now, more than ever before, retailers have to rethink every aspect of their business. Right from sourcing, pricing, inventory planning, employee training to customer experience management, retailers have to find new ways to drive revenues and create innovative business models.
McKinsey states that COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies in the retail industry. According to their report, e-commerce penetration in the United States which was supposed to reach 24% by 2024 has rapidly grown from 17% to 33% in just two months since the lockdown.
“Contactless retail that leverages digital transformation technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Virtual Reality (VR) increases customers’ confidence to shop during the COVID-19 pandemic”, says GlobalData. With changes in consumer behavior and consumption patterns, retail digital transformation trends are only likely to continue in the future.
Simply put, digital transformation in retail can improve customer retention and satisfaction by offering products and services according to their needs.
What are the benefits of digital transformation in the retail industry?
While digital transformation is not an easy one, a well-thought strategy can bring in the desired results. Also, it comes with several advantages such as:
1. Improved operations
Using cloud technologies helps improve operations within the company and enable the retail staff to respond to customers quickly which eventually improves client support. Availability of real-time data helps predict demands ahead of time and stock goods in advance.
AI tools are helping customers to shop without a cashier and enabling retailers to sell their products in physical stores as well as websites and mobile apps. Thus, AI-powered automation of retail processes such as locating items, tracking inventory and replenishing stocks, remembering customer preferences, etc. will enhance the customer experience.
Read more: AI To Solve Today’s Retail Profit Problems
3. Better communication
Retailers can form a better connection and improve their communication with their customers via social media, mobile apps, websites, chatbots, etc.
4. Enhanced customer experience
Digital transformation influences customer experiences and makes them better. Technical tools help increase the productivity of the employees and make services more efficient. This helps customers get not just high-quality services but also ensures a pleasant buying journey. While digital transformation is customer-centered, it also helps your business become better and stay ahead of the competition.
5. Boost revenue
Digital transformation offers retailers a chance to reach a wider target audience and thus increase their channels of income.
Why is the retail digital transformation more relevant now?
While the shift towards e-commerce is not new, the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated it. In the United States alone, approximately $600 billion represented online sales that accounted for 56% of overall retail growth in 2019.
Here are some more reasons why businesses have to mandate digital transformation and tweak their customer journey to respond effectively.
1. Life post-COVID will see a surge in online shopping
With increased emphasis on social distancing and personal safety, there will be several changes in consumer demands, saving patterns, spending style, and buying channels. Business leaders must plan their digital transformation and make profits in the post-COVID era. Business recovery and sustenance will depend on digital channels during the social distancing phase. Businesses should consider establishing digital channels and improving presence, invest in data, and improve models for customer demands. Additionally, business leaders can integrate pandemic outbreak models with supply chain demands and empower employees to work from home efficiently.
2. Transparency in supply chain
The pandemic has affected the supply networks across the globe and has caused many retailers to be unable to meet consumer demand for their products. So, retailers will have to be more transparent about their inventory and plan their online and offline customer experience.
3. Retailers with a digital presence will be more successful
Given the current pandemic situation, most people are indoors and spending only on essential items. So, retailers having a digital presence are already ahead of the competition. Such retailers are taking advantage of the pandemic situation and capturing the market share through innovation and customer acquisition. Businesses need to continue with their digital transformation program instead of closing their business and filing for bankruptcy.
4. Customers are rooting for their favorite brand
Most people are affected by social distancing, maintaining personal hygiene, queuing up for entry in stores, and other restrictions. So, customers are rooting for their favorite brands and expecting them to provide better services while taking safety measures. This increases the demand for digital transformation of retail more than ever.
Top 3 retail digital transformation trends to embrace
Retail digital transformation has already started and many companies have benefited from it. However, digital transformation is not a short-term process as technologies keep evolving and retailers will have to keep track of the latest trends. We have shared some of the latest trends to watch out for.
1. Augmented Reality (AR)
AR technologies and tools are helping customers to try and view things from the comfort of their homes. For instance, Toyota’s Augmented Reality shopping experience allows you to try 10 different cars before selecting the right one.
Another great example is IKEA. They let their customers choose furniture using their app. Customers just have to point the camera to the right place at home and the app will suggest options that suit your decor.
2. Mobile applications
Mobile apps help you connect with customers in a better way. It allows customers to check on the products, read reviews, etc. Additionally, customers can contact the support team in case of any issues.
Mobile apps are also good for further development as they allow you to add new features and enhance the services you provide.
3. Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual Reality technology has immense potential to develop and grow in the retail industry. VR can enhance customer experience and take it to the next level as it will allow customers to check homes, cars, etc., without even stepping inside. The retail giant Walmart employs VR headsets in over 4,500 of its stores for managing grand shopping events like Black Friday. VR training has boosted the confidence and productivity of Walmart’s associates and has increased their rate of retention.
It can be said that simply having a retail store will not help you anymore. You must integrate digital transformation from your physical store to your online store and social media accounts.
Instead of spending days researching your options, we can help you save your time and money. Let us know about your retail business needs and we’ll come up with the best digital transformation strategies suited for you. Contact us today.
How is AI Transforming Various Industry Sectors?
From Siri to self-driving cars, Artificial Intelligence has been breaking into new realms, including industries that are late to adopt technology or that heavily rely on manual labor. Gartner predicts that by 2020, AI will produce more jobs than it displaces. By 2022, one in five workers engaged in mostly non-routine tasks will rely on AI to do a job.
The future of AI only looks bright!
According to experts, AI and the future of work will amplify human efficiency and productivity. AI may match or even surpass human intelligence and capabilities on tasks related to pattern recognition, complex decision making, sophisticated analytics, language translation, reasoning and learning, and speech recognition.
This article discusses how five major industries are benefiting from AI and its innovations.
No surprises here. AI in healthcare always comes first on the list. From doctors, surgeons, nurses to desk receptionists at clinics, Artificial Intelligence is enabling process automation across the healthcare community and ecosystem.
AI tools enable medical professionals to diagnose symptoms, identify trends, analyze data or information that would predispose a person to a particular disease.
AI-powered bots assist surgeons with heart, thoracic, and colorectal surgeries. Using bots for surgeries helps lower the risk of infection and blood loss, reduce pain, ensure higher accuracy, shorten hospital stays, and expedite recovery. Digitized health records (EHRs) help patients access their information on a shared online health portal.
Along with other technologies, Artificial Intelligence is being widely used in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote patient monitoring using AI-powered medical equipment or devices help doctors maintain a safe distance from the patients, while offering treatment. The massive amounts of data generated every second in the field of medicine can be utilized effectively to continuously train AI systems through which these systems acquire the capabilities to generate insights that can aid medical researchers.
The future of AI in healthcare could include everything from answering the phone to interpreting radiology images, and designing therapeutic drugs.
AI plays a key role in helping achieve better productivity, efficiency, and visibility across manufacturing operations. AI systems can transform the way organizations run their production lines, enhance human capabilities, garner real-time insights, and facilitate the design and product innovation.
Read more: Digital Transformation in Manufacturing
Following are some of the ways by which AI impacts the manufacturing sector:
- AI systems help monitor every stage of the production cycle and machine learning algorithms can be used to predict the fill rate, thereby optimizing the manufacturing processes and production planning.
- Small, lightweight “cobots” help create safer working environments. Manufacturers can adopt robotics to perform dangerous jobs, thus sparing their employees for crucial tasks, thereby avoiding occupational health hazards. Cobots are considerably less expensive and easy to program than the usual industrial robots. Soon, machine learning algorithms can improve their capabilities and help the cobots take instructions from humans and interact with them in a better way.
- Predictive maintenance helps companies understand when machines need to be attended and serviced. Using machine learning, predictive maintenance can generate valuable data that helps prevent unplanned downtime. Sensors and advanced analytics in manufacturing equipment allow manufacturers to respond to alerts and resolve machine issues on time.
- Engineers or designers can input design goals and other parameters into generative design software (a program that generates several outputs to meet specific criteria) to explore better designs. Using machine learning, designers can learn from each iteration and understand what works and what does not.
According to a report by Business Insider Intelligence, about 75% of bank respondents with assets worth over $100 billion said that they are using AI technologies compared to the 46% of banks with assets less than $100 billion.
As much as $199 bn is saved for the front office and $217 bn for the middle office. AI technologies in banking can help generate over $250 billion in value. Considering the significant savings opportunities, more and more companies are implementing AI. Simply put, AI helps financial services companies mitigate risk, reduce overheads, and generate more revenue.
Thanks to the numerous AI applications, the academic world is becoming more personalized. Today, a student can access study materials easily through computers and smart devices. AI helps automate administrative chores and minimizes the time required to complete complex tasks thereby allowing teachers to spend more time with each student.
Teachers can assess both multiple choice tests as well as written responses easily. Robots are helping create smart content such as video lectures and simulations as well as digitized textbooks that can be customized to the learning requirements. Along with the learning aids, these digitized interfaces help students of all academic ages and grades.
There is also a rising interest towards smart campus initiatives. A smart campus is a physical or digital set-up in which humans and technology- based systems come together to create and deliver automated experiences across higher education institutions.
AI is eliminating the boundaries of learning regardless of the physical locations. Today, students can learn any course from anywhere across the globe, at any time. AI-powered education helps nurture the fundamental IT skills of students and soon, there will be a wide range of highly interactive and personalized courses available online.
The retail and e-commerce industry has huge volumes of customer information, sales forecasting, stock and inventory to be tracked. Artificial Intelligence helps simplify data management to a large extent. For example, while searching for a product on an e-commerce application, AI recommends similar items according to your budget, color preference, purchase history, browsing data, online behavior, etc.
Cart abandonment is a common issue in the e-commerce industry which occurs when a customer adds items to their shopping cart but does not purchase them. With the help of chatbots and predictive analysts, the likelihood of cart abandonment can be reduced. Chatbots can remind your customer of the items left in their cart before they choose to navigate away.
Previously, people had to rely on the FAQ section of the website to get their questions answered. However, this included unchangeable questions and static answers and most customers were not satisfied with the answers. Today, however, it is changing. A chatbot agent can respond to questions using Natural Language Processing or NLP in a much better way and ensure that potential customers don’t abandon your website. Integrating voice search features into e-commerce applications helps offer a seamless digital customer experience.
Artificial Intelligence and machine learning together are promising to help transform every industry by guiding, organizing, and automating work. AI is definitely here to stay! At Fingent, we have the expertise to help businesses of all sizes including startups as well as established enterprises to gain an edge over competitors.
From suggesting products or providing basic customer service or running software tests, developing apps, and completing extensive problem-solving procedures for industries, we use AI technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing, and business rules that will provide you with optimal results. Get in touch with us to learn more.
CX Solution to Improve Retail Growth
Nurturing communities and building loyalties is now more critical than ever for all retail brands. With instant access to the latest trends and technologies, customers demand better experiences in their interactions with retail brands across all touchpoints. Hence, Customer experience (CX) has become the most important facet of the retail marketing strategy. Retailers, therefore, have to focus on improving CX through every channel.
Importance of CX solutions
Companies can leverage authentic data and modern technology to transform customer experiences and positively impact their business’ future. While most organizations do have systems in place to track the performances of their CX strategies, few track the end-to-end customer journey. Using appropriate CX solutions, organizations can bridge the gap between expected and actual experiences. CX solutions help companies measure and understand the impact of their CX management strategies.
By employing CX solutions, you can manage the interactions that current and potential customers can have with your brand, thus enabling you to meet or exceed their expectations. CX solutions leverage customer interactions to align the brand image according to the customer’s perceptions. This helps you foster strong and long term customer relationships.
Related Reading: 5 Ways to Enrich Customer Experience at Your Retail Store
Top Trends in CX
Staying abreast of the latest technologies and trends in Customer Experience will help you stay ahead of the competition. It’s time to hone your CX strategies by following these latest trends that rule the CX market.
- Omni-channel CX: Customer journeys have become more dynamic than ever. Based on convenience, customers constantly switch mediums. Since the line between physical and digital channels are blurring, customers expect seamless experiences in their interactions across all channels. It’s important for retailers to strike a proper balance between the “traditional” and “online” business models based on their customers’ preferences. Adopting omnichannel customer care strategies will help resolve complex issues quickly.
- Artificial Intelligence: CX enhancement requires comprehending vast amounts of chaotic and complex data in real-time at high speeds. This scenario is most suitable for AI-powered solutions. Using AI, you can replicate human-like engagements (chatbots for example), track customer-behavior and roll out customized campaigns on their preferred channel of operation. Thus you turn your data into valuable customer insights.
- Hyper personalization: Customers expect high levels of personalization and prefer to buy from brands that offer services/products that are fine-tuned according to their requirements. With a hyper-personalized approach, retailers can identify subtle customer traits and deliver highly targeted and relevant services. To develop this level of hyper-personalization, your data and analytics have to be aligned to paint a clear picture of your customers’ choices.
- AR/VR: Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are touted as the “technologies of the future” since they provide highly immersive and engaging customer experiences. AR and VR provide customers with a hands-on experience which helps them make better choices. Many retailers are already reaping the benefits of implementing these futuristic technologies. For instance, Ikea allows customers to check how the furniture would look in their homes before buying using AR. Famous clothing brand Marks and Spencer uses virtual try-on mirrors to boost their store experiences.
- Virtual assistants and chatbots: Virtual assistants and chatbots enable companies to deliver faster and more efficient services at low costs. Some may argue that chatbots lack empathy and hence cannot replace human customer service representatives. However, you should not overlook the fact that advances in AI have given bots the ability to decipher human emotions. By combining the technologies of a virtual assistant and chatbots, you can provide your customers with personalized and empathetic experiences.
Related Reading: Capitalizing on AI Chatbots Will Redefine Your Business: Here’s How
Future of CX
Customer Experience will continue to be crucial for brands to survive in a disruptive business environment. Retailers need to adopt agile models to retain customers and attract new ones. Going forward, CX will also depend on employee experiences. If your employees are empowered, they will in turn care for your customers. Your interactions, both with your customers as well as your employees across all channels need to be more meaningful and effective.
Gartner states that 64% of consumers give more importance to their experiences with a brand than to the price of a product or service. Fingent helps you implement the latest technological advancements to make your CX strategies fruitful. Contact us to know more.
Best Retail Mobile App Features To Enhance Your Customer Experience
Speed, convenience, innovation, and customer experience – these are the elements that drive the retail industry today. With consumers becoming increasingly connected and demanding personalized services, retail brands can no longer sit back and expect a good product to do the trick for them. Newer, smaller and yet better tech-enabled retail players are pushing into the market and giving big brands a run for their money. Technology is thus the biggest competitive advantage in today’s digital age, and retailers are recognizing the importance of mobile app technology to communicate their tech-driven goals. In this blog, we will discuss exactly how retail mobile apps are helping retailers boost their business. We will also discuss 3 must-have features in retail apps.
Related Reading: Although mobile apps are a source for greater business success, it’s vulnerable to hacker attacks. Check out the top 8 security issues incurred in mobile app development.
How A Retail Mobile App Can Help Boost Business
The number of mobile apps available today is a testimony to the popularity of mobile apps across the globe. A report by Statista shows that as of the first quarter of 2019, Android users were able to choose between 2.1 million apps and Apple’s App Store had nearly 1.8 million available apps. The demand for apps keeps increasing every day, which proves that they are the preferred choice of interaction among consumers today.
Convenience is the factor that is tipping the scales in favor of mobile apps. E-commerce and online shopping brought shopping into the homes of customers, but mobile apps go one step further and bring it to their fingertips. Here are a few more reasons how retail mobile apps are helping businesses boost sales.
- Increases Reach
The most important aspect of sales and marketing is to reach customers where they are. That’s where mobile app technology brings the biggest advantage. Here are some statistics to show that mobile devices are the best way to reach customers.
- Up to 70% of web traffic happens on a mobile device.
- U.S. consumers’ time spent on mobile crosses 5 hours a day.
- Customers have 2X more interactions with brands on mobile than anywhere else.
- Mobile app usage for shopping grew by 54% in 2017 and continues to increase.
As these statistics show, mobile apps are where the customer is and that is where retailers must focus.
- Builds Loyalty
Mobile apps allow the customer to interact directly with the company quickly and on their schedule. Push notifications and recommendations on their mobiles keep them connected to your brand at all times. Many mobile apps incorporate loyalty programs and gamification features into their mobile apps. This helps in increasing engagement with customers in the way they prefer it.
It also discourages customers from having to look elsewhere – the more they shop, the more they win and the more loyal they become. Rewarding customers for social sharing and referrals build loyalty to the brand as they feel included in the success of the business.
- Improves Efficiency
Mobile apps do much more than bring your products to consumers. They help in building efficiency along with providing ease of access. When it comes to helping customers, features like integrated shopping carts and payment gateways make the purchasing process much smoother and hassle-free.
From the operations perspective, this helps efficiently record, track and implement invoicing and inventory management. Mobile apps also offer features like employee scheduling, CRM, real-time inventory check-up and other functionalities that help employees better serve the needs of customers.
Contrary to driving business away from brick and mortar stores, mobile apps can impact and support in-store operations as well. With features that can help locate products in the store, Wishlist building, barcode scanners, and faster payment options, mobile apps can provide excellent support in-store as well.
3 Must-Have Features in A Retail Mobile App
Now that we’ve established how important mobile apps are in the retail business, let’s see what will get your app ahead of the competition. For a mobile app to be successful, it must be packed with features that are focused on making the customer’s journey hassle-free and enjoyable. As a start, here are some features that you absolutely must include in your mobile app.
1. Easy to Use Interface
This is one of the most important aspects to concentrate on when building a mobile app. This is the face of your company and the first point of interaction for a mobile app user. Logic dictates that this is where the customer will decide whether he wants to continue his journey with your brand or not. A few key principles to remember here are Simplicity, Ease and Brand Recognition. Do not overload your UX with too much information. Keep it simple. Ensure that the user can navigate through your site easily with simple drop-down menus and clear icons. Ensure that your brand colors, logo and other aspects of your brand image are clearly communicated in your UX.
2. Hassle-Free Purchase Options
Impulse buys are the most important advantage for retailers even when it comes to mobile apps. The best way to capitalize on this is to ensure that the customer is led through the purchase process quickly and without any hiccups. The moment customers face a glitch in the purchase process, the frustration caused could overrule their impulse to buy. The result is abandoned carts and loss of customer loyalty.
To combat this, it is important to offer multiple purchase options. In addition to cash and card on delivery, other options like debit and credit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal must be included. This will allow the customer to make the purchase the way they prefer. Easy returns options are another way to ensure that the customer doesn’t hesitate to make the purchase. Ensuring that the inventory is up to date is also an important aspect of eliminating buyer frustration and improving customer retention.
3. Personalized Experience
Machine Learning has brought the online shopping experience a long way from what it used to be. Shoppers don’t have to deal with irrelevant spam emails or browsing through thousands of products to find what they want. Apps equipped with machine learning now know exactly what the customer wants when they want it and the best way to give it to them.
Apps are continuously learning customers’ buying preferences and finding ways to personalize the experience for them. Push notifications featuring the items they like and specialized offers for those products will give buyer’s added incentive to purchase from you.
Are you looking forward to building an innovative mobile app to boost your revenue? Get your FREE mobile app specification template here!
Go Custom with Retail Mobile Apps
While we have presented just three must feature to be included in your mobile app, there are many more that may be relevant to your particular brand and customer base. At Fingent, we specialize in custom-built mobile apps to cater to our client’s unique needs. Give us a call and let’s talk.
Read More: Mobile App Development : 4 Tips To Consider
According to The Wall Street Journal, consumer spending is the primary driver of economic growth in the U.S. Manufacturers, suppliers and logistics companies are the industries that benefit from retail profits. Retailers now prefer artificial intelligence to protect profits. This improves customer service as well!
Next-Gen Solutions To Solve Retail Profit Shrinkage – Why Would You Choose AritificiaI Intelligence?
In the year 2018, the global AI market was expected to be worth 7,35 billion U.S. dollars. Also, the global AI market is expected to grow from 150 percent from 2016 numbers, reaching a forecast size of 4.8 billion U.S. dollars. These statistics show that AI is a new factor of production that can help skyrocket profitability for retailers!
Related Reading: Check out the latest trends in AI. Find 7 reasons why AI is expected to play out in 2019.
Why would you choose AI to protect retail profits?
These numbers show a straight 59% increase in retail profits alone! For this, advanced analytics are used to design and develop models. These models are then used to fetch possible outcomes from a wide spectrum of data given to a computer to analyze. From these outcomes, future decisions and actions are fed to the system which learns it. The system can now perform without human intervention! It can make decisions in real-time.
Machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing are a few examples of AI. Marketing, pricing, logistics, risk management, store management, fraud detection are some inevitable areas where the largest retailers have used AI for decades now!!
AI – How it uses advanced analytics to solve a wide spectrum of retail problems
Manufacturers, Logistics companies, and suppliers are the major industries that support retail sales. Consumer spending depends on fluctuation in these sectors. This drives the economic growth in the U.S! Since these sectors benefit from strong retail profits, “retailers are turning to artificial intelligence to help protect profits” says a report from Forbes!
AI replaces redundant and individual-driven analysis. This is a more convenient method and ensures consistency across the retail chain. Thus AI can replace 1000 people performing the same tasks by answering spontaneously with just the same analysis!
AI can also enhance customer experience and drive sales. Online retailers use chatbots and product suggestions, while stores can enjoy real-time, targeted marketing messages. Retailers have the need to generate chunks of data on a daily basis. With predictive analytics, this data can predict trends and thus reduce the chance of failures by determining necessary changes to improve profitability. Thus the employees can have proper information faster and deliver more consistent results!
Related Reading: AI and Robotics carry the power to enhance customer experience. Here’s a CTO Guide to it.
Solving Retail Problems With AI – Steps to Overcome Challenges And Improve Efficiency To Boost Sales
All retail companies (physical and online), face four fundamental challenges. These can be solved with predictive analytics and an effective data production plan. They include:
Siloed and Static Customer Views
Retailers can adopt a complete, real-time strategy by combining traditional data sources with the non-traditional like social media or other external data sources to create valuable insight, resulting in robust fraud detection systems, more effective marketing campaigns, more accurate and targeted churn prediction, and better customer service. This helps them encounter the problems faced by siloed data, where transaction data are separated from web pages, which is again separate from CRM data.
Time Consuming Vendor and Supply Chain Management
Retailers can adopt real-time analytics and unstructured data sets to combine structured and unstructured data to create more accurate forecasts or automatic reordering, resulting in optimized pricing strategies and more efficient inventory management.
Analysis Based on Historical Data
Retailers can use prediction and machine learning in real time to create predictions based on current behaviors and trends. This helps them predict the client’s next move. Thus AI helps to adapt automatically to customer behaviors.
Single-Time Data Projects
It is high time retailers turned towards automated and scalable data workflows. This helps them improve their overall efficiency. This is made possible with predictive analytics using AI.
Related Reading: Enrich customer experience at your retail store. Read along to reveal five secret to win your retail customers.
How AI can Generate Additional Revenue
IDC analysts predict that by 2019, 40 percent of retailers will have developed a customer experience architecture supported by an AI layer! In a nutshell, the major ways in which AI can generate additional revenue and help avoid additional overheads and losses are the following:
- AI can replace redundant and individual-driven analysis for a retailer. This process is far more efficient and it ensures consistency across the retailer’s stores.
- Additionally, employee theft and paperwork errors contribute a high figure of shrink to retail profits. For instance, the National Retail Federation conducted a survey and it turned out that the reason for more than 50% of retail shrink, ie, (the difference between the real ‘on-hand’ inventory and the inventory level recorded in the computer system) is a result of employee theft and manual errors! AI models yield better and efficient results.
- Also, retailers can use AI to predict solutions benefits and functionalities prior to buying it. This way, AI can help reduce risks in retail profit shrinking.
- Choosing a consultant that can address the needs of your company can be another major benefit to reap out of AI to reduce retail profit risks. The following concerns can be addressed with the consultant:
- How to address constraints like budget, time and personnel? Ask your consultant to provide explanations for the outcomes.
- Consider the consultant’s skill sets from their previous projects and work experience before you decide to hand over the responsibilities and contract
Related Reading: Does AI have the potential to drive business value across industries? Read through to find how AI is revolutionizing various industries.
AI adopts next-generation solutions that use predictive analytics to capitalize on their data and knowing that 80% of this data is untapped and unstructured is the winning solution! Want to know more reasons why you can undoubtedly bet your company on AI?
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