Connected, “always-on” consumers are now the driving force in retail. The information they need to make a buying decision can be found in mere seconds and shapes what they buy, when and where they buy it, and at what price. Empowered and emboldened, these connected consumers expect personalized relationships and offerings delivered through flexible options.
With consumers firmly in the driver’s seat, how can retailers adapt and succeed? According to
JDA® Software Group, Inc.
(NASDAQ: JDAS), The Supply Chain Company
, it requires a new approach – one that allows retailers to attract, win and keep profitable customers. It starts with retailers understanding the urgency of the situation and the need to quickly adopt the following strategies:
- Manage with a consumer – versus a product – focus
- Adapt a culture that offers a seamless, consistent cross-channel experience
- Gain a multi-dimensional view of the customer
- Eliminate ineffective and disjointed planning processes
- Respond quickly to consumer demand with an agile and optimized supply chain
“Today’s consumers – hyper-connected and seeking instant gratification – don’t have the time or patience for the old way of retailing,” said
Wayne Usie, senior vice president, retail, JDA Software
. “They comparison shop using their mobile devices, and armed with information, feel empowered to negotiate with in-store sales associates. They expect retailers to give them what they want, where and when they want it. They expect to be able to shop seamlessly at home, in-store and everywhere. They not only expect retailers to put products in front of them, but to engage with them to gain their loyalty. This has created an evolve-or-die scenario for retailers, and JDA can help with its differentiated strategies for consumer-connected retail.”
The Next Generation: Consumer-Connected Retail
Retailers seeking customer-centricity in every interaction have much to consider, including:
- The increasing frequency and scope of demand shifts within planning cycles, which commands intelligence and interaction during execution to ensure customer satisfaction and profitability.
- How to deliver endless aisles – sourcing and delivering from the broadest network in real time to offer greater assortment flexibility and to cement loyalty.
- The need to empower store associates with customer, product and availability information that is equal or superior to that accessible to consumers, allowing for increased customer satisfaction.
- Inventory allocation flexibility and utilization control to meet growing demands.
Success in Consumer-Connected Retail starts with a strong foundation built on the simultaneous management of the customer experience, the product lifecycle and channel synchronization. These three inter-related strategies drive a company’s ability to effectively plan, execute, and satisfy customers. Strategy and plan information can then be leveraged in a retailer’s systems to map to each strategic area and process in an iterative – instead of sequential – design leveraging automation to support the thousands of decisions and scenarios retailers are faced with every day. The ability to manage the strategic customer, product and channel cycles in a contiguous fashion that fosters the natural connection points between these pillars is critical to achieving success in consumer-connected retail.