30 May 2022, 09:45 — 5 min read
It is more important now than ever to keep the customer in the centre of whatever retailers do. Businesses should see customers as the compass and build them into the core of the decision. “In the retail world, there is a saying that you need to be listening to your customers. In the post-pandemic context, this has changed to — you need to be obsessing about your customers,” opined Sameer Amte, MD & Lead, Accenture India.
Traditional retail businesses have been slow in their adoption of newage technology. “Many retailers, especially in the offline world, are willing to put in a lot of money for a new store but when it comes to technology, they get vexed. They don’t know which is the right place to spend and whether they should spend anything at all,” highlighted Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India. There is a gap between traditional business and new-age technology, and it is one that urgently needs to be filled.
According to Sreekanth Chetlur, Chief Ecommerce Officer, Shoppers Stop the technologies that retailers must have to make themselves more customer-centric and to get a 360-degree view of their customers include a CRM, which collates data points in a manner that allows them to have a single view of the customer. This allows for greater personalisation, which eventually helps improve conversions. Retailers should also invest in SCM solutions which help improve their turnaround time to stop erosion of margins so that better value can be offered to customers.
The good news is that today retailers don’t need to understand technology or have in-house talent. There are simple integrations available which can elevate their business journey significantly. Retailers simply need to find the problems they want to address and then integrate the technology solutions that solve them in an affordable, optimised, and efficient manner. They need to ask themselves these questions: Is the technology helping me reduce costs in the long run? Is it creating operational efficiency? And finally, will it lead to making my customers happier?
Also read: Customer is the king and the kingmaker
Advising retailers about technology adoption and investment, Sameer Amte, MD & Lead, Accenture India said, “Retailers should not be putting off their technology or talent investment for short-term gain because that is the recipe for losing the customers that you really own.”
With technology investments, it is important to start small, create incremental value by improving a particular process. Doing so creates a case for further investment and help drive the journey ahead.
All that technology is of no use if businesses don’t really understand what customers want, which requires listening to what they say. “Treat your customer as your friend. Let her feel like she can talk to you because everything else is all just a follow-on after that,” advised Vinay Bhartia, Country Director - India, MessageBird. Customers that converse with a brand are one of its biggest assets.
Even with social media, a listen-first approach is important. “You need to categorise your customers; you just cannot have everyone in the same basket anymore. Retail just doesn’t work like that anymore,” said Sarfaraz Miller, Head - IT, Celio.
Today, there is real-time data that is available right within the organisation that can help personalise experience and communication channels for individual customers.
“Let the customer decide their channel of communication. This brings in a lot of confidence. Communication, convenience, and confidence are the three things that have to be the backbone for any brand retail on social media today,” said Sushil Agarwal, Chief Information Officer, Manyavar.
The best way to delight customers is to let them show you how.
Also read: The rise and rise of Ecommerce
Article source: STOrai Magazine.
Image source: Canva
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