The retail industry is renowned for being a competitive sector. It’s no wonder that business are constantly on the lookout for the secret formula that will give them the edge!...
The retail industry is renowned for being a competitive sector. It’s no wonder that business are constantly on the lookout for the secret formula that will give them the edge! As part of the development of SAP Anywhere, we invested heavily in understanding these pressures small businesses face as well as the opportunities that the right digital platform is able to offer them.
A big part of this was understanding the trends disrupting the industry, and we’ve picked five we think retailer businesses can’t afford to ignore.
The subscription economy:Many companies are moving from a pay-per-product model to subscriptions, such as on-demand TV provider Netflix. It’s vital that small businesses should consider this type of pricing model, shifting their focus from selling as many products as possible, to building a long-lasting relationship with the customer.
Selling on social:The next wave in the social media world is the ability to sell on these platforms too. The “shop now” functionality on Instagram and innovations like buyable pins on Pinterest (currently only available in the US) are changing the way consumers shop online. For small retailers looking to take advantage of social audiences, these new options are invaluable and can neatly complement your own e-commerce channel.
The age of personalised commerce:In order to compete in this market new businesses are beginning to focus on service as a key differentiator. And for good reason! While service enhances customer retention it also has the potential to build new revenue streams. For example, this can take the form of an online personal shopper who will take your preferences and pick a range of items for you. Remember, where value can be created it can also be monetised.
The power of the crowd:Customers no long want to wait weeks for their product delivery. Therefore, finding innovative ways to deliver products quickly is important for businesses. We are seeing new services such as UberRUSH and Nimber that are pouncing on customer demands for a quick delivery. For example, Nimber pays people driving in the direction of their next order to deliver the package. This crowd-sourced approach is the next thing in the delivery market and can also be a low-cost alternative to courier services for small businesses.
GThe rise of the omni-organisation:As customer service becomes a key differentiator between companies, many organisations are restructuring to focus on customer experience. For a small business this kind of restructure is probably not necessary but thinking about the overall business model in those terms is helpful. If customer experience needs to be at the heart of what you do, why not design your business that way?
In today’s world it is important that businesses are able to offer a great customer experience. Whether this means understanding customers better by looking at how they use social media or developing more convenient ways for them to shop, there’s a significant opportunity for retailers to capitalize on these trends!