Guestblog: Uncertainty is the new normal - 4 ways to improve what is within your control
Publish Date: 09 March 2018
The thing about uncertainty is that it has become a certainty for retail. The industry is facing unprecedented disruption, so the time to accept the challenge is now.
When you set out your response and focus energy on improving what is within your control, uncertainties create opportunities.
1. It’s not how much data you’ve got, it’s what you do with it
We have reached a point where the key differentiator between retail locations is data - how it is managed and what you do with it. The productivity and performance of a retail site is improved or impaired through its access to data and how efficient those processes are.
Retail environments have access to more data than ever. In theory, this should be fuelling insights and informing decisions, but not all data is equally useful. Shopping centres using the limited data they can get hold of in the best possible way will see far greater benefits than one with a huge amount of data that isn’t being used effectively.
2. Intelligently inform human connections
Creating innovative retail spaces is both an art and a science, where the future for customer experience is a combination of tech and human connection. As technology advances, the goal is not to remove humans from the equation, but to empower them with analytics that allow a greater depth of service.
In some scenarios, a person is better, but data is becoming increasingly valuable as brands unlock potential and use it to tailor experiences and engagement. By adopting and integrating cloud technology pan-organisational collaboration becomes easier so that precious human connections are intelligently informed.
3. Access to insights for all
Empowering people with data is where the cultural tech shift gets exciting. A large pool of data is of little use if it is inaccessible to all that can benefit from it. Once reserved for data scientists and retail strategists, access to data at the right time and in the right format for different roles or tasks can positively impact employee engagement and productivity.
4. Let back-end operations benefit from what’s trending front of house
It is possible to learn from tactics you are utilising on the frontline to rethink back-end solutions and deliver efficiency just as slick. Collaboration, customisation, and experience don’t only apply front of house:
Ahead of the trend when it comes to data, outlets and off-price retail locations have long relied on retail intelligence to work closely with their tenants and make improvements by sharing insights. Behind the scenes collaboration is desirable and more crucial than ever. Collaboration centres not only attract tenants, but encourage agility and openness.
Ensure you are seeing everything you need to know, the way you want to see it by choosing technology with customisable insights. Just like the customer, you can expect it all: convenience, quality, newness and price.
Investing in customer experience can feel like a brave step, just like moving from traditional methods of data collection and analysis can at first feel daunting, but streamlining laborious manual processes and automating reporting can reduce costs, save time and create value through new operational practices. Experience doesn’t start and end with the customer.
Authored By Gareth Jordan, Commercial Director at ART Software Group
Gareth will be representing ART Software Group at ICSC European Outlet Conference on 25-26 April 2018.