The basic concept of journalism 101 is the 5 W’s. Who, What, When, Where and Why. In my opinion these are now the basic principles of the new retail paradigm. As we remerge into some state of openness it’s necessary for retailers to adapt to the ” New Normal”. It think the 5 W’s can also apply as retailers start to see more in-store shopping.
Who: How much do you know about your customers? It’s important more than ever to know everything possible about your customers. Once you understand the profile of your best customers you can tailor your marketing efforts to those demographics. Other essential information is having a single view of all their activity either on-line or in- store. As you get deeper into your knowledge of your customers you’ll understand their buying habits and frequency. These are both highly useful information. Your clerks can reach out to make customers aware of new product that’s fit their profile. Knowing their frequency may help in retaining good customers. Making offers to goods customers that haven’t shopped in while is much less expensive that the acquisition cost of finding new customers. Customer retention and acquisition are key metrics to retail success.
What: What tools are in your retail technology kit to address the new shopping paradigms. Can you accommodate all the requirements for next generation of retail. You should evaluate your current technology stack and determine what upgrades are needed. Prioritize your list by importance and affordability. The guideline for importance is the investment that provides the best Return on Investment. The ability to meet customer’s expectations for BOPIS should be the top priority. The next in my option is mobile device enabled clerks.
When: 24/7 is When. Does your order process management flow meet the requirements not only buying online and picking up in store but also route the order for the quickest and most efficient delivery. Customer retention increases by 91% when they have positive online experience.
Where: There are two parts to where. The first is shoppers want to engage with wherever they want. Online, in-store or some of both. The other aspect of where is customers need to know where inventory is available and the quantities available. Omni-Channel only works if your inventory is accurate and updated almost immediately.
Why: Why shop with you? This requires and honest and introspective determination of your value proposition to consumers. When you started your business you had a vision on how to attract customers. How often do you examine your plan to see if your still meeting those goals? This process may get a bit uncomfortable. Ask your customers and employees for their feedback. Customers have little tolerance for retailers not meeting their expectations in this digital economy.
Are you ready?