Pivoting Retail: Now + After COVID-19

Strategy   |   Anne-Queline Keller   |   May 21, 2020

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to disrupt businesses throughout the world, many mid-size retailers and franchisees have been forced to close their brick-and-mortar stores.

During this crisis, the ability to pivot quickly to alternative solutions (like e-commerce) can make all the difference between sustainability and shuttering your doors.

This “new normal” is fundamentally changing purchasing behaviors and the way consumers engage with brands like yours. Expectations have never been higher — consumers want a faster, more immediate and customized experience, all at a competitive cost. So how do you stay relevant and top-of-mind during these challenging times?

It takes an “always-on” approach that utilizes business intelligence to help you better understand the current environment and take swift action — from optimizing your supply chain to order fulfillment, providing killer customer service, and beyond.

A View From the Top

The number one concern I hear from retailers is the inability to get a holistic view of their supply chain. This can be a difficult task for most retailers both large and small, as most are using different systems for their e-commerce, loyalty, and in-store POS systems. This provides a fragmented view of the disparate pieces that contribute to the success (or failure) of your store.

It’s time to eliminate these silos.

Visibility is critical, and it starts with moving from a multi-channel to an omnichannel approach, combining important online and offline data to understand what products to stock, where, and for how much. By doing this, you can optimize your inventory churns and increase margins, as well as improve consumer conversions.

Focuses on every customer interaction and their overall experience of a product and brand.

Multi-channel: Gives your target customers the choice of where to buy, optimizing their experience on the most relevant sales channels based on shopping behavior.

Armed with a consolidated view of customer demand, including POS, mobile, and e-commerce data, you can generate more accurate forecasts by item, category, department, and location.

By seamlessly blending internal, third-party, and cloud data, and then analyzing it using location and predictive drag-and drop tools, you can quickly assimilate customer information to anticipate changing customer demand and optimize merchandising plans, all without relying on over-burdened IT staff or expensive statistical experts.

Self-service analytics solutions let you create one consistent view of customer demand across all channels and systems. With a single, intuitive workflow for data blending and advanced analytics, you gain deeper customer insights in hours, not the weeks typical of traditional approaches, helping you keep up with the speed of retail during these challenging times.


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