Salesforce just released its Global Shopping Index for Q1 2021. Global online revenue grew on average by 58% YoY in Q1, which is higher than pre-pandemic levels, validating the importance of digital investments, operational resilience, & reframing.
As noted by Retail Innovation Reframed authors, Gareth Jude and Andrew Smith, “Reframing doesn't mean throwing away traditional retail fundamentals- it means adding new capabilities that respond to the changing environment.” The organization’s ability to innovate, reframe and align to technologies that support new shopping behaviors will be paramount as we move into this “new normal” in retail.
An excellent example of an innovative company that supports retailers in doing more business with less inventory is Management One, a leading provider of merchandise planning, business insights, and education to thousands of independent retailers worldwide. A retailer’s ability to intelligently manage their inventory is central to their success. Creating an accurate, data-driven merchandise plan often called open-to-buy - reveals how much inventory you need to meet the demand to open up cash flow and gives insights to reconfigure fixed expenses, and plan for future investments.
Christine Russo, the Retail Creative and Consulting Agency founder and a retail expert consultant for Management One, is well-known for her abilities to help retailers find resilient ways to extend their digital presence. For example, she states that one of the best-kept digital search secrets for brick and mortar stores is Near Street and www.nextdoor.com These platforms are essentially a Google search-by-product, and then the product showcases a nearby location to the shopper. She also states that Google’s recent announcement expanding their partnership with Shopify, introducing a new, simplified process that will let Shopify’s 1.7 million merchants feature their products across Google in just a few clicks is a game changer for brick and mortar digitization.
Once shoppers move from the prominent search engines and find your online store, it is essential to give them experiences to quickly engage with your store and help them find exactly what they are looking for in seconds, just like an in-store sales assistant. Skafos.ai has this same solution that boosts retailer conversions by 44-165%. It is the world’s first AI-driven interactive product finder, and they recently released an economic Shopify app starting as low as $29/month.
Retailers are facing more pressure to reimagine the role of their physical and online stores along with where store associates play in the shopping experience with the rise of social commerce, experiential pop-up stores, flexible payment options, same day (or faster) delivery, BOPIS/curbside, personalization and augmented reality. The technology providers that fuel & support these retail shifts will continue to drive the next generation of modern retailers into the new shopping era.