Retail Change is the New Normal

Retail Change is the New Normal 1440 428 ASG

If you’re waiting patiently for the retail industry to settle and establish a predictable pattern of success, you’re wasting your time. The Global Retail Real Estate Convention – or RECon – convened in May of this year, encouraging continued discussions about where retail is headed. Forty thousand registered attendees and 1256 exhibitors, 150 of those being new to the conference, all confirmed what many have assumed: Change is what retailers should be expecting. Retailers will be opening new stores, closing others, updating formats, and including small-store footprints in efforts to capture customer interest. Traditional models are faltering fast, and the future of retail is here.

Agile retail is taking over

Traditional models of production no longer meet consumer expectations. This is particularly true for fashion companies that display models and contemporary designs at highly publicized events. Unfortunately, these designs can take up to six months to hit the shelves of retailers. Why would consumers wait when fast fashion companies are flooding the market with high fashion at warehouse prices? The turnaround from production to shelves is a mere ten days for some retailers, meeting the consumers exactly where they are, when they are. Even the top brand names are struggling to keep up, when the fashions they deem as “in style” are already on sale somewhere else.

Store redevelopment is a top priority for large retailers

With agile retail looming, retailers are capitalizing on pop-up spaces to meet the demand. Shopping centers that used to rely on anchor stores, many of which are now closing their doors, are now building permanent pop-up spaces that are catering to both shopper and retailer demands. Short-term leases are now the expectation for retailers, and consumers are enticed by new displays and experiences. It is a win for both parties, where stores can test innovative products and designs while simultaneously engaging with customers.

New models of retail capture the changing interests of consumers

Despite the efforts that retailers are making to change strategies, the brick-and-mortar store remains only a piece of a very complex puzzle. By leveraging data, retailers can predict what consumers want next month and have it for them next week. All it takes is the right engagement for retailers to gain insight into what should be sold next and begin preparation before consumers have voiced their demands.

Why is agile retail so successful? This flexible model offers the personalized experience that consumers crave, and the convenience is undeniable. The needs and wants of target audiences change rapidly, and any retailer that can keep up is bound to find success. Regardless of industry, agile retail is a prominent force that is improving the customer experience and changing the face of retail. There is no longer a “normal” in retail, as the customer paves the way.

Turn Your Business Around by Leveraging Big Data

Turn Your Business Around by Leveraging Big Data 1440 428 ASG

Across virtually every industry, big data is being favored as the must-have to drive strategic company-wide initiatives. The retail industry, particularly in terms of real estate, must be willing to utilize critical information that can have a massive impact on decision-making related to marketing and location. Businesses must move in ways that are parallel to how consumers are moving, and there is only one way to effectively do so: big data.

What is big data and how does it relate to retail?

Big data is the common phrase that references extremely large data sets that can be gathered and digitally analyzed to reveal patterns, trends, and associations. However, the understanding of human behavior and interactions is that component which is most useful to the retail industry. Traditional marketing has historically relied on a cookie-cutter strategy of building large stores and inventory, but that model of success is changing. Retailers must now employ strategies that are flexible, with a soft asset base than can adjust as consumers change pace. Big data is what makes it possible for retailers to identify these shifts in the industry.

Big data can identify the most valuable customer

There is a significant difference between a consumer who is casually engaged versus a consumer who is deeply engaged across multiple channels. The engaged consumer offers ten times the value, and big data allows retailers to transition from the mindset of making a sale versus participating in the life of their consumers. By detecting how, when, where, what, and by whom purchases are being made, marketing can be targeted to the consumers that are most valuable. Once you have identified your peak target market, you can focus your marketing dollars more effectively.

Big data can result in disciplined marketing.

Any company has the capacity to funnel their marketing dollars as appropriate, if they are maximizing their ROIC. Big data has demonstrated that traditional media outlets are no longer premium advertising opportunities. Social media platforms are where most consumers convene on a regular basis, and the movement is easily trackable. Retailers can identify exactly what their advertising spending ROI is on social media platforms, which is much harder to achieve with traditional marketing methods.

How can you capitalize on big data?

Big data significantly diminishes the risks associated with spending. You can establish an inventory at a pop-up location with preemptive ideas of what consumers are looking for that is based on reliable information. A brand can define itself based on values that customers are searching for, with an excellent product from a consistent organization. Of course, the trick is in effectively capturing that data. Large data sets can be extremely difficult to decipher and apply towards a beneficial strategy.

ASGedge has helped more than 70 specialty retailers control costs, streamline business operations, and maximize profit potential in their stores. By automatically capturing collected data, a retailer can easily improve performance with targeted strategies based on consumer information. Big data is an essential tool, but how you take advantage of the available information is up to you.

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