Posted by Indusa Admin on July 27, 2015 6:12 am
The retail industry is in a state of continuous metamorphosis. Retailers are becoming more global, while dealing with an increasing number of sales channels and logistics alternatives. Software systems, like enterprise resource planning (ERP), help retail organizations utilize modern technologies to support a more collaborative model that enables them to work better with various stakeholders and improve customer satisfaction. IDC predicts that by 2017, three times as many retailers will succeed in explicitly pinning their customer and operations strategies on third-party platform technologies.
Customers around the world have varied tastes and shopping patterns, depending on various cultural and environmental factors. Implementing ERP software uniformly across regions can prove detrimental to business; it does not serve the purpose of meeting specific customer needs and can result in limited sales. According to a Nucleus research report Technology value matrix first half 2014 ERP, “as the ERP market matures, the term ERP has almost become a misnomer, now reflective of supporting the core pillars of business — finance and accounting, supply chain, customers, and human resources — extend far beyond the traditional ERP definition and technology footprint to include embedded analytics, content and collaboration capabilities, and other innovations. Personalized retail services make a huge difference to customers; retail services that are tailor-made to suit the distinct requirements of customers worldwide lead to happy and loyal customers.”
Retail organizations conduct their operations through a multitude of channels. In an effort to augment transparency within their operations and across channels, retailers are looking for ways to improve customer management and create a unified customer experience. In order to retain existing customers and attract new ones, it is imperative for organizations to personalize their retail strategies.
Ensure Message Consistency
When customers experience inconsistent messages through different channels from a particular retailer, it can cause confusion and frustration. Transmitting consistent customer-facing messages can build a truly personalized customer relationship.
Additionally, it is also important for retail organizations to engage with the same tone and voice. A good ERP system ensures that the messaging is consistent across various customer touch points, irrespective of the channel, which can also increase sales.
Avoid Price Confusion
Price confusion is a pain point that often annoys the customer and affects the reliability quotient of the retail organization. Imagine a situation where the customer comes across a voucher online that mentions a 40% discount on a particular product. However, when the customer reaches the shop, he realizes that the product carries only a 20% discount. This creates confusion in the mind of the customer and leads to frustration. Such mix-up can also end up in losses for the organization. Consider a scenario where a retail organization looks to put old merchandise on discount and at the same time sell fresh stock. The planning team sends discount details to the stores, but forgets to mention the time period for the discounted products. In the absence of clear instructions, the store manager ends up putting all the merchandise on discount, including the fresh stock, thereby causing huge losses to the retail organization. An ERP system that formulates unvarying pricing strategies using accurate data can result in more efficiency and profitability.
Incorporate Real-time Data
One of the biggest reasons for a dissatisfied customer is the presence of old and outdated data. In a world where everything happens at lightning-fast speed, having retail data that is obsolete can result in dissatisfied customers. An efficient ERP system that consolidates and broadcasts real-time data results in a truly personalized experience for customers. A good ERP system will help organizations understand and analyze the fluctuating customer needs and wants, thereby offering alternate products that satisfy his requirements and promote loyalty.
Obtain Holistic View of Customer
Regardless of the channel that the customer chooses to use to approach an organization, a well-integrated ERP system within the organization has the ability to combine all contact points together and provide a holistic view of the customer. Important aspects like customer requirements, buying behavior, factors that affect his behavior, and a customer’s payment history allow organizations to gain useful insight into customer purchasing patterns. This helps organizations devise strategies and create the best possible personalized experience, leading to customer delight.
The influx of the Internet and success of online shopping prompts customers to quickly shift preferences. Creating personalized shopping experiences for customers that meet specific customer needs leads to immense customer loyalty. An organization that effectively creates a customized shopping experience has higher probability of attracting and retaining customers. In order to achieve this, organizations must integrate a good ERP system that ensures a consistent message across channels, up-to-date organizational information, and provides a holistic view of the customer. A retailer that achieves this is sure to realize unparalleled success within their enterprise and with customers.
About the Author – Neha Kumar
Neha Kumar is a digital media evangelist and marketing professional. She overlooks Indusa’s content management, social media, online events, email marketing, blogs, digital campaigns, lead generation and inside sales activities on a broader scale.