In this ever-changing retail environment coupled with soaring customer expectations, the implementation of fruitful strategies will be the key for retailers. Through their retail operations, retailers will look to provide the best they can to meet all customer needs and demands. The objective for all retailers is quite similar – increase revenue by expediting sales and establish long term customer loyalty. For retailers to achieve this, they should be mindful of the various things that might work in their favor. Here is a look at three strategies that retailers should absolutely consider including in their overall modern day retail operations.
The Importance of Dynamic Pricing
We all know how important it is for brands and retailers to get their pricing strategy right. More so now as e-commerce has had such an enormous impact on consumers globally. Now, customers prefer online because of various incentives they offer such as ease, variety, convenience, etc. But initially, online retail gained traction because of its’ innate ability to offer dynamic pricing to customers. Lowering prices accordingly by perceiving the customer’s ability to pay is what online giants like Amazon and Flipkart did very well. This made it easy for them to establish customer loyalty.
Although convenience is one of the primary reasons for people to shop online today, it is slightly different for retail across all channels. According to a survey by PWC, pricing dictated decisions for around two thirds of shoppers. Low price continues to win across all channels. Retailers, especially offline ones to achieve customer loyalty and better compete with online retailers, must resort to dynamic pricing. The following illustration shows how low price still wins across all channels.
Proper Store Associates still significant for shoppers
Brick-and-Mortar retailers should realize that there is still a lot of place for customer service in retail today. E-commerce provides a lot of variety and convenience while shopping online, but offline retailers too have exclusive opportunities to cash in on. Most offline retailers focus on attaining the latest of technologies to offer a one of a kind in-store experience to their customers. The emphasis is to create the modern day smart store. There is nothing wrong in it really. But they should also consider the other opportunities that they have in their arsenal.
Customers do value the overall ambience of the store. But they also value interactivity. In a physical store, customers have the option and liberty to interact with products and items. This is one advantage that offline retailers will always have over online. Customers will always appreciate the presence of qualified and knowledgeable store associates to enhance this interactivity. Store/sales associates don’t just provide guidance & the necessary insights to the customers, but also adds to their overall in-store experience. Customers who are satisfied with the inputs of the associates are likely to return to the store. Thus, store associates go a long way in achieving customer loyalty. The following illustration tells us that although the ambience does matter for customers, they have a different affinity for sales associates.
Address the speed of delivery
With the lines blurring between physical and digital, offline retailers have also started shipping products to the customers’ home. But just offering this mere service is not going to be enough. The pace or speed at which it is being delivered should also be addressed. Whether it’s online retail or offline, customers expect fast shipping. Now how soon is fast for customers? Well, as per a recent study conducted by Deloitte, 96% of consumers in the US feel that same day delivery and next day delivery is ‘fast shipping’. 92% of them feel that delivery made within two days is fast. Consider the following graph.
Thus, same day delivery is the need of the hour for the customers. This can be further validated by a survey conducted by Ampersand. According to the survey, 52% of the consumers in the UK favor next day delivery than any other option, provided it was offered at a price they could pay. Thus, the cost they are willing to pay to enjoy the service is nominal. Retailers should look to make same day/next day shipping available to customers at the most affordable rates. Now how they manage to do this remains to be seen, because same day shopping can prove to be quite expensive. But it’s for sure that retailers, whether online or offline, will be at an advantage if they can successfully address the speed at which they deliver goods to their customers.