We may have heard stories that technology will disrupt the retail business. As we search deeper, we see that the change isn’t happening by just a single technology. Rather, it is happening by using technology to develop each process in the industry. The operations are expected to gradually embrace innovation in the near future or around 2020. In all, change will occur from the production sector all the way to the buyers and this will alter old solutions for stores in the retail industry.
On-Demand Shopping and Service: When shopping is just a fingertip away.
The advancement of internet and logistics brought about e-commerce, it has become an option for shopping in the last decade. However, upon the rise of the mobile device, on-demand services originated and gave customers quick access to services via smartphones. Examples are ride-hailing services wherein users can identify the type of car that can be available for users almost instantly or hotel and ticket booking that receives payment instantly, ordering food from places with no delivery service, and even booking handyman or housekeepers that can arrive at your doorstep.
The combination of e-commerce and on-demand services is causing retails stores to adapt to on-demand shopping, as customers have already welcomed these services. Not only with consumer goods, but this is also an opportunity for niche products to reach target customers. As retail stores begin to offer more on-demand shopping and services becomes better, consumer behavior also adopts to the convenience, therefore, it brings about mandatory changes for the stores.
On-demand shopping and service need new solutions that are precise to support enormous online transactions such as stocks management, store management, and logistics. Retail stores moving to the online market need to quickly get acquainted with these tools.
Solutions from Deep Tech: Advance technology disrupting retail operations.
New solutions in the retail industry will not exist without the support of new technologies. Today, Deep Technology is also prevalent in the retail sector. Here are some examples of Deep Tech that has completely disrupted the industry.
- Disrupting the whole chain with Blockchain. This technology is considered to be the future of the internet as it has great capabilities to store information. An example is the use of Blockchain to store data of the supply chain wherein everyone can access. This solution is now available in the food industry with great results (read more here) and has the tendency to be applied to other products.
- Get deeper insights using Big Data. As the retail industry expand the sales channels to the internet, it resulted in an enormous amount of transaction data. Although, storing data is not a new thing, but they were never efficiently used. The data was so large to even finish analyzing them within the limited time of the marketing campaign. However, Big Data and AI can quickly analyze large amounts of data so they are able to simplify results for marketers, thus, market planning is easier and more precise.
- New service by AI. AI can create new customer experiences like never before. For instance, they can suggest products from behavior, age, spending per time, and type of product purchase at a time of day. Also, Augmented Reality can simulate product usage such as trying on clothes via a camera while AI can be a sales representative that serves customers 24/7. All these abilities have highly affected the workforce in the retail industry, especially regarding the skills needed to prepare for the change.
Global CRM: Customer relations in a borderless world.
A couple of years back, solutions like Customer Relation Management or CRM was bringing success to large corporates and enterprises by reaching customers and gaining insights for product development. Today, as the internet prevails, consumers learn languages for online transactions and they access products and services from around the world. Therefore, CRM that is confined to one territory no longer proves to be sufficient for businesses to succeed, hence, originated Global CRM.
The strength of Global CRM is the ability to collect data from around the world at one time. This is different from traditional CRM that can only collect data by country or region because of factors such as language or government regulations that limit access to information. Thus, for traditional CRM to collect data from every region, it requires high adaptations which waste more time and resource. For this reason, Global CRM is becoming more popular with a high market value. Also, it requires Deep Tech such as AI, Cloud Computing, and Big Data to support operations in the future.
We hope that you now have a better idea of what is disrupting the retail industry. It is both an opportunity and challenge for retail corporates worldwide, including Thailand. Where is the change heading? We will keep you posted.