August 1st, 2021
Disrupting prescriptive and prejudiced models to enhance customers’ omnichannel experience
More than ever before, it has become imperative for retailers to give their customers a very good reason to come to their stores rather than take all their business to the online world. To maintain and enhance the advantages that their omnichannel offer brings to the end customer, retailers need to become places where customers WANT to go, rather than HAVE to go. Additionally, the continuing pressure on margins have been leading most retailers to transition to smaller, more focussed, stores. Among all this, how do you ensure that the customer wants to come to your stores.
How does a customer see your offering?
For decades, retailers have been internal or inward looking while determining their
- Categories of products
- The assortments and offers that they present to their customers
- The promotions they wish to offer within those categories
The products are categorised how they are purchased from their vendors, how they are stored and transported, and how they are managed within the company.
Let us take a grocery example. A grocer would normally have separate departments for poultry and fish. These departments are managed by different people in the business (The poultry and the fish buyers for example) and sourced from different vendors / farmers. They are negotiated, bought, transported, promoted and sold as say, poultry or fish.
However, a customer buying a ready meal, or looking for barbecue ready product, may select from a set of barbecue ready products (fish or meat) or a set of ready cooked meals (Again fish or meat). For the customer, the categories are ‘Ready Meals’ or ‘Barbecue Ready’. A customer isn’t going to switch from a ready to eat fish cutlet to a ‘ready to oven bake’ salmon, regardless of any promotions that are on offer.
Similarly TVs and Soundbars are traditionally different categories, but customers would normally seek to create a bundle purchase. Unless they are planned and promoted together, this customer offer cannot be created.
Traditional ERP and Planning systems continue to follow these prescriptive and prejudiced models. Indeed in some cases, retailers themselves decide what a customer decision tree must be for certain categories. So much for listening to the customer, putting the customer first etc. etc.
RETAILIGENCE cuts through existing prejudiced rule-based decision making. Using transaction data, we determine the correct product and store affinities to tailor assortments and offers to customer groups in different stores. Machine Learning continually evolves this Assortment 360 suite is one of Retailigence’s offerings which brings multiple solutions in a fully integrated Machine Learning suite which will help:
- Look at products and stores from the customer lens to Create store and product affinities
- Assort sharper and more effective mixes to maximise customer value
- Cut down the long tail of products and shift them to digital or vendor served assortment
- Optimise the space allocation and store flow to different categories based on customer shopping missions using syntactics based machine learning
- Design and deploy cross sell and upsell opportunities
- Monitor the effectiveness of the assortment and identify ranging and operational issues constantly
As a result, our clients benefit from:
- Sharper Assortments. Our clients found opportunities to reduce range by over 20% in certain cases even while increasing sales by 4-5%
- Upsell and Cross Sell recommendations customised to product, location and customer
- Reduced and focused promotions and markdowns
- Deeper definition and serving of customer missions in the store
- An effective omnichannel assortment and reduced stock levels
- A more engaging (as defined by data) store design.
- Freeing space from categories (while increasing sales) and introduction of services within stores (to make them more enjoyable) like cafes, children’s play areas, wine tasting areas etc.