Offering a personalized service requires identification of customers as soon as they walk in the store, but only 37% of retailers are able to identify their customers before checkout.
Author Archive for: kmorris
About Ken Morris
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Entries by Ken Morris
The retail industry is in the midst of a retail renaissance as we move from the ‘olden days’ of a person walking in to a store to simply purchase a commodity, into a new technologically advanced era where artificial intelligence helps customers make informed purchasing decisions leveraging associate or customer facing technology along with augmented reality that enables them to view products on their body or virtually in their homes.
Today, Amazon extended its physical store presence with a totally new concept. Amazon 4-star is a new physical store where everything for sale is rated 4 stars and above, is a top seller, or is new and trending on Amazon.com. Nothing is off limits for Amazon and they continue to surprise us with new ventures.
While there hasn’t been a big push for large apparel retailers to offer custom-sized clothing yet, as made-to-measure startups like Indochino, eShakti and Sumissura gain traction, that will likely change. Today’s consumers expect personalized services and products that are one-of-a-kind. With custom-tailored and designed garments now offered at a fraction of historical bespoke clothing prices, it has created a lucrative niche.
Network bandwidth is becoming a bottleneck and retail applications are not performing efficiently. It has become so bad at some organizations, that retail store operations personnel refer to the network as the “not-work.” BRP published “The Future Retail Network Manifesto” to articulate our vision of the future store and identify the challenges and imperatives retailers face in delivering the expected customer experience.
I recently had the chance to comment on an Honoring Women discussion on Retail Wire about outstanding women in the retail industry and company cultures that support their success. It was an interesting article to read and contemplate, especially in light of recent headline-making articles on misogyny and sexism in politics and the movie-making industry.
As technology continues to advance and consumers change the way they shop, the customer experience also needs to evolve. The key is that it is all about the customer. Convenience and reducing frustration and aggravation are key priorities for most consumers.
Omni-channel retailing is – or should be – changing the way retailers evaluate their business performance. Same-store sales have been the key metric utilized to measure a retailer’s health for many years but this metric only measures the traffic in the physical store without understanding the influence brick-and-mortar has on e-commerce or vice versa.
While automation and robots can be a good way to cut overall costs, there is a fine line as to where it makes sense to deploy. Operationally, RFID technology can automate inventory/cycle counts, augmented reality can help with merchandising and floor sets, and blockchain technology can be used to prove authenticity of a luxury good.
Nordstrom Local is the latest new twist on the trend for smaller store footprints and limited to no inventory. Many consumers are beginning to think of stores as showrooms and use them to try on or test products in person and then order online from the comfort of their home or anywhere from their mobile device.
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We are a comprehensive consulting firm helping many of the most successful retailers and restaurant operators solve their business and technology problems. We focus on three key areas: IT strategy, vendor selection and project implementation.