In the past week, The Festival of Retail Ideas created a buzz in the retail industry. Over the course of several days, the action packed conference hosted national and international speakers sharing revealing insights into retail trade and valuable knowledge on every aspect of retail.
Speakers had been inspiring; however Jerry Macey (CommBank) and the panel following, caught our attention speaking on Innovation and disruption in Retail. He gave some great insights on innovation and pinpointed the aspects retailers should focus on. Here is what we took away from the talk and the panel:
- Innovation is not all about the advanced whiz-bang technology
Don’t use technology just for the sake of using technology or because it is the buzz word. Retail technology must address customer needs first.
- Retailers should be focused on simple solutions that put customers at the center of any technology and innovation decisions
Successful retailers will be the ones that simply provide their customers with the tools and features to create a seamless customer experience from browsing online to shopping in-store.
- Retailers must make themselves relevant to their customers
Focus on innovating well to or risk losing relevance with your customers.
- Retailers must be able to empathise with their customers
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes to be able to understand what they like/dislike/want.
- Fulfill their expectations
Customer expectations set the bar for customer satisfaction. If you don’t meet or exceed their expectations, your customers will go elsewhere and won’t come back.
- Disruptors only disrupt to solve a problem
They are 2.9 times more likely to get feedback from customers than resistors/adopters – because they want to produce something new, more efficient and worthwhile.
Last but not least, Macey mentioned that innovation can be everything from large change to incremental adjustments within organisations. He also mentioned Oslo Manual 2005* distinguishing four types of innovation: product innovation, process innovation, marketing innovation and organisational innovation.
- Product innovation
A good or service that is new or significantly improved. This includes significant improvements in technical specifications, components and materials, incorporated software, user friendliness or other functional characteristics.
- Process innovation
A new or significantly improved production or delivery method. This includes significant changes in techniques, equipment and/or software.
- Marketing innovation
A new marketing method involving significant changes in product design or packaging, product placement, product promotion or pricing.
- Organisational innovation
A new organisational method in the firm’s business practices, workplace organisation or external relations.
Either way, the presentation was interesting and reinforced the importance of putting the customer at the center of the innovation decision making process and prioritizing customer experience. The key is the customers’ journey – delivering a seamless customer experience across all channels. Innovation and retail technology must be about the people and for the people. Therefore, customer experience needs to be at the forefront of any retailer’s mind.
With the customer centric approach in mind, stockinstore™ is a great example of innovation making purchasing easier for customers. Here is how:
- stockinstore™ means you always have the right product, in front of the right customer at the right time.
- Customers know what they want when they enter a store. The statistics speak for themselves, 82% of consumers want to check availability of a product prior to visiting the store. stockinstore™ offers real time stock visibility.
- stockinstore™ was designed to give customers the information they need to make a decision to purchase online or in store. That’s why stockinstore™ helps retailers convert online at 5x the industry standard.
stockinstore™ is a ready-made stock availability platform implemented in 2 weeks on any e-commerce platform that will improve sales instore and online.
Get in touch now to find out how stockinstore™ can help you sell more and drive foot traffic into stores.
*Eurostat (2005), Oslo Manual: Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data, 3rd Edition, OECD Publishing, Paris