Air Superiority and a Strong Ground Game Wins the Retail Battle

Battle?  Aren’t we talking business here? With all the new normal and virus economics discussions, we may have lost sight of Retail’s epic winner-take-all battles for consumers and market share.  The landscape has shifted in a short period of time.  Many firms that previously were on the high ground now find themselves in a self-imposed Maginot Line of trying to defend their existing share when they should be going on the attack, focusing on air power (eCommerce and Personalized Live Video) and a sweeping ground attack (local delivery service) as evidenced by the standard-bearer Amazon. Amazon is continuing to innovate and reconnoiter the use of defunct anchor tenant stores to penetrate regional malls as inventory hubs, retail outlets and pick up facilities.  Setting up retail and fulfillment centers in neighborhoods allows Amazon to position fast-moving inventory ever closer to consumers and promise hourly deliveries rather than day(s).  How are you going to defend against this onslaught? 

Defense: Retail’s Best Offense

Well, you could capitulate and put all your products on Amazon and take advantage of their infrastructure.  I think we’ve seen this movie, it works for some, but earning “milk money” margins doesn’t work for most retailers.  You could get aggressive and double down on getting smarter and getting more personal with your consumers.  Yep, seen this movie too, so how do you propose we do that?

What were all those employees you furloughed doing?  What could they have been doing, selling!  How do you execute live video selling at scale? Use store employees either from home or from stores to curate personal assortments and video chat directly with customers.  Consumers, using a combination of your eComm site and mobile app, create a shared cart or pre-shop list used for live consulting either from the store, using live product assortment, or through a personalized webstore.  Leverage CRM and predictive analytics to supplement the list.  To finalize the sale, use your BOPIS technology and shared cart.  Pick and pack from the store and schedule local delivery using firms such as Instacart and Roadie.  Target orders to be delivered to the customer the same day and within hours.

Yeah, I hear all the but, but, buts …. I get it, and it’s hard. More than a few companies are already using live streaming to enhance the shopping experience, and software vendors offer cloud-based video punch-out capabilities.  If you want to survive, you’ve got to get off the beach!  

Your Retail Battle Plan

Let’s discuss getting a Plan together:

  • OMNI – How mature are your customer flows and data integrations?
  • Leverage predictive AI and CRM to enhance curation
  • Employee Scheduling App to schedule hours, reserve video sessions
  • Mobile Shared Cart and Pre-Shipping List integrated with eCommerce Shopping Cart
  • Customer Pre-Order App and Video Session Reservation App integrated with eCommerce Personalized Webstore tied to Customer/Cart
  • Delivery Service such as Instacart and Roadie, delivery in hours

At Cyber Group, we understand Retail and Customer flows and the architecture to support them.  Our approach combines the ability to take advantage of today’s technological landscape, maximize your current investment in technology, and, where appropriate, augment your opportunities with customized development and tailored support in a cost-advantageous model. 

Written by Bill Melvin, VP of Retail

 Bill Melvin is a Retail specialist and a seasoned CIO with extensive executive and hands-on experience.  As VP of Retail for Cyber Group, Bill focuses on the transformational trends impacting our client’s operations, including the design and development of technical strategies, OmniChannel implementations, as well as strategic roadmap planning and execution.  

Give him a call to explore these ideas further!