After lockdown …. what next?
Sweating out existing technology, expecting customers to return to their old ways of shopping will not be an option in the aftermath of Covid-19. Retailers need to be quick on the draw to respond to this new era. Customers have had time on their hands to browse or shop online and I believe there will be a dynamic change in the way they custom shop, bringing more challenges and competition for your market share. This is going to be an exciting time to use technology at its best to sustain and grow your business.
It’s not a time to miss opportunities. Many retailers have centralised data for information, and put tools in place to support product plans, stock optimisation and customer intelligence. However, few have thought about moving beyond these measures, but make no mistake, the retailers who have will be the winners in the race for market share.
Everyone is talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) but how many retailers are utilising this incredible technology?
Very few I think – which is short sighted. Argility has a super intelligent affordable solution to support retailers in this quest, called PredictRetail. It is based on predefined data learning models – where data has been trained to correlate and thus provide meaningful information linked to a situation, supported by data-science (using scientific methods, processes, and machine learning algorithms), specifically focused on retail business goals. The Argility team has harnessed years of retail solution experience with the goal of extracting information and thereby provide realistic and usable analytics to solve business problems more efficiently and effectively.
Retailers can use data to gain valuable insights regarding stock demand, and customer analytics. This will enable businesses to become more customer centric with personalised messages and focused product offerings which will be more likely to enhance customer interest and sales, through promotional and marketing activities. PredictRetail helps businesses to identify relationships between customers product transactions and services by analysing data and producing results that enable you to better predict supply and demand by identifying trends and hidden patterns. This will also empower you with optimum stock holding and enable you to release capital for use in other areas of your business.
South Africa tends to lag when it comes to implementation of some of these modern technologies, due to various obstacles such as – infrastructure, high cost of investment, skill sets and length of time to see ROI. However, this is not the time to dawdle. In today’s economic times this is often a hard decision to make but it is also very much in keeping with the old adage “snooze and you lose” – this is the time to act and outstrip the competition.