Expert Interview with Alexis Lecanuet, Executive Partner and Managing Director of Accenture Seamless Retail Services:
How can OmniChannel Retailers beat Pure Players?
The OmniChannel retailer has to be present in multiple channels and must provide a coherent customer experience across channels.
If the business model of an omnichannel retailer is to offer the cheapest price, then they can’t compete with pure players as consumers can check price comparison websites.
The store has monthly rent, salaries for store associates and other related investments to operate the store. If the store offers the same price as their pureplay competitors, then they won’t survive!
Retailers should focus on differentiated service and experience such as providing high quality in-store service, installation service, after-sales service, shopping experience that consumers can’t do in front of their screen, product testing, great ambiance in the store, trendy interior design, and many more.
How can retailers combat showrooming?
Showrooming is a real phenomenon but retailers shouldn’t pay much attention to it.
One way to beat it is to provide Click & Collect service in which consumers can have their orders right away.
Another solution is to embrace showroomers and offer them the same price offered online or from pure players.
3 key elements to increase retail sales
1- Retailers should implement a customer-centric business strategy.
2- Retailers must use technology to be able to know what their customers want even before they do. This technology is referred to as retail customer analytics.
3- Retailers must be OmniChannel to be able to serve their customers anywhere, anytime, anyhow and in any device.
How can retailers be Customer-Centric?
According to Accenture Seamless Retail Study of French consumers, 40% are willing to pay 5€ or less for the same-day delivery and 32% would go for the best price regardless of the delivery date.
Therefore, there are two types of customers – premium and basic. High-end customers would be willing to pay more in exchange for a premium customer service and immediate delivery in the next 4 hours. The second type of customers would want the lowest and best price but they don’t care about customer service and a 2-week delivery.
Retailers must take into consideration the different types of customers and offer services according to their needs.
How can retailers have Customer Insight?
As mentioned in Part I, the third most important transversal capability is Customer Insight. Retailers must be able to offer the right product at the right price, at the right time, at the right place to the right customer.
Retailers can have Customer Insight by means of loyalty cards. When you do your grocery at the supermarket, they know exactly your shopping cart database, whether you’re buying high-end, best-value, premium, high-tech, fashion or discount products. Based on the analysis of your grocery history, retailers will propose personalized discount vouchers corresponding to your profile and shopping cart history.
Is there a platform that can analyse customer information in real-time?
MAXXING provides omnichannel, realtime, loyalty, sales promotion and customer relationship management solution. It’s a software platform that analyses customer profile, shopping basket history, and cross-reference them with product offerings whether at the cash register, e-commerce site, mobile, store or call center. It’s the only omnichannel solution that provides personalised offerings to customers in real-time.
Other ways to increase sales in the store?
Retailers often allocate 2-5% of their turnover for marketing and sales investments including print catalogues, coupons and discount vouchers to customers.
There are 3 objectives for organizing promotional activities:
1. To recruit new customers
2. To drive customers into the stores
3. To maximize basket size
Providing recipes to shoppers who are in the supermarket is an effective way to increase shopping basket size; not only will they buy one item but will also purchase 5 other ingredients that go with it.
Printing catalogues is a huge investment. Several retailers attempted to reduce the print; however sales decreased enormously so they continued to print catalogues and even increased the quantity!
Would it be possible to send the catalogue instead on mobile?
Catalogues usually have 200-1000 references. We can’t send 1000 products on the phone unless the retailer knows well its customers. At the moment, there’s no inexpensive solution to replace prints.
What’s the future of retail?
“Easy-to-shop” and “Customer-Centric” retail.
The retailer is the shopper’s assistant providing them good service and good price.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 275,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$28.6 billion (€20.7 billion) for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2013.
Interviewer and author: Stephany Gochuico