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The Visible Value Blog

All Hail the Consumer: Why Convenience is Key

Posted by Zebra EMEA

July 31, 2014 at 4:18 AM

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The new consumer DNA

We now live in an age where the consumer DNA has changed. Consumers are now time poor and information rich and retailers have to ‘bow down’ to them, fulfilling their every need before they venture elsewhere.

Today’s consumers not only have more power, but they also shop differently. They read reviews and compare prices online. They want to see merchandise on the shelves of your store, as well as the ability to order now and collect in store, and the ability to order now and get their goods delivered home. They expect to find what they’re looking for, whatever they’re looking for… and if they don’t, they will go elsewhere. Meeting this demand for convenience is crucial to your business success, but it brings about challenges, too. 

One of these challenges is understanding current-day supply and demand. In a 2013 Pierhouse survey of 250 consumers, 91% (the number one reason) admitted that they would leave a store if they couldn’t find what they were looking for. Although ‘bricks and mortar’ stores worry that e-retailers and showrooming – where customers try things on in store and then buy online – will take over, the truth is that there are customers out there, in physical stores, with their wallet open and have time to spend buying what they really want. Simply adapting, meeting and exceeding the needs of consumers will ensure that they stay in store.

 

The evolution of click and collect

Another challenge is the monitoring of customer behaviour. With needs and demands constantly changing, expectations need to be acknowledged and predicted in a timely manner. For example, when retailers launched their Click & Collect service and located it within the store, it failed – because consumers didn’t want to go into the store to just pick up shopping. Now, retailers have listened to the consumers by bringing the click and collect service to the car park – convenience.

Take the French supermarket chain, Leclerc, for example. It has more than 65 drive-through stores, enabling shoppers to order online – 24/7 – and collect 12 hours a day at a designated time by simply driving up to the kiosk and confirming their order. Staff will even place items directly into the boot of the car.

Companies like Leclerc are succeeding in today’s marketplace, because they offer an unrivalled level of convenience to their customers. They’re also prepared for customer demand, and are able to provide the products they say they will, when they say they will.

 

Technology for a smarter inventory

With RFID technology, combined with local knowledge and demographics forecasting, (for example, if there’s a baby boom in your city, there will be a higher demand for nappies – in a retirement hotspot, there won’t), you’ll have greater visibility of stock you’ll need. You’ll be able to create the ultimate smart inventory for stock in store and online, as well as click and collect purchases – all in one place.

Adapting to the new customer DNA and having the product available will be one more reason for the consumer to stay in your store.

What are the difficulties that you face when bowing down to your customers? Click here to find out how we could help you solve them, or you could visit our Virtual World to see how Zebra has the perfect solution for you.

Topics: Supply Chain, RFID, Retail, Visible Value Chain, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA