As we kick off 2021, consumer shopping habits remain unpredictable. Retailers should create resiliency in their operations. In an illuminating presentation at NRF, Rose Spicer, Oracle global marketing executive, walks through 7 Resolutions for Retailers by combining insights from our 2020 Anatomy of Change Consumer Research study.
Consumers need to feel safe as they shop. Above all else, it's about protecting people, not just consumers but also the associates. How can retailers think about the overall experience? Oracle Retail's recent consumer research showed 82% of consumers feel protected when there are apparent cleaning efforts in-store. Moreover, 66% of consumers responded that they prefer contactless checkout options. Balancing safety with the speed of service is a vital necessity for retailers as they brave today's shopping climate.
How do you attract consumers and maintain loyalty? Speed of service may entail getting creative with fulfillment. The pandemic left many retailers with a need to address sudden online shopping surges. ABC Fine Wine & Spirits saw a 2,000% YoY increase in ecommerce sales between early spring and mid-summer and addressed the spike with retail omnichannel technology. Sean Kelly, vice president and chief marketing officer of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, spoke to us and noted, "Overnight, the operations needed to change and react to consumer demand safely. We took an all-hands-on-deck approach. We didn't have time to research the details of the perfect curbside model. We had to test and try and refine as we went along. Sometimes you just have to get moving and do it." On top of fulfilling orders, the company demonstrated safety as their highest priority, resulting in a new, loyal customer base.
Sally Beauty Holdings saw increased demand as they dealt with over 10,000 curbside orders. They kept their service levels down to less than 20 minutes to fulfill orders and serve all customers. Because of implementing modern retail technology such as Order Broker Cloud Service and a modern point of sale system, they could execute and work with our consulting team to fulfill those orders.
Retailers need to think differently about how to execute and fulfill new demand. Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. Just get started to make sure not to miss that moment.
Consumers are discovering new brands. 82% of consumers discovered store-owned brands/private labels during shortages in the grocery store. Moreover, one in four of those consumers plan to stick with these new brands in their entirety, providing grocers an opportunity to drive private label demand, especially during shortages.
48% of consumers are also discovering new fashion and specialty brands via social media. Whether big or small, retailers should get their brand in front of people to maintain loyalty and not lose consumers to replacement brands.
Communication is critical to loyalty and customer service. 73% of the global consumers say that granular tracking of their delivery status is essential. As consumers maintain high expectations for availability and delivery speed, inventory transparency and clear deadlines, especially for holiday-timed shipping, will help retailers achieve a positive customer experience.
If a retailer is out of stock of a particular item, most buyers will turn to an alternate store or retailer. This is true for both grocers and fashion retailers and is, in large part, why private label saw the surge it did. More than 63% of global consumers reported trying new stores to meet their needs for essential goods, and more than half plan to continue shopping at these new stores moving forward. Rethinking how to use stores as temporary fulfillment centers, for example, can help achieve accurate lists and, in turn, positive customer experiences.
Giant Eagle began using Oracle's modern retail technology to help scale amid massive demand surges. Likewise, C&A Mexico implemented Oracle Merchandising Systems to "…deliver the detail and scale [needed to] help ensure [they] are constantly offering customers fresh inventory and offers that keep them coming back." This foundation allowed C&A to perform with agility to react to changing consumer habits and demand fluctuations.
How do you turn browsers into buyers? Simply put: you get to know them. South African Retailer HomeChoice quickly implemented a top-down planning approach to gain insight and speed at all levels of their planning process with Oracle Retail technology. HomeChoice's planners were not only thrilled to have more control but relieved to have more visibility. Similarly, middle eastern retailer Al Nahdi began using Oracle Retail Science Cloud Service to generate predictive models that allowed them to project their guests' behavior better and serve them better.
It's no longer viable to wait to adopt technology that can help retailers too late. How quickly can you implement new technology? Implementation times are down to weeks or months compared to that of years in the past. Gap Inc., for example, is always at the forefront of technology adoption. Wanting to meet the needs of their customers continually, they adopted Oracle Retail Cloud Services to maintain a consistent and modern merchandising platform to drive significant productivity. Gap Inc. continued movement by taking their learnings and applying it to multiple facets of the company, such as Banana Republic and INTERMIX, and moved their technology internationally. Sporting retailer, SCHEELS, is another example of stepping up to the plate and getting started. Completing implementation in just five months, SCHEELS honed the customer experience and reduced long-term IT costs.
By being proactive and taking action through modern retail technology, retailers can be on the front lines of changing shopping habits and demands to serve consumers better. Get started today.