In the face of deeper integration of technology in all aspects of the modern life, the role of physical stores within the retail industry has significantly changed. To capitalize upon the opportunities arising from digital disruption rather than being marginalized by them, many retailers are looking to the latest cloud platforms and SaaS applications for planning to connect their business and get closer to their customers.
So let’s explore the changing role of the physical store and the benefits your retail operation could realize by moving to the cloud.
Historically, the bricks and mortar store has been a literal ‘one-stop-shop’ for consumers looking to purchase certain brands and products, but now retailers are having to reassess the position of in-person experiences and commerce in the wider context of retail. Online shopping, connected experiences, omnichannel engagement and a consumer base with easier access to a wider choice of goods and pricing have placed a new importance on the in-store experience.
Weighing up the benefits of in-store vs. online is not an either/or choice for retailers. The key lies in creating digital experiences that are connected to the in-store presence and converting declining footfalls into an increase in the acquisition of e-commerce customers. Today we are seeing retailers who have traditionally only had an online presence now opening physical stores, such is the need to have a physical presence to cater for the demands of the modern consumer. Likewise, other retailers are closing a number of physical stores while making significant gains in e-commerce and maintaining revenue projections and targets.
There is a need to readdress the success criteria for physical stores, and tie that into the results seen online. Many brands that have closed stores have also seen their e-commerce performance suffer, so it is not simply a case of picking one over the other and scrutinizing their traffic and sales figures in isolation.
Having the digital infrastructure to connect with an increasingly discerning consumer base and build an accurate picture of your customers’ habits and behaviors will be crucial to creating experiences that are timely, appropriate, connected and deliver the desired outcome for retailer and consumer alike.
Informing that system needs to be data from stores, e-commerce platforms, industry trends, and customer engagement across all channels. The more you can predict behavior—both in-store and online—the better you can manage stock levels and distribution and maximize the return on your physical footprint by tailoring the in-store experiences to what customers seek to gain from their visits.
Developing a digital arm of your retail business to mitigate declining footfall is not the only benefit of technological transformation. There are a number of efficiency savings that come from moving operations to a SaaS model, as well as a greater opportunity for continual innovation through the integration of new and emerging technologies on a cloud platform.
To help retailers understand how much they can save on their operating costs and the amount by which they can increase profits by moving to a SaaS model, Oracle Retail has developed a Cloud Planning Solutions benefits calculator.
By entering a few simple details about your business, such as revenue figures, you can instantly see how much your business could save by moving your retail planning solution to the cloud.
The benefits calculator will show you savings results in these areas:
When you use the calculator, you will be provided a download of your own custom report based on the business information supplied and also gain access to further resources including videos, blogs, guidebooks, infographics and more on retail cloud planning.