Garth Meier, Business Development Manager at Africa, Wipro Limited

Like their international counterparts, South
African retailers would traditionally run specials where discounts or ‘two for
the price of one’ offers are given for a period of between a few days and a few
weeks, normally relating to a particular season or event (like the oncoming
winter, or Valentines’ Day approaching, or an oversupply in certain fresh
produce) – with the goal to attract bursts of retail activity, accelerate stock
turnover, and to clear unwanted inventory. 



But these cyclical, long lead-time strategies are soon to be a relic of the
past. We’re now on the cusp of an era where Retailers will dynamically adjust
prices in real-time, dynamically reconfigure and personalise Loyalty programme,
and dynamically adjust their supply-chain operations to handle new customer
demand.

The common thread, as you may have noticed, is ‘dynamism’. Physical retailers
are rapidly extending into a multi¬channel world, increasingly integrating the
experiences and finding ways to leverage the strengths of each channel, getting
them to work in harmony. This digital integration is opening up a new world of
Retail opportunities:

Dynamic pricing
With online price-check services and the ease of buying similar products from
anywhere in the world, the digital era brings an increased scrutiny on
retailers. By using systems that continually scan competitors’ digital stores,
a retailer will be able to dynamically set prices to always under-cut their
peers. 

Dynamic pricing engines also incorporate more subtle factors like price
elasticity modules, KVI modules (the extent to which a product affects overall
consumer price perception of the retailer) and omnichannel modules (to
coordinate pricing across each touch point).

Dynamically optimise perishable inventory 
Almost every kind of retail player has to deal with the concept of perishable
inventory. It may be the last remaining seats on a plane flight, the fresh food
or bakery products that need to be sold before the end of the day, the excess
fuel that refineries produce, or electronics goods that slowly depreciate in
value. 

By using Analytics to better understand these margins, retailers can eliminate
waste and reduce working capital by sourcing the right quantities of goods at
the right time. Here, dynamic pricing can also be smartly used to trim down
perishable inventory as far as possible.

Dynamism in Loyalty programmes
As retailers build richer datasets about their customers, the algorithms that
govern Loyalty programmes can become far more personalised and reactive to the
real-time demands of both the customer and the store. So, if a consumer
indicates an interest in getting fit and starts buying numerous sports and
athletic goods, the retailer can integrate fitness into her personalised
Loyalty programme.

On the other hand, if a retailer is struggling to move a large quantity of
electric fans, as the summer months fade, they can be rapidly incorporated into
many customers’ Loyalty programmes to boost sales and overcome the perishable
inventory problem outlined above.

Dynamic marketing
Retailers are quickly shifting from the mass advertising published in the
Sunday papers, towards more digitised, more personalised, and definitely more
dynamic marketing. Tomorrow’s winning retailers will take advantage of
increasingly sophisticated algorithms and predictive modelling that ingests
transactional data, loyalty programme data, as well as digital media trends
(such as the hottest topics on social media).

Dynamism in the check-out
The actual point-of-purchase is one of the most defining moments in any retail
experience. It’s normally the final engagement that you have with the store and
its staff, and it tends to leave a lasting impression. It’s here that digital
can help to reduce friction, with new digital capabilities like contactless
payments, self-checkout, checkouts by roaming staff armed with tablets or
smartphones. 

In fact, the Digital revolution has made the checkout experience far more
dynamic than that. Now, the point of purchase has been diffused across a myriad
of online and mobile touch points, payment gateways, and soon even as embedded
transactional features within popular social networks.

Emerging fields like cognitive learning and artificial intelligence will only
serve to make this ‘digital dynamism’ more central to Retail executives’
strategies in the future. Shoppers will demand ever-higher levels of
personalisation, service, choice and security. Catering for all these needs,
for every shopper that engages with the retailer, across every touch point,
will make the Retail game an extremely dynamic one in the years to come.

 

Source: Fastmoving