Take a look through the top digital transformation strategies for tomorrow's leading retailers

As detailed in PSFK and Microsoft‘s Retail Trends Playbook 2020, data-driven technologies are essential for creating a differentiated shopper experience that is integrated throughout the store model. However, simply investing in a suite of solutions won’t instantly translate into success without first having a strategic vision in place.

The following key takeaways from the playbook's four major pillars highlight opportunities throughout the purchase path to apply AI technologies, helping decision makers strategize an end-to-end retail experience that is executed with integrity.

Know Your Customers
Largely a consequence of poor data collection capabilities, today’s brands and retailers struggle to deliver tangible personalization. By developing a 360-degree view of what customers need across channels, retailers can eventually provide anticipatory support before it's needed through the following tactics:

  • Go beyond transactional messaging by embedding meaningful experiences within the context of your marketing to help customers take action and achieve their goals.
  • Experiment with subscription-based models and proactive notifications to ascertain if these added value services are important to your customers.
  • Leverage end-to-end data visibility to gain real-time insights into product usage in order to strengthen shopper profiles and allow for greater personalization.
  • Determine what data to solicit from local shoppers, both online and in store, in order to tailor your inventory and even your products to each market

Empower Your Employees
Despite their attraction to digital modes of shopping, customers largely prefer interacting with human associates for immediate support and guidance. Here's how to equip employees with critical data readily, empowering them to handle any and all customer requests and effectively driving ROI:

  • Equip your in-store sales associates with digital tools that provide them with a profile of each shopper, including online order/browsing history, past purchases, etc, in order to offer more relevant recommendations.
  • Explore how partner technologies can be tailored to effectively address your employees’ most common and labor-intensive challenges.
  • Consider how data or information is displayed to ensure it's digestible and actionable for associates and managers.
  • Integrate AI into these platforms to proactively serve information or alerts and add an additional layer of analysis.
  • Augment the power of predictive algorithms with human thinkers, customer feedback and qualitative analysis to achieve more thorough, balanced forecasts.
  • Give associates hands-on training with tools and technologies that will be used in their day-to-day roles.

Enable An Intelligent Supply Chain
Supply chain management plays a behind-the-scenes, albeit strategic, role in how consumers receive or purchase their product as well as the products they are able purchase. Here's how stores need to leverage intelligent supply chain strategies to ensure availability of the right products, at the right time to every customer:

  • Use technology, like beacons or RFID, to create heatmaps of zones in the store, gauging customer interest and merchandising effectiveness.
  • Use machine learning in order to track what consumers purchase and return, enabling you to refine your inventory selection and get new products to market more quickly based on consumer demand.
  • Avoid oversaturation of data collection by identifying key questions and appropriate metrics for collection and analysis.

Reimagine Retail
Often the retail experience customers receive isn’t tailored to their specific needs or preferences. By unifying data systems and understanding strengths and weaknesses, companies will be better poised to capture emerging opportunities in the end-to-end retail experience, implementing the following imperatives:

  • Design stores with visitor recognition in mind, offering not only identifying technologies, but also interfaces and displays that communicate that a visitor is logged in.
  • Review a customer behavior maps across platforms to identify products they gravitate towards, best fitting sizes and views before purchase—creating a comprehensive shopper profile.
  • Compare customer data across commerce channels to glean insights that inform merchandising, store flows and loyalty programs, among other processes.
  • Establish multiple channels to share customer insights and feedback with teams for actionable implementation—from organization-wide regroups to on-demand snapshots.

The Retail Trends Playbook 2020 is a report by business intelligence platform PSFK in partnership with Microsoft that presents key trends, best-in-class examples and strategies for executing intelligent retail with the aid of data-driven technologies. Download the full free report here.


Lead image: stock photos from MJTH/Shutterstock

As detailed in PSFK and Microsoft‘s Retail Trends Playbook 2020, data-driven technologies are essential for creating a differentiated shopper experience that is integrated throughout the store model. However, simply investing in a suite of solutions won’t instantly translate into success without first having a strategic vision in place.

The following key takeaways from the playbook's four major pillars highlight opportunities throughout the purchase path to apply AI technologies, helping decision makers strategize an end-to-end retail experience that is executed with integrity.