Pivoting to Online Retail Using Data

Businesses nationwide have slowly re-opened as Singapore enters a new phase of recovery in its ongoing battle with COVID-19. During this time, Singaporeans are slowly adapting to life after isolation, heading into the “New Normal”, which for shoppers goes beyond social-distancing rules in malls or shops.

According to a study in consumer behavior by Nielsen, as people spend more time at home and are discouraged from going out, they will turn to shopping online instead. The study also showed that Singaporeans who shopped online for the first time during the outbreak are very likely to do so again in the next 12 months.

For the workforce, Circuit Breaker has created new habits, and with the easy accessibility of technology, many workers have found continued productivity at work despite being away from office. Whilst the use of video and other online tools will continue to be the new norm going forward, it is also evident that these can lead to some level of fatigue. Ultimately, these are not a substitute for face to face meetings, which can be more effective.

Having seen the severe disruptions caused by the pandemic, many brick-and-mortar businesses are reconsidering their business models. Some businesses have gone completely online. While some businesses have suffered unfortunate turn of events, others are thriving and even shown growth during these difficult times.

During this crisis, the ability to pivot quickly to alternative solutions like collaborative commerce and e- commerce can make all the difference between sustainability and shuttering doors.  Expectations have never been higher — consumers want a faster, more immediate, and customized experience, all at a competitive cost. So how do businesses stay relevant and top-of-mind during these challenging times?

It takes an “always-on” approach that utilizes analytics to help businesses better understand the current environment and take swift action — from optimizing supply chain to order fulfilment, providing killer customer service and beyond.

A holistic view of data

The number one concern I hear from retailers is the inability to get a holistic view of their supply chain. This can be a difficult task for most retailers both large and small, as most are using different systems for their e-commerce, loyalty, and in-store POS systems. It provides a fragmented view of the disparate pieces that can contribute to the success (or failure) for businesses.

Visibility is critical and it starts with moving from a multi-channel, a phenomenon in which customers get the best experience based on their shopping behavior, to an omnichannel approach, an approach that provides consistency in the customer’s overall experience. By combining important online and offline data to understand what products to stock, where and in what quantities, businesses can optimize inventory churns and increase margins, as well as improve consumer conversions. 

Armed with an Analytic Process Automation platform, retailers can seamlessly blend disparate data and begin to analyze internal, third party data and output the data in any format to quickly assimilate and share information with other colleagues. In addition, using advance analytics to predict demand, optimize merchandising or curate customer sentiment has never been easier with a code-free assisted modelling that guides business users through advance modelling.

Self-service analytics solutions let businesses create one consistent view of customer demand across all channels and systems. With a single, intuitive workflow for data blending and advanced analytics, businesses gain deeper customer insights in hours, not the weeks typical of traditional approaches, helping businesses keep up with the speed of retail during these challenging times. 

The original article by Julian Quinn, senior vice president of APAC and Anne-Queline Keller, senior manager of Retail Solutions Strategy and Marketing at Alteryx. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CDOTrends. Photo credit: iStockphoto/cyano66