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Digitization and collaboration:the two cornerstones of retail’s future

par Florence28 May 20180 commentaires

Collaboration is driving digitization in grocery market companies of all sizes

Transparency and authenticity: two words that encompass consumer expectations. Product data must be completely transparent and clear, going beyond regulatory requirements. Consumer interest is also trending towards local products, with a focus on healthy and environmentally-friendly food choices.

This means that retailers, already in the midst of a large-scale digital transformation, are also finding it necessary to integrate new types of product data. Tools need to be well-adapted to local products, whose sourcing process can sometimes prove to be complex. At the same time, companies are also focusing on increasingly-widespread omnichannel strategies. The goal: offer consumers a consistent experience, across stores, websites and e-commerce apps.

This omnichannel experience is based on 2 key elements:  customization and content marketing. With customization, consumers are offered a personalized experience, tailored to their habits, preferences and location. Marketing strategies also feature more detailed product content, including videos, tutorials and directions for use. This content is a valuable part of the customer journey: 60% of consumers research their (mass-market retail) products before making a purchase (Google study, France, 2015).

At the same time and together, brands and retailers are facing changes to consumers’ product preferences, as well as a transformation of the customer journey. It is therefore not surprising that they are looking for ways to speed up and simplify their methods of sharing product data. They are faced with the same questions: how can we ensure the compliance and effective structuring of digitized product data? How can we enrich this data and ensure consistency from one channel to the next? And of course, how can we optimize our operational efficiency through our data sharing methods?

On paper, these questions seem to suggest a complex process with many constraints. However, in practice, they can be addressed by an omnichannel product platform, on which product data, once digitized and structured, is available to all partners.

 

-- Antoine Durieux, Founder and CEO of Alkemics

This type of omnichannel product hub has several key characteristics:

  • It acts as a “Single Source of Truth” providing consistent information across both bricks-and-mortar and online channels, as well as to all other service providers, while also helping to steer companies away from the “silo mentality”. This all leads to tangible productivity gains.
  • This hub also centralizes product information, offering a more cost-effective process of increasing contact points and consumer interactions. It also speeds up communications, facilitating new business partnerships.
  • The hub also acts as a control room, and can be used to steer operations more effectively, as well as manage and track the data that is shared.
  • This type of hub is also easily accessible, as it falls into the category of a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform. Companies using the software have no deployment or IT maintenance to manage, and there’s no need to have an IT department to use it. Whether a large company or SME, every collaborator can connect to the platform, making it easier to focus on their core business.

This is why an omnichannel product hub is already seen as an essential tool that can help retailers and brands accelerate their digitization process. This is an urgent need, as consumers are quickly adopting the many opportunities offered by the digital world, which many small and medium-sized businesses have not yet taken advantage of.

It’s in the interest of all actors in the supermarket sector that SMEs speed up their digitization process, for a simple reason: SMEs are currently driving the growth of the market. Two-thirds of the supermarket sector’s 2017 growth came from SMEs (Nielsen). This is why it is important to facilitate collaborations among all market actors, and why using an omnichannel hub also contributes to strengthening the momentum of an innovation-driven ecosystem.

Global Retail News article, May 2018

Florence

Après 10ans d'expérience dans les équipes commerciales, category management et marketing de grands groupes industriels (Beiersdorf, Colgate Palmolive), Florence a rejoint la start-up Alkemics à ses débuts en apportant son expertise métier retail. Elle accompagne désormais le développement et la promotion de la plateforme en tant que directrice marketing.

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