IoT, AI, smart data and retail analytics have disrupted the industry: Sunil Munshi, Denave
Munshi, CEO India and APAC, Denave, on how adopting new-age technologies can help retailers script success stories
Technological advancements like virtual shopping assistants, in-store stylist robots, AI-powered recommendation engines, bot-managed billing counters, etc., have altered the dynamics of retail drastically. With changing times, it is no longer sufficient to just rely on competitive pricing, in fact, it is also equally important for retailers to adapt to newer and smarter ways of doing business hence, innovative strategies leveraging the latest technology help render a ‘wow experience’ for customers.
According to a report by Microsoft, ‘By 2019, about 40 percent of retailers will develop a customer-experience architecture supported by AI, boosting conversions up to 30 per cent and revenue by 25 percent through hyper-micro personalization’.
Sunil Munshi, CEO India and APAC, Denave, spoke to us on how their firm helps multiple retailer brands to deliver different customer experiences by enabling digital transformation, and capturing data-based insights to drive growth and provide end-to-end sales enablement solutions.
How can the retail market compete with the growing presence of e-tail?
As the retail sector transformation gathers pace and consumers are becoming smart and savvy, retailers need to leverage the power of technology to create fresh experiences that delight and entice customers.
Acquiring omnipresence is one way as Millennials these days still rely on the physical experience even if they have had virtual experience of a product online. This clearly means that retailers must expand their footprint in the omni-channel world and focus on providing seamless consumer experience. Personalised experience is another area in which physical retail stores need to compete with e-commerce stores, they not only have to know what their customers want, but also need to adapt themselves with new trends — from their buying tendencies to offering customised options.
Which emerging technologies will transform the future of the Indian retail market? And how?
With the advancement in technology and change in customer profiles forcing the retail industry to rethink everything from store formats and payment methods, to harnessing the power of data to transforming retail operations. IoT, AI, Smart Data, retail analytics have disrupted the industry; there are many tools that can help retailer leverage technology to plan their sales and marketing strategies.
Leveraging technologies like geo-tagging, offline data saving, Business Intelligence, Advanced Analytics and more can help retailers script their success story by providing deep market intelligence of the entire retail ecosystem.
India is a vast market for every brand. What is the approach a brand should take for whitespace management because there is still a huge prospect in the market?
In a competitive market identifying the “whitespace” is an essential component to building a successful brand and stimulating business growth. Brands need to identify and capitalize on whitespace in order to fuel growth and build their reputation. It provides a solid base to execute management plans; making it a vital element to drive the future sales enablement model, which may be significant for achieving sales goals. It also helps in getting an enriched database with analytics-driven insights and benefits in reaching the prospective customer resulting in increase of market share.
In a nutshell, it will help the retailers finding the next new customer and will fulfil buyers’ demand of a customer-centric shopping experience — one tailored to their wants and needs as valued customers.
How will gen-next technology improve the in-store purchase experience of buyers?
People these days have become tech-savvy and not only compare prices online but also search for discount coupons before making any buying decision. By leveraging retail CRMs, ERPs and pricing analytics software platforms, retailers can make data-driven decisions to take customer’s in-house experience to the next level.
Some of the most promising futuristic technologies that shall bring reforms in the retail arena could be, ‘customer identification and contextualization’ that can deliver a highly personalized experience, ‘Augmented Reality’ will provide a new face to omnichannel consumer experience, ‘renovating brick and mortar stores’ as emotion-experience centres with advanced elements like AI- enabled virtual mirrors and social e-commerce shall take a leap with consumers transforming into influencers and impacting the overall retail revenue stream.
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