Retail Tech Asia is one of the most massive retail conventions bringing together business owners, solution providers, thought leaders, and budding entrepreneurs. Lively debates reigned at roundtable sessions and rapt listeners absorbed sharing points from renowned keynote speakers. Business players big and small rubbed shoulders and swopped tips, and many exchanges revolved around ensuring sustainable practices, scalable techniques, and monetizing platforms. How can large retailers and small businesses alike survive and thrive in the fluid retail landscape of today into tomorrow? The Sprooki team sought out learning opportunities through our sharing sessions and conversations.
- BIG RETAILERS struggle with rigid legacy systems that lag far behind technology trends.
Large retail businesses have grown through storms and fair weather, and wield significant staying power because of existing reputation and accumulated profits over the years. But today’s retail landscape is fluid and full of change; within the past year alone, staggering trends show a fundamental shift in buying behavior.
- 50% of every incremental dollar spent online is through Amazon.com
- China’s Alibaba achieved sales worth US$14.3 billion on Singles’ Day 2015
- More than 70% of consumers check prices online before making purchases
A different kind of giant, often shifting in shape and form, is taking over the retail realm. In different countries, products and services of varying nature command significant proportion of sales revenue, and established retailers and shopping malls have to face the difficult question: is physical retail dying? Can there still be good business won far into the future?
The real and growing gap between the size of a business and ability to still connect with customers is worrying, because more outlets do not mean strong customer relationships or brand loyalty. Does this mean that at least some of company resources should be pumped into better technology that is more agile, allows personalization at scale, and measurably contribute toward business growth? What is the happy combination between mobile commerce and data analytics?
But, also, what of money and energy that has already been spent over so many years into old infrastructure, systems, and workflow? How can there be a happy fit between old companies and new market trends?
Even with large reserves of resources, established retail businesses have multiple stakeholders to be concerned with, and so cannot waste money or time on substandard solutions. Ensuring quality returns requires flexibility and solid results, and Sprooki’s customizable modules fit the immediate-term and eventual marketing objectives of large retailers and groups of shopping malls. Through the double-pronged offer of frontend app flexibility and backend predictive analytics platform, our key expertise in market understanding and customer behavior make us the best partners to work with for sustainable business agility and growth.
- SMALL RETAILERS face difficulties in achieving both growth investment and maintaining profit margins.
At the other end of the spectrum, budding businesses glance sidelong with envy at their older counterparts. In this part of the retail world, business owners scramble to keep profit margins high, and often dive into almost all aspects of daily operations and long-term strategizing, with the resulting effect of almost no bandwidth to consider investing into software solutions. Therein lies the downward spiral; only reacting to immediate tasks mean that business owners are constantly demanded to keep a very limited and short-term business view, which hampers growth and thus stagnates development. But hankering after lofty ideals would not work without addressing current and real challenges and gaps, so small retail businesses are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
At Sprooki’s booth, business owners from thriving small firms asked:
- When rolling out a new service or product, how can retail owners promote them without hard-selling to customers?
- Are software solutions only available to the deep pockets of big retailers?
- How can small retailers reap the benefits of enterprise solutions without compromising on margins?
- What are ideal solution components that will help achieve measurable growth in the foreseeable future?
How big your business is today is not a measure of how big your business can be tomorrow. A crucial perspective to consider is that small retail firms have the immediate agility and flexibility that bigger businesses envy, and this growth potential is actually a precious strength.
Sprooki empowers small retailers to scale fruitfully through our comprehensive consultations, to offer precisely the solution components that specifically addresses the needs and desires of smaller retailers. We believe that the best innovation is effective and accessible, and that the small retailers today can be the retail leaders of tomorrow.
- ALL RETAILERS want to build strong relationships with consumers.
“Many times we go shopping because we want to experience new things, we want to see new product, and we want to commune,” Dough Stephens from Retail Prophet shared in his keynote speech. Pulling examples from ecommerce giants and thriving boutique physical retailers, he painted the picture of today’s retail – it is all about the relationship.
Retailers today don’t have to worry about size – opportunities abound for businesses both big and small, and each has its own strengths to capitalize on. But the same questions apply:
- Can you engage your customers individually, and also at scale?
- How much do you truly understand your customers’ motivations, moods, and purchase propensity?
- How can you automate the building of relationships in a way that is fruitful, personal, and helps you to achieve measurable returns?
Using a combination of location-targetting, customer segmentation, and predictive data analytics, Sprooki gives retailers the unique opportunity to build a solid base of loyal customers, increase visit frequency and average spend, and scale brand loyalty far into the future.