2012-10-16, @BalticForge

Innovation spread in retail

Innovation spread in retail

 No matter what economical difficulties we are facing and going through, we anyway going to keep visit shops and shopping centers, buy food, clothes and other necessary in everyday goods. Business wants us to keep buying and it does everything to have as many customers around spending money as much as they possibly can. The market itself is overcrowded with hundreds of thousands of goods in thousands of totally different product categories and then it’s only the matter of how good at competition art ones are to attract more clients with bigger wallets to be opened exactly in their shop. Today, when almost everything is already tried out, these are mostly the innovations that help business to compete.

It’s all about the customer in the center.

 Customers nowadays are extra fastidious, which means that yellow price on the shelf doesn’t already impress that much, there are, however, innovations that deserves they own 15 minutes of fame, sometimes overgrowing to the traditional behavior of you and me. We already use self-service cash desks and biggest part of us for years now accepts the advantages given by the loyalty cards, because we all love discounts and that feeling of care and love it provides. And really, there is nothing extra new about that, but some of the shopping centers decided that simple usage of such loyalty cards isn’t enough if it’s not giving more use to the seller and the client.

We hope you remember the “The Near Future of Retail (part 1) – change of axis“article you have read in our website, which was speaking about the client centric retail system and the need for it‘s development, and today, writing this article we believe that things doesn‘t stay in place. 

Retailers in a “who’s first” hustle – use for the customer.

Some of the retailers clearly understand the must and advantages of renewal as the part of the successful business and they make it happen. It’s long and difficult hustle for most of the competitive retailers, searching for the new things to offer for their customers to be better, more popular and earn more. Recently such competitive changes were brought to life by one of the biggest shopping mall network in Baltic -“RIMI Baltic”. What did they do? They created the system using the very same loyalty cards for generating personalized offers of products client could possibly be interested in. From now on every “RIMI” client will find loyalty card terminals installed in every bigger shopping center and all they will need to do is scanning their own card to get very individual, personalized offers generated only for them displayed at the terminals screen. Such terminals are innovations not only inLithuania, but in all Baltic countries too. There are already installed about 51 terminal inLithuaniaand about 167 in all Baltic countries.  Creating and installing terminals in three Baltic countries cost about 0,8 million euro in total. This whole thing works by the very simple scheme, generating the offers based on the individual history of the products the customer have recently bought using the loyalty card for the discounts. As many times customer buys at “RIMI”, as accurate, correspondent to his needs offers he gets.  Terminal collects all the purchase history inside the card so it can later offer you some similar goods to buy. “RIMI” public relations director R. Stanaitytė-Česnulienė is happy by already achieved customer compliments on the systems functionality, „no matter that terminals are still new thing here, people are already really happy using them, one vegetarian woman said that at least here, in „RIMI“, no one is offering her discounted pork“, smiled R. Česnulienė. Customers are getting a possibility to get totally new offers every week, plus as promised by “RIMI”, they will get some higher birthday discounts, “RIMI” partner’s offers and more. If the buyer wants, he is able to print all the information on the terminal’s voucher. R. Stanaitytė-Česnulienė believes that this new terminal will be exceptionally useful to any client, “this terminal will make everyone decide and get to know about newest „RIMI“ offers by their own“. It is still not clear how customers will react and accept the terminal, however that‘s undoubtedly one of the step forward to brighter retailers and customers tomorrow.

Another example of modern look at the future’s shopping systems and attention to the client is being provided by the most popular American supermarket network “WalMart”. It’s the QR code that appears on all of the product descriptions, with them one can easily pay for the exact good, just by scanning the code through the “iPhone”, “Android”, “iPad” or “Mobile Web” application. In such way you can buy a camera, phone, any other electronics, clothes, or… plants, flowers and even food. Customers bag their items and are required to stop by a self checkout to pay before leaving, so they are not finalizing the purchase on the phone. Such phone payment application allows users to create their own personal shopping list and see what items are in stock and what not. The question appears – are the QR codes already here to replace the old barcode system? Understanding QR technology‘s higher flexibility and much wider range of adaptability – it possibily can be the perfect replacement.

Many different things the future still holds.

All these processes more or less touch the „client in the center“ ideology and point of view, which is a highly positive thing to have in already becoming old-fashioned retail sphere. It’s the significant touch of innovative progress that is rapidly taking place in our everyday routine and no matter how skeptical we may sometimes be, this whole “change thing” is more or less for our comfort and satisfaction. Going back to the topic, it’s still amazingly a lot left to do. The same modernization of the retail processes doesn’t confine with the modern cashier systems or card terminals. However if we anyway stay around this topic for some ten more years developing it, it’s the bucket of additional features that should be attached to such processes like needs personalization in the shops and similar. To name, the recipes based on what products we usually buy, product combinations that fits best together, products that we can eat, wear, use and what we don’t, goods that are believed to be interesting for our age group, views, attitudes and tons of more options that could be already successfully offered from the retailer using loyalty cards to gain our trust and loyalty today. It’s not that people are too lazy thinking and acting on they own, but this whole thing is here for the development of the complex infrastructure we are building, for the constant need of progress and its perfection leading to the full versatile optimization. There are still more than enough of breath taking innovative technologies which could be empowered in order to be serving for everyone’s routine, everyday.

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