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Posts Tagged ‘Trend’

Small data; creating a superior customer experience

The headlines and news stories are predictable: Bricks and mortar are failing. Online is the future. Here at 6R, we know that this is an oversimplification, as online and in-store, experiences merge, good retailers are using data to focus on improving convenience and experience for their customers. It’s the balancing of macro trends with insight from going deep into customers mindset that gives detailed data we can work with. Customers want retailers of speciality goods to make them feel personally important and valued in a comprehensive shopping experience. Businesses in highly competitive fields need more than just smiling faces. They need to focus on making each customer experience a positive, unique and satisfying one. Strategic use of properly acquired data can help. We have touched on this before when we wrote about using customer data for efficacy. Data will be the biggest driver for retailers in 2019, as stores become more astute at knowing who their consumers really are. How Data Helps Your Business In the digital age, when businesses talk about data, they are referring to accumulating information on customers. This information helps the companies to better respond to consumer trends and individual customer desires in both marketing and sales. By studying various sources of data, retailers can create better experiences for their customers before, during, and even after, the shopping experience. Businesses need to develop a competitive advantage in today's retail environment. The increase in the use of customer analytics tools is improving customer retention and loyalty by creating personalisation at scale. Different Types of Data Most people are familiar with the idea of “Big Data.” Often, the connotation of this phrase, is a negative one, especially when it comes to concerns about social media data capture and the use of information from the general public. Big data, however, can help companies and services respond better to the needs of the consumer, and transform lives for the better. For example, Australian utility organisations have reacted to the challenges of poor customer service by using big data to develop better responsiveness in key situations. Fewer people may have encountered the concept of “small data.”  The difference between big and small data reflects that of macro versus microeconomics. Big data refers to mass movements and trends. Small data refers to gathering, compiling, analysing, and using data on individuals or smaller subsets to enhance their personal connection to the business. Rather than treating people as herds and groups, small data enables a more profound interaction. "Big Data is pretty incompetent at suggesting how to increase the love." [1] "In the 1990s LEGO’s sales were declining and executives were scared by Big Data research studies showing that Digital Natives were increasingly distractible and in search of instant gratification. Swayed by this data, LEGO was considering dumbing down its toys, making the kits simpler and even perhaps increasing the size of its iconic brick. But then Small Data convinced LEGO to do an abrupt pivot, going the other direction completely, after senior leaders visited the homes of their young users and talked to them about hobbies and leisure." [1] For small or medium-sized businesses offering speciality services or products in a narrow field, big data may not be as helpful as small data. Small data is what can help them to establish lasting relationships and connections that lead to return visits, increased sales, and word of mouth referrals.  The insights into the motivation of customers, gained from small data is incredibly valuable and provide businesses of all sizes with personal and emotional motivation. An Insight that is often lost in the 'averages' of big data analysis. How AI Boosts the Bottom Line Once a business decides to collect and use data, the major challenge is deciding how best to use it. Staff and computer systems can collect information, but then what? Artificial intelligence may be the answer.  AI services can automatically help its users to master sets of data and maximise their potential, without draining their resources. Although generally identified with sifting through big data caches, AI systems and software can adapt to the specific needs of a smaller business. Retailers can use AI to lift insights from customer transaction data, providing them with information to tailor in-store offerings. "Although the current mantra of deep learning says “you need big data for AI”, more often than not, AI becomes even more intelligent and powerful if it has the capability to be trained with small data."[2] Small data combined with AI technology can help retailers, to create a superior customer experience. ELSE, an Italian shoe company uses AI and data in a “bottom-up” approach. This approach uses data to target individual customers, to begin with, and then works up towards larger groups, rather than the other way around. ELSE has a virtual shoe sizer that uses simulation technology to match customer feet with the perfect shoe selections. Data Plus Customer Service Equals Results Data alone does not solve the problem of satisfying customers. It must conform to a business mission plan that emphasises customer service while exploring better ways to serve each customer. When great products, modern technology, innovative owners, and data (big and small) are combined, the business has the best chance to maximise its potential. We at 6R Retail love working with businesses that are looking for process improvements that will improve their customer experience and bottom-line profitability. If that sounds like you, please get in touch.   [1] Martin Lindstrom; Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends [2] medium.com; Why Small Data is Important for Advancing AI

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Ecommerce is booming! (and with it packaging increases)

In 2018 alone, Australians spent a grand total of $28.6 billion ($20.3 billion USD) while shopping online. As of January of this year, this amounts to 9% of Australia's total retail sales.  All of this online shopping means that the amount of packaging is also on the rise. Further predictions by Statista show that Australia is on track for a huge leap in total revenue growth online, possibly by as much as 15.1%, which creates more and more packaging for you to deal with. While online shopping grows, so does its impact on the environment The number of packages and parcels each Australian receives per year is increasing. On average, Australian shoppers get 2.3 packages every year (and I know full well that I get more than this in books alone). This creates a unique problem that we have to deal with. How do you meet the consumer demand for "what I want, when I want it, and where I want it", without a massively detrimental impact on the environment? The overall goal is to meet this demand with minimal environmental impact, especially in terms of excess cardboard and plastic packaging and CO2 emissions. Adding to this problem is the fact that most retailers and eCommerce platforms haven't been able to master the art of packaging in a way that maximises customer convenience and sustainability. Taking, for example, China's record-setting Singles' Day sales; in the two minutes, five seconds after midnight on Singles' Day, Chinese buyers spent a collective ¥10 billion yuan ($2.07 billion AUD) through e-commerce giant Alibaba's various platforms. By the time the clock hit 1:47, sales were 10 times this amount. Alibaba closed Singles' Day with a sales total of ¥213.5 billion yuan ($42.5 billion AUD). While both Alibaba and competitor JD.com have pledged to use biodegradable packaging to cut down on waste, research conducted by Greenpeace East Asia said many plastics marked "biodegradable" and used by Chinese e-retailers could break down only under high temperatures in facilities that are limited in number across the country. Greenpeace estimated that by 2020, "biodegradable" packaging could produce roughly 721 truckloads of rubbish in China every day. As Australians are fast adopting international shopping behaviours, retailers here need to address and have a strategy in place to minimise the environmental impact. What packaging solutions are on the horizon? A key section of your product's journey is the "last mile" of the delivery process. This is the point where the package meets the buyer's doorstep; the most expensive part of the shipping process and for the customer, it is the often frustrating "out for delivery" stage that seems to go on for eternity. New technology is helping companies to explore a crowdsourcing approach to optimise the delivery process. Online retailers can partner with non-professional couriers to help them complete their deliveries. While this looks like it will speed up deliveries in urban areas, it requires refining to improve cost efficiencies. Drone tech is another exciting development that has been trialled in Canberra. It could help enhance the delivery process and potentially reducing the amount of packaging waste. However, an increase in drones will make our skies more crowded, contribute to noise pollution, and the results of the trials have raised concerns with citizens who relate that the noise has been invasive. The short clip showing the drones in action didn't look like it was reducing packaging but instead, increasing the amount of waste we're creating. Pre-cycling is another approach to packaging reduction. This involves removing a lot of the packaging waste, by selling products without any packaging, or, with a significantly reduced amount. This way, you won't have to worry about disposing of the packing correctly when you open your item. Less thinking about how to recycle it but a bit more effort in terms of remembering to take those empty containers to the store. What other ideas are there to reduce packaging whilst not compromising on the convenience of online shopping? We're thrilled to work with retailers who want to create seamless experiences for customers. 6R Retail has already had the pleasure of working with forward-thinking retailers on their omnichannel projects. This is an exciting time for both consumers and retailers, and we invite you along for the ride (drone and the driver-less car not included).

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Choice. How to make it easier.

Recently, I’ve gone back to having an iphone after having tried both android and windows OS. Choice? Kind of. Mostly it’s easier at home where everyone has the same. It’s fairly typical that when you’re in the adjustment to a new piece of equipment/ way of working phase, it’s easy to note the things that you liked about the old way. One of the great things about the previous phone was that there were a bunch of apps it didn’t have (note that this was also one of the things I didn’t like about the old phone). But, when you don’t have some apps you either skip over that bit or you find another way to do it. Or, to put it another way… (Read more)

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Future trends 2016 and beyond, what’s in store?

Earlier this year, here at 6R we attended a macro trend presentation (looking at big picture consumer trends). The presenters talked about ‘4C thinking’ collaborative, creative, conversational and convergent. This is not a ‘next year’ type of trend forecast but instead a bigger picture ‘stand back and take a look’ at the longer term. (Read more)

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Curation and selection – help me find the right #product

It’s been happening more frequently lately. Finding mid-shop that I have tuned out. Why am I here? What was I looking for? Have I started drooling? Is this a familiar experience for you too? (perhaps the last question is just me)… am I becoming more susceptible to the maze and haze of getting lost in the lights and not finding the product I am looking for? (Read more)

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The Internet of Things and what it means for you.

Just recently in the news Samsung TV’s 'listening' in on our personal conversations has been labelled “outrageous” and reporters have cited George Orwell’s novel 1984 description of tele-screens.  The general vibe is that “we” don’t like it. It is unacceptable and “we” should be able to control where our conversations go and who listens to them. (Read more)

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