On Point Operations
On Point Operations
To become an agile (not to mention efficient) luxury brand, you have to become faster than your competitors. To do this, luxury brands have to invest in electronic inventory control systems, some types of central database, point of sales systems and an automated forecasting system. Fact is, marketers have loads of data available to them now but they don’t know how to analyse it right and work with the data. And with this comes the emergence of a whole new industry, Big Data Analytics. Big Data Analytics is the process of examining large and varied data sets. In doing so, hidden patterns, unknown correlations, costumer preferences and market trends are unlocked. All this information then serves to help organisations make more-informed business decisions.
Artificial intelligence also serves in the process of discounting and replenishing – which, if the brand gets wrong, can result in loss of income. In this case, AI helps a luxury retailer by aligning product drops to match demand, and even telling brands how to display products in a store to sell as many as possible.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are making personalisation available on a large scale. Whether driving recommendations or building more intelligent customer service, digital innovations will allow for a return to yesteryear where shop owners knew every shopper’s name. This time, the scale is infinite – constantly learning and improving the experience. Fact is, the brand that learns how to use artificial intelligent, and merge it with personal data on a shopping level, will be the King.
One such tool that drives personalisation is one most are already familiar with. If you have met Siri or Alexa, then you have already been introduced to one of the greatest trends set to drive personalised shopping decisions. Expect the functionalities of these systems to grow into “personalised shoppers”. Forget a Siri that can do just a few simply commands, Amazon have created a full on virtual assistant – like fridges that order groceries for us and it’s Amazon’s leadership in this that has challenged Google to step up as they try to challenge Amazon in this space. Expect a voice system that can guide you through purchases, making suggestions as it understands your preferences.
Bring on the bots
It might same strange to incorporate robotics as a ‘future’ trend in retail since the likes of Amazon have been championing robots for years (they currently have 450, 000 of the working in warehouses worldwide). However, the future will see robots brought away from the supply chain and into in the aisles of brick and mortar stores.
In fact, you can already see how Artificial Intelligence is present in the messaging space in the form of chatbots. Simply put, a chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet. When you engage in an online conversation via Facebook or Kik with Tommy Hilfiger, Burberry, Nordstorm, and Sephora take note that you might not be speaking with a real person.
While many argue that robotic technology in retail will wipe out jobs backers of Bots in retail say that they will encourage the human worker to engage more with the customer because they will have machine support to locate products and dispense them. Robots can stop staff spending time on labour intense jobs, like stocking checking and payment process, and encourage them to make real human connections with the shopper. We strongly believe that human touch and interaction will remain key characteristics of the whole luxury industry.
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