It’s true that right now is a tough time to be in the retail industry. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of the United States is in a lockdown and many businesses have had to close.
If you’re a retail company that gains the majority of your business from people walking into your storefront and walking out with your product, then this puts you into a tough spot.
However, there is a bright light at the end of this tunnel. This time period can provide you with the motivation to move more of your product online and create more of a digital presence.
Many retail businesses have already begun to make this transition and have coined it Retail 4.0.
What Is Retail 4.0?
A majority of industry insiders have begun to use the term “Retail 4.0” to refer to the latest digital transition that has already been implemented by enterprise retail leaders.
Retail 4.0 can make a large impact on your business because, historically, the use of this kind of marketing and digital technology in the e-commerce field could be most utilized by larger retail companies. However, in 2020 new technology levels the playing field because enterprise-level technology allows retailers of any size to offer a better shopping experience for consumers. This will allow smaller retail companies to reach new channels of customers. Through Retail 4.0 technology, for the first time, smaller to medium sized retailers will be able to institute conveniences that help them sort through customer demands without needing to use most of their budget.
Spread Your Brand’s Presence.
One of the most important concepts about Retail 4.0 is being able to find new customers through a digital network. Social media is one of the main ways that brands are doing this.
Many medium sized brands are making a name for themselves through fun Instagram shots or through telling a story about their brand in multiple Facebook posts. You want to be able to use social media as a way to connect with your audience. If you’re selling shoes for instance, when a customer has a pair delivered to them, include a note about the history of the brand along with a hashtag for the customer to then use online. This will help your customer be more loyal and consider buying again from you in the future along with your brand gaining free advertising.
Also consider offering out deals from time to time on your Facebook page. People have to be a part of the page to potentially see your discount codes, so they’ll also see anything else that you’re posting about for your business. However, the discount code is what will keep them from leaving the group.
Another way to spread your brand’s presence with Retail 4.0 is through targeting specific demographics with very particular ads. It is extremely helpful that so many people are currently shopping online because it allows you to curate your ads to target them. If a person is looking at a shoe company that is similar to yours, try to set up marketing ads that will then target that customer the next time they’re starting to shop online. If a customer arrives on your site, and then leaves the site without buying anything, have re-targeting ads set up so that they’ll see your brand on their social media account.
While the concept of this might all seem a little “creepy,” many marketing experts claim that a customer needs to interact with your brand at least 7 times before they’ll end up purchasing from you.
Shape Your Inventory.
Another advantage of Retail 4.0 is the amount of data that it allows you to collect around your inventory. In real time, you can see what the majority of your customers are buying. This can influence what products you decide to stock in the future or what part of your inventory you may decide to let go for future seasons.
Of course it’s important for you to remain true to your brand and continue to connect with customers that align with the atmosphere that your brand provides. However, look at shaping your inventory as a kind of collaboration project that involves your customers. What they buy is their way of providing you with feedback for what they want to see in your “closet” and what they don’t care for.
With the current lockdowns, times are tough for the retail business. Try to use Retail 4.0 to your advantage to reach new audiences and increase your sales when the economy starts to increase again.