Let your customers participate in the “retail customer journey!”

What is a customer journey? What does the future of stationary retail look like? And why is e-commerce more than just “online”? How can logistics succeed in a networked world? What business models does the future offer? And what role does the store design play here?

The retail of tomorrow means understanding customer needs and creating holistic shopping worlds.

The past year has also shown that the retail industry is facing great challenges due to growing consumer expectations for a modern shopping experience. On the Internet, you often come across the following search:

“Retailers are urgently looking for competent managers who can develop creative and strategic solutions for the new tasks of the rapidly changing retail world.”

While increasingly more pure online orders have been placed in recent years, the following generations of Y & Z today seem to be crying out for an online preselection. In the “no line” world you just want to order and buy items how and where you want. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a smartphone, a tablet, a notebook or other online retail devices. Even when buying a product in a local store, the same conditions and the same service are expected. In the world of online orders, however, you can see a change in the younger generations. This generation would like to get advice and exchange experiences on location. And a large portion of these buyers is willing to invest even more for the item to get good advice. The option to select the item online and to view and test it locally is becoming more and more important.

Today’s and tomorrow’s retailers not only require the managerial personnel to respond flexibly to consumer needs with their team, but they also need a solution to better serve and understand their customers.

A simple POS solution in stores and shops is no longer sufficient today.

The consideration and evaluation of the requirements, wishes and purchasing behavior of consumers is crucially important in order to remain or become competitive. It isn’t just digital transformation that is having a major influence on customer communication in the retail industry. These days how we guide our customers through our portfolio or through our offers is of fundamental importance. The retail trade is no longer only characterized by the right “item”. Instead, service is a great success factor for the individual generations of consumers. We are shaping the path for our customers through our offerings and we are defining the customer journey for success.

Even if companies have defined the right story and the right path, and also utilize flexible leadership and qualified personnel, they still lack the right tools or the right system.

Many retail companies operating in the B2B sector these days rely on an ERP system such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Enterprise for Finance and Operations in conjunction with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement with the Sales and Customer Service modules. These retail companies ensure that all relevant information about customer requirements and offers is available in one system. This lays the foundation for satisfactory customer advice.

Retail companies active in the B2C sector rely mainly on simple POS systems in their branches and stores. Most point-of-sale systems today can use data about items and stock from the existing ERP system (backend) via interfaces. But where is the important information about the customers? How was their buying behaviour in the past, what requirements do they have now, which available offers could be of interest to them, etc…

At this point, today’s retail company not only needs a POS system, it also needs a retail solution that makes product data and customer information visible and, incidentally, also offers POS functions that integrate loyalty programmes – with which online orders are also managed – and processes deliveries in the store, for example.

By using such a retail solution, the store employees have the profitable opportunity to greet the customer personally, to respond to said customer’s individual needs and to focus completely on the customer. This is the only way the customer feels perfectly looked after and will not only buy your products, but also positively recommend your company.

Thanks to our consultants’ many years of retail experience in various customer situations, we at AlfaPeople can identify and offer individual solution scenarios tailored to customer needs.

General Manager at AlfaPeople