I am a firm believer in CRM solutions for retailers. Unfortunately, even though retailers today have more challenges than ever before, many of them don’t see IT support as part of the core business. The consequence is that they never see the growth potential they could benefit from a CRM solution and this becomes a problem for them.

I am really tired of the word “Disruption”. It appears to be one of the buzz words this year, so I will not use it in this blog post. But we all have to accept the truth which is that change, innovation and use of digital solutions are the reality to all of us. For retailers this is a mercy-less fact of life.

If retailers don’t adapt to the new digital age, they could find themselves out of business very quickly.

Some retailers understand the message and they agree; they know that they are currently in a maelstrom of change and development. Being in the retail business these days is not easy and every day brings new challenges and competitors. But other retailers know what they need to do, but just can’t get the ship to change its course or don’t know how to make the necessary change.

The clash with Traditional Product/thinking

There is a conflict going on in many retail companies. The management know that, if they are to survive, they need to to bring themselves into the 21st century and start using technology to not only get up-to-date, but also re-engineer their business model for this decade.

Yet the business side of the company is reluctant or simply disagree. They see themselves as the sellers of a traditional retail product which has always been sold in one particular way and has always been successful. In times of declining sales and increased competition they prefer the traditional tools that has proven to work – cost reductions and focus on prices/promotions.

The problem is that in this time in history traditional tools will not be enough to turn the tide and make an unprofitable business profitable in the long run. Other measures are needed – and luckily they are not so difficult to adapt and implement once they are accepted.

Survival

They key to all retail business is customers. And I would argue that many of the struggling retailers have one thing in common: They lost touch with their customers. They failed to appreciate that it’s their customers that call the shots – it’s their customers who want change -it’s their customers who decide where and how they purchase – and it’s their customers who will ultimately decide whether they stay in business or have to leave.

Which is why people like me talk about CRM solutions. Not because it makes anyone happy to have more IT solutions, but because;

a Customer Relationship Management system allows you to put your customer first; it recognises that all important step of acknowledging that your customer has the key to the future of your business.

A CRM solution enables you to get the right information to the persons (customers and potential customers) at the right time and place – cross digital and physical channels and thus enables you to make the most out of every customer interaction.

Contact AlfaPeople to get more information about why CRM is an important part of the future of retailers.

Jacob Broberg_Market Manager

By Jacob Broberg

Market Manager at AlfaPeople