Author's Posts

The evolving role of the Physical Store in a Digital World

Posted by: Hari Shetty | July 31, 2015

Reports on retail’s death have been overly exaggerated. Online shopping is on the rise. For the current quarter, US e-Commerce sales as a percent of retail sales is at a level of 7%. While up from 6.60% last quarter, the role of the store is more important today than before as it is the nerve center of the customer engagement and obviously

Digital Seduction: Creating an irresistible in-store shopper experience

Posted by: Hari Shetty | March 10, 2015

Can you increase the relevance of your brick and mortar store? Admitted, there is a storm around online digital retail, but it is the physical store that offers shoppers a chance to touch, feel, try and test products.

Big Data: Is the Problem of Plenty Bogging Down Retailers?

Posted by: Hari Shetty | July 09, 2014

Last week, I stepped into my favorite retail store and saw a young boy at the juice shelf, looking at the array of soft drinks, the multiple flavors and the numerous brands, unable to make up his mind.

Omni Channel Communication - the Next Big Step

Posted by: Hari Shetty | January 12, 2014

The world of retail is quickly spreading across channels. Customer touch points are growing – they now include the physical store, web, mobile, catalogue, phone orders, partner sales (such as in flight duty free shopping) and vending machines. Retailers want to strengthen these channels.

Big Data - Helping Retailers Move From Operational To Strategic

Posted by: Hari Shetty | January 12, 2014

Traditionally, retailers have been customer focused. This is evident in the commitment and enthusiasm that retail employees show when attending to customers. They know what their customers want. Employees are trained to be attentive and polite. They are encouraged to acquire deep product knowledge so that they can serve customer needs. Feedback from customers helps define future marketing strategies and store operations. In turn, it impacts supply chain management. But that is set to change.

Redefine Your Organization's Data Management Strategy

Posted by: Hari Shetty | January 12, 2014

In a globalized economy, businesses, consumers, suppliers and markets are creating and consuming an ever increasing amount of data. The volume is so large that several retailers are unable to manage the information overload. Intuitively they understand that the data contains vital business information, but it has created a frustrating challenge – they are unable to clearly prioritize the use of data and ensure it is applied to those parts of the business that yield the highest returns.

Regulatory Impediments to Data Collection And Analysis

Posted by: Hari Shetty | January 12, 2014

The amount of data available to retailers today is staggering. This is no exaggeration. In 2012, MIT researchers calculated that total company data had multiplied by 1,000 times in the previous decade. Most corporations saw an annual growth in data volumes by 35% to 50%.

Value Redefined - Boosting Margins in Western European Retailing

Posted by: Hari Shetty | November 22, 2013

The retail landscape is going through a metamorphosis. Western Europe’s economic climate is still difficult, with austerity showing little signs of relenting. This poses continued challenges for retailers and shoppers. But at the same time it is encouraging retailers to explore new avenues and innovative customer-centric solutions to boost increasingly squeezed margins.

Digital versus Bricks and Mortar

Posted by: Hari Shetty | October 31, 2013

The debate of 'Digital versus Brick-and-Mortar' is perhaps over. They are not competing ideas. Digital won't lead to the death of the brick-and-mortar store. Rather, digital presents retailers with the opportunity of creating yet another type of shopping experience, making it more attractive for shoppers by offering them further options on products, SKUs, pricing, convenience and personalization. Brick-and-mortar meanwhile is becoming increasingly important in an omni channel retail environment.

Big Data: The Next Frontier for Retail

Posted by: Hari Shetty | August 26, 2013

The last three years have seen retail sales at Macy’s go up 10% – a significant improvement given the recent sluggish track record of the retail industry. Vice President of Analytics at an upscale chain of department stores, attributes this growth in sales to Big Data. Accordingly, until three years ago this upscale chain was still using Excel spreadsheets to manage customer and sales data. That has changed. Because Big Data – which also requires tools more sophisticated than Excel — is now helping retailers improve margins, operations and sales. An American specialty jewelry company reported an increase of 49% in sales in the last holiday season, thanks to Big Data and associated technologies.

In Store Services - Transforming the retail experience

Posted by: Hari Shetty | June 26, 2013

Shopper habits are evolving and so are their expectations of experience and personalization. The pervasiveness of technology is helping create convergent retail experiences in many different areas.

Energy Trends in Retail lighting and refrigeration

Posted by: Hari Shetty | June 04, 2013

Have you ever complained about the high energy usage in your favorite retail store? Chances are, you haven’t. The fact that customers don’t generally pressurize retailers into sustainability practices doesn’t mean they are not aware of the need to reduce energy consumption.

Unlocking the Potential of Omni Channel Retail and Home Delivery

Posted by: Hari Shetty | April 19, 2013

Until about a decade ago, a physical store was the only destination where retailers could meet their customers. But, gradually with the emergence of eCommerce and mCommerce, the proximity and availability of the retailer has become irrelevant. However, this dramatic change has not resulted in a concurrent change in the retail delivery organization which still thinks in terms of fixed "origin" and "destination" within their silos.

The New Path to Purchase

Posted by: Hari Shetty | February 13, 2013

What is the path your customer takes for purchasing products? Retailers across the world are trying to understand the best path to build for their customers, many of whom want to shop while they are at home catching the day’s headlines, during the morning commute at the subway station, at the workplace during lunch time or between their favorite television shows in the evening. Even from the Super Bowl game or on the weekend from the middle of a freeway gridlock. If the customer is in your store, your products move from the shelf to the shopping cart, over the checkout counter and into the customer’s home. But retail isn’t that simple any more. Clearly, the “old” over-the-counter route alone can’t be relied upon.

Engaging the evolved customer

Posted by: Hari Shetty | January 21, 2013

Shoppers habits are evolving and their expectations are rising faster than many retailers can react. In the past the customer’s path to purchase was linear. Now this journey is dynamic and continuous. Customers no longer enter a channel. Instead, they are continuously in the channel.

NFC in Retail

Posted by: Hari Shetty | December 26, 2012

Near Field Communications (NFC) technology remains a foggy subject in retail. Not that an understanding of how NFC will change customer dynamics in other industries is any better. But, from time to time, we hear NFC rear its head and wonder, “Is there anything in NFC that I am missing?” To begin with, there are two aspects of NFC we need to understand: how widespread the technology is and where we are on the adoption curve and how NFC can improve the retail experience. The answers to those questions decide how much focus we need to bring to NFC in retail scenarios.

Reward 'loyal' customers – give them a reason to smile

Posted by: Hari Shetty | October 31, 2012

There’s never been a less loyal customer than today. And there never has been a time when loyalty was more deeply equated with a “money-off” reward mechanism than now. It’s time to introduce a game changer. Retailers must ask themselves the question, “Can loyalty schemes that translate into discounts be transformed into meaningful schemes that offer customers greater value?”

Employee Mobility in the Retail industry

Posted by: Hari Shetty | August 06, 2012

Retailers have been quick to realize that the profile of customers is rapidly changing, and that they are now highly empowered. The proliferation of mobile devices has been the key enabling technology behind this shift. Retailers have begun addressing these omni-channel customers, by providing a seamless experience across all shopping channels, and by communicating and addressing the customers via their preferred channels, including mobile devices. However, while the industry has made considerable progress in engaging with the customers through mobile solutions, retailers have lagged behind in using these solutions to engage with the workforce.