Merchandising and marketing are core retail processes where technology must be deployed to leverage advanced analytics, algorithms, intelligent automation services and artificial intelligence to enable unified retail commerce. Retailers of all types must facilitate a unified retail commerce experience by engaging in digital business transformation built on a foundational view of customer shopping processes including:
Regardless of the methods of retail fulfillment, to meet customer expectations of consistent and flexible shopping between and across channels, all of the retailer’s customer-facing processes must be unified.
Retailers will achieve future success if they procure, source, develop and market products and services as demanded by the customer, and deliver them through a unified retail commerce ecosystem. Using an ecosystem approach means that retailers will leverage expanded partnerships with product suppliers, service providers and previously unidentified cohorts to deliver the customer-centric experience. Just as unified retail commerce is defined in basic customer process terms, customer-centric merchandising and marketing should focus not on the fulfillment process but on the five W’s:
- Who are the targeted customers and what are their lifestyles?
- What product assortments, services and offers are required to enable customers’ lifestyles?
- Where will the assortments, services and experiences be offered for customer engagement and acquisition?
- When will customers browse and transact?
- Why will the customer take each action and what behaviors will they exhibit?
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