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The Future Of Retail In The Digital Era

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Digital is the key to the future of retail, as technology is a means to enhancing the overall customer experience. People who use digital technology socially are becoming increasingly connected in using the same medium for shopping, so any business that doesn't have a reliable online presence is in danger of falling behind.

Recent surveys have showed that the majority of consumers are shopping online today. A study by Ernst and Young revealed that 62% of global consumers go online for at least part of their shopping, while 79% of 25 to 34-year-olds are influenced by social media. Furthermore, 40% of mobile phone users who use social networking sites on their mobile device are likely to share both positive and negative retail experiences.

In the battle for survival in today's challenging economy, it's crucial to install the latest technology to improve your business's efficiency and bring online ordering to the forefront of retail operations.

Retail analytics

Industry and retail analytics
are an important part of the digital retail revolution. The sector's online market is a fast-moving one, where new trends emerge and competition increases at a mind-boggling rate. Consumers use the many online platforms to share ideas and opinions, both with friends and with the general public, about everything from new products to customer service standards.

This trend for online communication for consumers and retailers provides a multitude of data that can be stored and analysed by businesses. Extracting valuable information from the data can help retailers to meet customer demands, improve business performance, increase sales and become a stronger market competitor.

Analytic solutions can help retailers to assure customers a positive experience by developing a personalised customer experience, acquiring new customers and retaining them, building good relationships and providing loyalty initiatives for high-value customers. Harness the power of data to gain an actionable insight into giving your customers a tailored experience that will keep them coming back, time after time.

Importance of ecommerce analysis

It's fair to say that ecommerce space on the internet is increasingly competitive as more businesses, complementary services and platforms join the market. Although setting up an online store can take as little as 10 minutes, of course it takes much more effort to turn the store into a successful business.

By analysing the ecommerce landscape every day, Competitor Monitor can paint a picture of current consumer behaviour and marketing trends in the ecommerce arena, providing businesses with a better chance of reaching their goals. 

Statistics show that 30.5% of all traffic comes from Google, Yahoo and other search engines. This is a significant amount, so it's vital that retailers invest in an SEO strategy to help their rankings on the most popular search engines.

Pricing strategy

Having a pricing strategy in place for your online store is vital, but how do you know the best price for your products? The majority of retailers use one of three basic pricing strategies that play a part in their business's effectiveness.

Anchor pricing establishes a price point that consumers will use as a reference refers for future prices. When sales prices are listed, the original price is also displayed, so customers have a reference point for how much they have saved. When you set the anchor price high, customers will see the high price as normal, so that the sales price seems like a great deal.

Another pricing strategy is a "beat them all" price when you set a price that beats all the competition. Having the lowest prices online is a careful balancing act. It's a useful strategy to meet short term needs, such as boosting sales when it's slow, or emptying your inventory, but in the long term, it's not feasible to do this all the time, as it wouldn't be cost effective.

The third strategy is dynamic pricing, meaning that retailers adapt to changes in the marketplace. Pricing must reflect the real time market so that customers' expectations are met when they arrive at your website. The key to dynamic pricing is good data. If you don't adjust your prices to reflect lower prices in the market, customers won't shop with you. 

Don't underestimate the power of pricing metrics as this represents one of the biggest payback opportunities that's sometimes overlooked. Evaluating your value metric and ensuring it's aligned with your pricing strategy is crucial for optimising your business's profit.
All seem a bit like hard work? It needn't be. Competitor Monitor analyses the marketplace for hundreds of brands and retailers in the UK. Grab your free trial and see how your conversion rates improve.
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