- COVID-19 protocols in retail environments have stabilized, but the importance of open, scalable, secure data analytics solutions hasn’t diminished.
- The technologies that helped retailers adapt to meet guidelines when COVID-19 hit can help stores innovate for the next step in retail.
- As retailers shift their attention to innovation that isn’t fueled by public health concerns, they need experienced partners to guide the way.
The full story
Consumers’ views of in-store shopping have shifted profoundly over the past few years. While shoppers seeing these changes may consider them a byproduct of COVID-19, that perception is not entirely accurate. Although the health and safety concerns that came with COVID served as the impetus for rapid adoption of new models, their execution is the result of years of steady technological investments and improvements by retailers.
The AI-driven data collection and analytics platforms that helped retailers to rise to meet the moment were not developed to overcome the challenges of a pandemic—their capabilities were simply put to work in pursuit of those solutions. Although it would be incorrect to say the COVID-19 pandemic has ended, current virus mitigation procedures seem to be sufficient to protect public health while allowing consumers to access the things they need.
With the period of operational innovation fueled by COVID mitigation coming to an end, retail decision-makers are reframing their relationships with data analytics to develop solutions for an even more streamlined, sustainable future.
Taking cues from external pressures
While the idea of returning to business as usual may be appealing, the fact is that the old ways of doing business weren’t always meeting customers’ needs. Before COVID, customers were craving more convenient, sustainable and seamless omnichannel experiences. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for retailers to rethink how they do business—from staffing to floor planning, customer service, omnichannel fulfillment and more.
However, shoppers’ pursuits of better, more sustainable and more convenient retail options will not stop there. The technologies that allowed retailers to react to the demands of COVID-19 will guide the way to better shopping experiences and more effective store operations on the next step of this journey. Now that retailers have become familiar with the scope of capabilities modern retail analytics technology offers, they can more comfortably advance their retail digital transformation journey.
After the upheaval of the past two years, the idea of continued changes may seem daunting, but the industry sits on the precipice of a significant period of innovation. Retail decision-makers drive where the industry is headed, and they will do so with the advantage of available outside-in innovation.
The right expertise, processes and tools will lead the way
Retailers who have invested in these technologies but haven’t fully explored their capabilities may feel alone in this pursuit. However, leaning on experts in the field can help retailers and brands make sense of the data from their systems and consumer demands.
To achieve operational excellence, retailers may benefit from:
- Technology strategy expertise which can help assess operations and design roadmaps with relevant technology recommendations
- Design, deployment and integration expertise which is focused on solution design and architecture, program delivery, deployment, installation and standardization to drive retail outcomes
- Technology management and support experts who leverage best-in-class tools to facilitate hardware repairs, maintenance, technical support, upgrades and system health monitoring.
- Learner services that deliver on flexible consumer-facing training programs that support business outcomes and maximize ROI on technology investments
- Customer success experts that can provide tailored guidance on retailers’ specific needs, goals and pain points to enable continuous transformation
- Retail consulting practices that brings together experts’ years of retail experience and advanced analytics for devising new methods to reach profitability goals.
As retailers shift their attention to innovation that isn’t fueled solely by public health concerns, engaging with next-generation data analytics and experienced retail store operations teams will guide the way into a more streamlined, sustainable future. For those retailers who feel they don’t have these experts on hand, Sensormatic Solutions‘ can help. Sensormatic IQ—the organization’s scalable analytics solution—provides the precise, actionable insights and transformative services retailers need to fast forward their operations.
The era of personalized, connected retail analytics solutions is here to push retailers’ digital transformation journeys forward. Sensormatic IQ’s ever-evolving platform integrates new technologies as they become available, providing insights for retailers of any size. As the industry’s ecosystems grow, Sensormatic IQ—and the services that come with it—will evolve to match, offering flexible entry points to digital transformation for years to come.