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Relevance Commerce: Survival Of The Slickest

Retailing as we know it has undergone a sea change. The siloed nature of legacy retailing is re-structuring from brick and mortar to clicks and swipes at a fiercly rapid pace. Retail trade entities have started moving towards what is now commonly referred to as ‘Omni-Channel’. Omni-channel, the holy grail of retailing is supposed to provide consumers a seamless and personalized shopping experience.

Post 2010, the Omni-channel approach to retailing has risen to prominence due to the need for retailers to rise above the pack through personalization. In recent years the retail space has densified thanks to the rising popularity of ecommerce platforms like Drupal, Magento and Shopify. As per the US Census Bureau, ecommerce was as dense as $89.1 billion in the 4th quarter of 2015 within a market that is estimated to be worth $1,184.8 billion in total retail sales.

In light of that, ‘personalization’ can then be seen as a way to stand out of the crowd. Retail pundits have long identified ‘personalization’ as the route to success. When you acknowledge that customers today are an increasingly mobile lot that has product information on tap and attention spans that are shorter than a goldfish, it’s easy to appreciate the importance of personalization.

Retail merchants professing to be customer-centric now need to put more money than they ever have where their mouth is. These are demanding times. Customers today want to shop when they want, wherever they want and pay however it suits them. Businesses that are agile enough to keep up with these demands are the ones that will effortlessly ride the Omni-channel tsunami.

So where does ‘relevance’ fit within the scheme of things?  Personalization is all about relevance. It’s about engaging with shoppers through merchandise and offers that are relevant to their ever evolving tastes and preferences.

Relevant Merchandise

Personalization begins with matching shopper profiles with merchandise that is relevant to them. Getting your merchandise assortment right is a vital step towards creating the ideal shopping experience. Assortment planning is a strategic decision that can no longer be left at the mercy of ‘gut feeling’.

It’s the era where we can now tap into the breadcrumb trails left by consumers through their shopping behavior. Thanks to retail analytics, it’s now possible to make retail buying decisions on the back of trending items and attributes like colors, material, sizes, elements etc. Incompetitor, our SaaS retail analytics enables you to make such smarter retail decisions every day with real-time insights.

Relevant Pricing/Offers

While it’s a no brainer that right prices and offers drive sales, being on top of what is ‘right’ every day can be challenging. Even more challenging is the ability to make the right offer to the right audience. Shoppers are more informed than they have ever been, which means that they are aware of the best prices being offered by a variety of sellers. Needless to say, these best prices are the ones that are most relevant to them. Retailers and brands therefore need to track the competition and simultaneously optimize prices for thousands of SKUs.

The ability to peer into the competitions catalog and make on-the-fly pricing decisions is indispensable. Our big-data retail analytics platform is currently aiding more than 100 customers across 12 countries to do the same. We have a clever basket-based pricing algorithm that dives into the shoppers browsing & buying history and matches it with real-time competitive pricing intelligence to create relevant customized offers and entice customers into buying more. It’s a clever approach towards personalizing offers and increasing sell-through rates.

Relevant Visibility

Online retail catalogs tend to be exhaustive to the point where they have the potential to overwhelm shoppers with their scale. The best online retail players understand this. Their ecommerce portals are retrofitted with intelligent algorithms that tweak product visibilities to match individual tastes, selling trends and competitor intelligence. All in an effort to stay relevant at all times.

At Intelligence Node we have developed a proprietary visibility algorithm that cumulatively aggregates product and relevant category positions in relation to other items on online catalogs. Simply referred to as ‘Visibility Rank’, it’s a powerful indicator of the direction in which consumer wallets gravitate to give away selling trends, trends that are relevant to the market. Visibility ranks can be plugged into catalog management systems to optimize visibilities across products, categories and nth level sub-categories.

In the next few years we are going to witness a lot of blurring between online and offline retailing. It will be fueled by retailer receptiveness to the increasing tendency of shoppers to not only gather as much product information as possible, but also to get a tangible feel of products before they are bought. Retail players need insights that shorten the shopper’s buying journey while simultaneously optimizing each stage of the retail life cycle.

Don’t hesitate to drop us a line for a deeper conversation on the subject.