The retail industry is in the midst of a major crisis – the advent of COVID-19 has resulted in severe fluctuations of demand, and organizations in the sector are having a tough time maintaining goods in the right quantities on their shelves; the constant fluctuations in demand are also badly affecting the ability of these organizations to generate stable revenues, resulting in a negative impact on their cash reserves. These challenges are only compounded by the breakdown of supply chains and a rapid growth in operating expenditures.
So, how can retail organizations overcome this crisis? What does it take to ensure smooth operations in a safe, cost-efficient manner? One of the important aspects retailers need to focus on is using a powerful IT solution that enables them to come up with innovative business models and deliver excellent customer service.
One of the most widely used software systems in the retail industry is Salesforce. Today, we will see 4 key benefits of using this innovative platform.
1. Create awareness about products and acquire customers seamlessly
Today’s customers use multiple channels to learn about and connect with companies; for instance, many customers use the online medium to find out about the products they want but buy them offline in a brick-and-mortar store. The use of diverse channels by customers is creating problems for retail companies in reaching out to the right customers on the right channels at the right time.
You can resolve this problem very effectively using Salesforce; the novel Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system allows you to get a 360-degree view of customer interactions with your retail company across all channels and touchpoints to clearly understand customer requirements in a timely manner. This enables you to come up with the right offering for the customer. More about multiple customer channels in a moment.
2. Deliver fully connected, personalized buying experiences to delight customers
Good customer experiences are the key to the growth of retail organizations. In fact, a study by Mulesoft showed 63% of customers were willing to switch over to another retailer, if they are not satisfied with their buying experiences. Most customers expect retailers to provide high-quality buying experiences across all channels they use, and this makes delivery of a fully connected, hassle-free buying experience extremely important. They also expect the company to perfectly tailor the product to their unique needs.
Salesforce helps your delight your customers, irrespective of how they connect with you; you can provide the same, wonderful experience across all channels — whether a customer visits your retail outlet, calls your customer care to place an order, visits your website or uses an app on his smartphone, you can deliver the perfect, fully-contextualized experience leading to very high levels of customer satisfaction.
3. Gain complete visibility into retail operations in real time to improve efficiency
As we have seen earlier, fluctuating demand and growing operational costs are major challenges faced by retail companies. Many retailers are trying to combat these problems by improving their operational efficiency and ensuring proper management of inventories. However, the lack of comprehensive, real-time operational sales data is preventing them from effectively handling their stocks of products.
Salesforce can help you overcome this challenge with a high degree of efficacy. The CRM platform allows you to access data pertaining to marketing and sales operations as they happen, and this empowers you to make timely decisions pertaining to supplies. For instance, you can get real time data into the sales of a popular brand of detergent at one of your retail stores using Salesforce, enabling you to estimate the quantities of the product remaining with you; this will allow you to move stocks of the detergent from another store or your warehouse or reorder the product, at the right time. You can thus ensure the retail outlet never runs out of stock for the product.
4. Make the best use of predictive data analytics without writing a single line of code
For years, retail companies across the world have relied on cumbersome manual processes to analyze marketing and sales data to identify business trends and estimate demand. The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in the need to forecast demand in real time with a very high degree of accuracy. Many retailers are using various computing applications to estimate demand and predict the performance of their businesses; however, a vast majority of these applications require complex programming skills, and as a result, executives of several retail companies are not able to harness the full potential of these applications.
This problem can be overcome very effectively using Salesforce; you can use the enterprise system’s predictive analytical capabilities to come up with very precise estimates of demand for retail products, with just a few clicks. You can also use Salesforce’s user-friendly features to forecast the revenues generated by each division of your retail company and develop highly complex business risk and strategy models, rapidly, with minimal effort.
As you can see, Salesforce helps retail organizations deliver high levels of customer satisfaction and streamline their operations to cut costs and manage constantly varying demand for their products. At Solunus, our unparalleled expertise of Salesforce coupled with our ability to thoroughly understand your unique requirements will enable us to provide the perfect solution that creates the best value for your retail business.
Hope you find this post interesting. How do you deal with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic? We’d love to know.
Solunus, a North-American based Salesforce Partner, prepares businesses for their next-generation customers. Established in 2014, we simplify Salesforce for you to build more meaningful customer relationships. We partner for a win-win arrangement with a clear ROI that the client realizes by the end of the engagement. Our 350+ years of cumulative industry exposure and Salesforce experience underpin our position as the right Salesforce partner. We are a team of Salesforce Certified Professionals, CRM Architects, and certified Agile Scrum Masters with a passion for making a difference.
About the Author:
Phani is a seasoned content writer. He has written several well-received blog posts and articles on various subjects, ranging from online training to regulatory compliance. When he is not writing, you can find him watching Hollywood classics.