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Retailers must provide ‘ME’aningful customer experiences: Wipro-Planet Retail Research

A new study by Planet Retail and Wipro confirms that retailers who do not provide individualized and digitally connected customer experiences, are falling behind competitors. According to the study, 82% of the retailers interviewed, agreed that investments in digital technology and operational improvements would help them target customers as individuals, with hyper-personalized offers and promotions. Only 18% said they were “extremely happy” with their current ability to target customers based on their habits and preferences.

These are among the major findings of ‘The Era of the Individual: Unleashing the Power of ME’, a new study from Planet Retail, world’s leading provider of global retail intelligence, commissioned by Wipro Limited, a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company. The research report surveyed 300+ senior executives at retailers with global operations, and with annual revenues of USD 750 million or more. The executives based in Canada, France, Germany, the UK and the US represented a mix of brick and mortar and online retailers.

Srini Pallia, Chief Executive, Consumer Business Unit, Wipro Limited said, “The research clearly highlights that, while retailers have embarked on their digital journey, much remains to be accomplished to support more meaningful engagement with the consumer. Further, consumers entering the store today are painfully aware of the obvious divide between the physical and digital worlds. We, at Wipro, believe that harnessing the power of the individual and creating meaningful experiences is imperative to gain competitive advantage. Together with Wipro Digital and our Strategic Design Business, Designit, we are certainly on the right path to understanding the customer journey better.”

Miya Knights, Technology Research Director Planet Retail said, “The importance of the personalization is not to be underestimated in this ‘Era of the Individual’. The fact that an overwhelming 82% of retailers surveyed agreed that investments in technology and operational improvements help them to target customers as individuals with hyper-personalized offers and promotions speaks volumes.

The report predominantly focuses on three strategic cornerstones for retailers to adopt, if they wish to harness the power of the individual, to create hyper-personalized meaningful experiences:

  • Enrich merchandising attributes
  • Drive digital supply chains
  • Reimagine stores as digital magnets

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • The era of the individual is here and retailers must respond. The majority of customers expect retailers to be able to react to their demands and reward their loyalty with contextual, relevant and tailored offerings in real time.
  • Obtaining a 360-degree view of the customer is key. Research strongly suggests that consumers expect retailers to deliver better customer experiences based on the data being collected about every single facet of their shopping journeys.
  • Retailers must go “back to basics” to optimize individual shopping journeys. Retailers must embrace digitally transformed business processes, like enriching merchandising attributes, driving supply chain agility and extending the role of the store as a digital hub for online and offline activities, at the same time as mastering the retail basics around price, range, and availability.
  • The store is evolving to become a digital magnet. Retailers recognize the need to blend the physical and online worlds by digitizing shopping experiences.
  • Empower store associates to “save the sale”. The research strongly infers that an informed store associate, empowered to drive meaningful engagement with customers, can also minimize the impact of lost sales, product returns, and convoluted distribution and fulfilment demands.

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