How retail, consumer goods and commerce companies can deliver on the omnipresent retail imperative with Salesforce
Today’s consumers are completely different than they were ten, even five years ago. Consider your own behavior: You might pick up your phone to order necessities, and then later that day stop in a store to pick up a last minute item (and a few other unplanned ones while there). Or maybe you place an order online that you then complete in store.
Digital media has given us new ways to buy products, and in doing so it’s created a whole new set of challenges for retail, consumer goods and commerce companies.
The New Commerce Imperative
How do you best reach consumers at the moment of truth in their buying journeys? Answering this question has always been challenging, but in today’s world of omnipresent buying experiences that can take place on any number or combination of channels, it’s become even more difficult.
Consumers now have new ways of working, shopping and engaging with brands and one another, and companies need to plug into those experiences. In fact, meeting today’s consumers where, when and how they shop is what will separate the winners from the pack by enabling them to build brand awareness and establish loyal, long-term relationships.
Unfortunately, retail, consumer goods and commerce companies that are still using systems built for a single channel world will struggle to keep up.
Are Legacy Systems Holding You Back?
Against this backdrop, retail, consumer goods and commerce companies must ask one all-important question:
Are your current sales and marketing systems prohibiting our ability to drive profitable growth and margins in today’s market while solving for supply chain, digital engagement and long-term growth with our customers and partners?
If the answer is “yes” in any way, shape or form, then the question becomes: Is it time for a change? The good news is, it’s not too late to make that change – and that change doesn’t have to happen overnight (in fact, it won’t). But the time to start is now, because the longer it takes to begin, the harder it will be to catch up to those companies that have already made changes.
And the cost of not taking action is high: Not having the proper systems in place for today’s omnipresent commerce environment can quickly lead to margin erosion and reduced brand visibility, which can severely limit future growth potential.
4 Focus Areas for Success in the New World of Retail and Consumer Goods Commerce
If legacy technology can prohibit success, what does the ideal state look like? It centers around four key focus areas:
- Trade Spend Optimization and Promotion Management: Solutions to increase visibility into trade investments can help improve trade effectiveness, leading to increased revenue growth and margins. This visibility must span across channels to unlock omnichannel trade planning and execution, in contrast to siloed legacy systems and spreadsheets.
- Perfect Store: Perfect store is all about winning at the moment of decision for consumers, for example by driving merchandising standards and compliance. It also focuses on everything that supports that moment by improving the efficiency of in-store visits, promotion performance, penny-perfect pricing for order management, route and activity optimization and fact-based analytics at the outlet level to support retail and channel partners.
- B2B Customer Service: Enabling revenue generation through customer service can prove a huge win for B2B commerce companies by resulting in additional revenue and increased customer loyalty. Achieving this level of service requires connected systems that understand the lifecycle of both retail partners and their end customers.
- D2C Customer Retention and Loyalty: On average, consumers visit a product 6-7 times across channels before they purchase it. This behavior makes it essential for D2C retailers to meet consumers everywhere they want to experience the brand. Everything from consumer marketing to consumer services will impact brand perception, and ensuring the brand can not only meet consumers in various ways, but also that those experiences are positive ones can help attract new customers, increase purchase size and frequency and grow loyalty.
Making Changes Sooner Rather Than Later
Changes like these can seem daunting, but it’s worth reiterating that they don’t all have to happen at once. And the path to the new world of commerce doesn’t have to be a linear one.
So what is the best way to get started? Take a look at where your company stands today. What’s the biggest area of concern or weakest system holding you back? And what would the ideal path to fix that area look like? Understanding your current state and your ideal future is a good place to start in charting your path forward.
From there, most companies take a crawl-walk-run approach, solving the most important business problems first and moving forward based on that foundation.
Getting Started with a Modern Platform: How Salesforce and AllCloud Can Help
Salesforce is the only solution that offers the capabilities to solve all of the imperatives for modern retail, consumer goods and commerce companies. With solutions across marketing, sales, service and commerce, it’s well-positioned to unify data and processes for a true 360 view of consumers. Importantly, Salesforce can meet today’s challenges while also enabling growth for tomorrow.
If you’re interested in learning more, AllCloud’s Salesforce Readiness Assessment can help. This one-day assessment evaluates the health of your existing technology, identifies barriers to innovation and offers advice on how to immediately realize value from Salesforce. As part of the assessment, AllCloud will also deliver an actionable plan to unlock new and measurable business value with Salesforce as a catalyst for future growth, all based on your business strategy.
To learn more about AllCloud’s Salesforce Readiness Assessment and to get started today, click here.