Many companies are already starting Retail 4.0 projects hoping to achieve that differentiation that allows them to distance themselves from the competition and from the price war in the sector.
The Retail sector is innovating rapidly because its customers demand satisfactory, complete shopping experiences adapted to new technologies.
Retail 4.0 starts with this spirit, leaving behind previous business transformations. Before delving into Retail 4.0, let’s make a brief summary of the previous business transformations.
Retail 1.0: The supermarket is born as a self-service store.
Transcendental transformation of the business by converting traditional food stores into stores in which the customer served himself, offering a greater range of products (stores with much larger spaces are created), greater freedom of selection and comparison of products and prices and a drop in prices by reducing store costs.
Product promotions that make companies compete and benefit customers with better prices also appear.
Retail 2.0: The super evolves and becomes hyper.
Starting from the benefits of the supermarket, the spaces are enhanced in order to be more productive and profitable for the distributors and for the customer to have a more complete shopping experience by having a multitude of purchase options in the same space.
It evolves by creating multi-format products, more elaborate products, category management, more advanced supply chain management and lower prices.
Retail 3.0: He stood out for wanting to use the internet to sell.
This meant great changes to ensure that customers have satisfactory shopping experiences: recommendation engines appeared (Amazon has been a reference), Big Data helped us to better understand the profile and behavioral habits of customers in both physical and digital channels. as well as on social networks. The logistics chain also had to adapt to personal needs, fast deliveries from its customers and low prices thanks to the growth in sales through this channel.
These changes made the physical and digital channels join and combine towards an evolution that landed in Retail 4.0.
Retail 4.0: Unification of channels.
We went from having multiple channels (multi-channel) to having a unification of the channels (omni-channel) to facilitate the customer experience and make it unique, identifying the customer only once and being able to move through the different channels as a single customer. .
The combination of physical and digital stores is necessary to grow sales, since the shopping experience includes both. The generation of a need or desire to purchase can go from the digital channel to its contrast in the physical store and the closing of the purchase in digital, after having compared prices and conditions.
Due to this mix of channels, promotions are more personalized and comprehensive (covering from need/want to payment and delivery), loyalty programs have to demonstrate that they are capable of adding value to customers, and there is real customer engagement. win-win between the two parties if you want continuity.
The stores are adapted to create spaces and environments that are more pleasant and quicker to purchase, through floor layouts designed for customers and not for distributors, smart carts, faster and more efficient forms of payment, dynamic and intelligent prices, product information online, information on promotions, stocks, etc. Immediately.