• Shaun Bateman

Driving retail success

Retail is in one of its most dynamic periods in history and is evolving almost as fast as the technology behind it.

Werner Reinartz, Professor of Marketing at the University of Cologne, commented in the Harvard Business Review that “shopping as a discrete activity in a given place and time takes a distinct back seat. Rather, the transaction becomes an ambient activity that is executed everywhere, anytime”.

This statement could not be more true in the age of the digital consumer, comments Ilze van Eck, Retail Lead at Fidelity ADT.

“Today, the drive for deep data and insightful analytics is more paramount to the success of retailers than ever. This rings truer as retailers juggle the fine line between enhanced profit margins and providing superior shopping experiences to their customers,” says van Eck.

“Industry leaders like Sensormatic Solutions are helping retailers to get more useful insights out of the data they collect, and offer meaningful ways to interpret and take actionable, proactive steps to ensure customers are satisfied while enhancing the shopper experience.”

The organisation has partnered with Fidelity Services Group in South Africa as the exclusive distribution partner for the country that can help drive the South African retail market and propel them into the future.

According to van Eck, over 80% of the top 200 retailers globally make use of Sensormatic Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) solutions and a combination of other customer-centric retail solutions, such as TrueVUE, which offers warehouse-to-shopfloor inventory intelligence, and ShopperTrak, which provides retailers with customer and employee traffic insights.

“South African retailers are more security conscious and have embraced innovation and the growing trend toward integrated smart Internet of Things (IOT) solutions to offer proactive insights into the health of their stores.

“Shrink management has moved from simple beeper pedestals at storefront entrances to fully scaled data intelligence, including traffic insights and inventory management solutions that can signify to shop attendants when to replace product on the shop floor.

“In addition, they offer further insights in connected stores to determine possible syndicate activity based on stock loss or theft, and personnel staffing management for days and times when shopper activity is predicted to be higher than normal.

“These solutions not only benefit customers by providing an improved shopping experience but assist retailers to anticipate best item placement for optimum sales, when to clean the shop floor and when to call on more staff during busy times,” says van Eck.

The bottom line she adds is that retail is here to stay, but it will be different.

The debate is no longer simply online versus in-store, or millennials versus other generations, but rather income bifurcation and the type of retail stores as primary causes leading to a retail renaissance.

Globally, research shows that there is a 263% growth in price-based store openings and almost 109% growth in premium-brand store openings. The five-year revenue growth projections paint a similar picture with an 81% growth rate predicted in the premium, and 31% revenue growth for price-based retail segments. A lot of this growth may be attributed to the increase in a more price-conscious consumer and the rise of the new elite who have no issues with spending on premium and luxury brands.

“With the research pointing to quick and power growth, how will retailers adapt to understand this changing consumer market in order to optimise and provide a superior shopper experience in order to attract a greater share of the market?” concludes Van Eck.



Lyme Park



South Africa

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