Retail and QSR stalwart brands have been making headlines for their recent spends in brick-and-mortar retail. This shows how critical brick-and-mortar is for the ecosystem, starting from the industry giants on down.

However, Australian retailers must bring innovative approaches to market in order to overcome some of the challenges that have arisen, such as e-commerce competition, waning consumer loyalty, and supply chain disruptions.

It starts with data

Clearly, it’s an extremely exciting time for Australian retailers embracing retail, especially those who do so understanding the state of change that the market is in. 

By now, retailers should know that data is the key to unlocking the next stage of growth – the same is true for almost every sector. Through understanding shoppers via great data, retailers gain insights into behaviour, and can personalise interactions, recommend relevant products, and create memorable moments. Seamlessly integrating online and offline data enriches the consumer journey and supports sales. 

Advanced data analysis empowers retailers to fine-tune pricing, promotions, and product assortments. Omni-channel integration allows for cohesive marketing efforts, driving sales across platforms. Retailers armed with data insights can adapt swiftly to market shifts and retain profits. 

Target helps set an example

Target, one of the United States’ largest retailers that’s beloved here in Australia too, effectively utilises data analytics to enhance customer satisfaction and optimise its retail operations.  

Working with LiveRamp in the US, Target’s data strategy focuses on understanding customer needs, optimising inventory, and providing a seamless shopping experience across channels. Target’s detailed understanding of its customers is used to create engaging touchpoints that provide the experience that customers want. Additionally, Target leverages its data with predictive analytics to further anticipate buying patterns and create targeted advertisements or coupons that drive Target’s business while also prioritising value for consumers. 

Furthermore, Target also leverages data science to improve on-shelf availability. By analysing data, they ensure that products are stocked efficiently, reducing out-of-stock situations and enhancing the shopping experience for customers. 

 Omnichannel helps support e-commerce and supply chains 

Just as retailers are moving towards omnichannel logistics that help support both physical locations and online presences, data helps to support omnichannel views of customers that enable them to provide the level of service that customers now demand.

Similar to how increasing parts of the customer journey have moved online, starting with upper-funnel activities like product discovery and consumers doing their own research, retailers now need to provide their customers with value at these increasingly online junctures as well.

Retailers who partner with the right data experts to employ the right solutions can leverage data analytics to help bridge the gap further for consumers. By analysing online browsing behaviour, wish lists, and abandoned carts, they gain insights into individual preferences. Armed with this knowledge, they can further tailor in-store displays, promotions, and inventory to meet customer expectations. 

Activities further down the funnel are moving online as well; even in the case of conversion, a customer that is typically an in-person shopper may decide to click-and-collect, meaning that an omnichannel, data-powered experience will be critical to connecting with them across their journeys, all the way to their in-store interactions as they physically pick up their products.

Innovative Australian retailers can also enhance in-store experiences by sharing de-personalised customer habits data with suppliers. This collaboration enables suppliers to understand how customers shop within specific categories, leading to better alignment of objectives and improved service for shared customers. 

Finally, with respect to the ever-complicating question of supply chains, omnichannel data – as well as collaboration with supply partners – helps to generate increasing levels of insight into product demand in real time, and even beyond as deeper wells of data are developed.

Retailers are able to better anticipate product demand and keep these products in stock; collaboration with brand suppliers increases the level of insight across both organisations, leading to both brand and supplier keeping the right products on shelves when their customers need it, providing the positive experience that will keep their customers loyal and coming back over and over again.

By understanding consumer behaviour, optimising operations, and embracing data visualisation and sharing with suppliers safely, retailers across Australia will lead and shape the future of retail experiences here. 

For more case studies and solutions for retailers, check out Retail Data Collaboration | Retail Media Network | Safe Haven | LiveRamp 

Melanie Hoptman is managing director for APAC at LiveRamp.