Retail is not dead – but it is changing. Lines between industries like retail, hospitality and entertainment are blurring, and experiences are replacing possessions in consumers’ minds.
Retail brands need to follow this shift, and move their focus from what they sell to what they stand for. They must capture their customers’ attention and engage them, again and again. More than ever, they need to prove they are different from the mass, and attract consumers with original, unique experiences and personal attention and care. This is the only way to gain a place into the shoppers’ hearts.
Say you run an established fashion store. Things are going well, but you’d like to try something fresh. So when the business next door goes out of business, you decide to take it over, and add a café concept to your store. Your customers like it; they stop by for a flat white, and bring friends along. And when they leave the tables, they swing by in your store to see what products are new. The store is flourishing, and the café side becomes so popular you start offering take-out and delivery options. One, and then more, of your customers ask for the recipe to your signature dishes. So you set up a weekend cooking class, then another, and finally make it a regular feature.
You have created a concept – and nothing stops you from expanding, and opening more locations.
Or does it?
Unfortunately, for most retailers this kind of vision may have to stay simply a dream. Complex IT systems, poorly integrated web experiences, limited social capabilities, and applications that don’t communicate and can’t grow are common in the retail industry. As a result, businesses are left unable to follow through with their plans, and to deliver the experiences they know their customers want.
At LS Retail, we believe that your brand vision shouldn’t be held back by your technology platform. To succeed in retail in today’s world you have to be prepared to think big, and act bravely. You need to be always on your toes, ready to seize opportunities. And your technology should back you up, and propel your vision.
The right management system will support you as you expand your business and diversify it, and it will help you maintain control throughout.
But this is only part of the story.
For a retailer, good customer service is often the engine driving continued success and business expansion. Unfortunately, when a brand multiplies its locations and starts operating through different channels, it can be easy to lose that personal connection with customers.
To stay close to consumers without sacrificing your growth plans, you need systems that enable you to track the customer journey, and to communicate with each single customer in a meaningful, personal, human way.
In other words, you need unified commerce.
Supported by LS Central, the LS Retail unified commerce business platform, your business limits are pretty much endless. If you want to quickly expand your retail business, you can. If you want to branch out into opening up your own restaurants too, you can. If you want to turn your brand into a truly experience-centric company, you can. And you can do all of this while keeping that personal connection with your customers, today and tomorrow.