Guest Column | September 14, 2022

The Importance Of The Digital Shelf In The New Era Of Retailing

By Álvaro Verdoy, Sales Layer

Connected Retail Store

The rise of eCommerce and the evolution of technology has meant a new era of retailing is among us. Consumer demands are constantly evolving, transforming the landscape over the past decade and with modern technology continually developing, the eCommerce industry is only set to get bigger. With predictions suggesting that 95% of all purchases will be made online by 2040, retailers must change and adapt to the new retailing environment.

The digital shelf has generated significant growth for brands with global retail eCommerce sales reaching an estimated $4.9 trillion in 2021. The number of digital touchpoints for shoppers has increased and as a result, the need for efficient product inventory management (PIM) is essential. However, navigating the digital shelf can be difficult, especially for retailers that have not fully integrated eCommerce into their business strategy. Brands need to understand how to fully optimize this online tool to thrive in an increasingly competitive online market.

A Customer-Focused Culture

Consumer expectations have risen exponentially, where they demand experiences that are seamless, fast, and personalized. Therefore, customer-focused retailers are the ones who profit the most and gain a competitive advantage. By using PIM, retailers can foster a culture dedicated to enhancing customer satisfaction and building stronger customer relationships. Jonathan Brummel, Senior Manager of Premier Support at Zendesk, describes customer focus as “a core value to whom you want to be as a company and how you want your customers to feel about you.”

PIM enables retailers to adopt a customer-focused approach that drives sales, with 93% of shoppers reporting that they will spend more with brands that offer their preferred option to reach customer service departments and 90% reporting that they will spend more with retailers that offer a personalized customer journey.

A Data-Driven Strategy

As the number of digital sales channels retailers utilize increases, so do the challenges of successfully managing products and creating a seamless omnichannel customer experience. Therefore, retailers must continually analyze the results accumulated from all channels to improve their digital shelf network. PIM can offer brands rich and real-time data to gain valuable insights into each channel.

In the past year, retailers have lost $756 billion due to poor eCommerce personalization. Adopting automation software such as PIM allows brands to optimize their product management and streamline the entire customer journey by offering customers a complete and coherent personalized experience across all touchpoints.

Digital Transformation

The pandemic has resulted in the demand for digital technologies in the retail sector increasing exponentially. Digital transformation is enhancing the omnichannel experience as it is tailored to the shopper’s needs. As a result, it highlights the need for an effective PIM tool to increase consumer satisfaction for a more personalized journey. To remain relevant in this constantly evolving landscape, retailers need to rethink their strategies and strive toward a digital transformation strategy using PIM.

The retail landscape will become increasingly influenced by digital transformation and retailers must be prepared to adapt to the new technology. eCommerce is here to stay, and retailers who wish to future-proof their brands will need to evolve to meet the demands of the new era of retailing. By utilizing PIM, retailers can effectively adopt a customer-focused culture and a data-driven approach to drive sales.

About The Author

Álvaro Verdoy is the Founder and CEO of Sales Layer.