According to 97% of enterprise decision makers worldwide, COVID-19 has accelerated their company’s digital transformation.
It’s that time of the year again when strategic priorities and plans for the next twelve months are being finalized. Home and kitchen retailers globally are now prioritizing solutions that support omnichannel engagement, enable seamless operations and sales regardless of travel restrictions, and support business continuity. According to 97% of enterprise decision makers worldwide, digital transformation plans underpinned by investments like these have been accelerated by the events of 2020. For home and kitchen retailers to mitigate future disruptions, while driving growth among consumers who are digital natives, the right tech infrastructure is key.
This article will explore the top three areas of IT that any home or kitchen retailer should be looking to invest in this year.
- 3D planning technology
With more consumers online than ever before, retailers are having to adapt at tremendous speeds to address these preferences. Bed Bath & Beyond is a great example of adapting and updating their offering based on evolving consumer preferences, having recently partnered with Shipt to provide same-day deliveries to customers through either company’s platform. Other home and kitchen retailers should follow suit; listening to what their customers want and finding the best way to provide it to them.
Home and kitchen retail has traditionally been considered a sector that is not ready for omnichannel and e-commerce, but 2020 has proved otherwise. So, as we move into 2021, retailers must offer an online experience that can deliver online-first consumers all the value of a visit to store. This means creating online experiences that go beyond the ‘transactional’ online shopping offerings of other sectors. In essence, from the moment visitors enter your home or kitchen retail website they should be able to fully immerse themselves into a virtual retail environment that matches what they get in-store.
A 3D planning solution can provide this standout online experience. From being able to visualize their own spaces better to HD images, 360-degree virtual tours, and augmented reality, 3D planning enables consumers to picture their future homes in a new and improved way.
It allows users to interact with products online before purchase by integrating with your current catalog of products. But, most importantly, it gives them the tools to easily create their own made-to-measure room plans – seeing your products in their homes through stunning, accurate, and life-like renders. Empower your customers to purchase from your site with confidence; boosting satisfaction, driving sales, and ultimately, reducing returns.
- Cloud-based customer service infrastructure
There’s a reason that 32% of IT budget is expected to be allocated to migrating IT infrastructure to the cloud – with spending on public-cloud services forecast to grow by 18%. Cloud technology plays a key role in helping brands take the customer experience to the next level, offering greater agility and scalability to react to changing demand. For example, say your e-commerce portal is doing 1,000 orders a week, a cloud-based solution would automatically and efficiently scale servers and storage to accommodate a surge of thousands of orders during the Christmas period.
The key advantage of cloud technology is that it eliminates the need for significant upfront capital investment; giving you the flexibility to pay as you go and scale as you grow. Deployment is simple and updates are made automatically. With the platform and data stored redundantly off-premise, the cloud offers other benefits too, such as better business continuity, no downtime, and high levels of security.
With a cloud-based 3D planning solution such as HomeByMe for Retailers, for example, there’s no need for retailers or consumers to download or create complex executable files. All users need to do is create an online account, log in, and start designing within the portal. Designs are stored within the cloud so that users, and store consultants, can access them from anywhere, creating a seamless online-to-instore experience. There’s even the flexibility to support online consultations, virtual home visits and tours, so that your customers always get the service they need from wherever they are. For example, users could connect to a sales professional or product expert remotely to show off their homes and walk through the design process step by step with confidence.
- CRM systems
Home and kitchen purchases are a high value investment for customers, typically involving longer cycles that include extensive online research and comparison shopping. Facilitating e-commerce in this type of scenario, where there is an absence of in-store experts who are able to develop that personal rapport with prospects, retailers need systems in place to engage customers at every step of the process – at scale.
CRM systems built upon highly insightful, granular customer insights are central to this effort. The more data sources you join up the better insights you gain regarding each customer journey. And with these powerful insights, retailers have the opportunity to engage users with personalized, timely content and offers, to ensure greater satisfaction and deal closure.
Modern CRM systems can integrate with multiple data sources including online and social. They lend themselves to precise and predictive analytics – the foundation of personalized marketing and promotions. Retailers would be advised to consider investing in CRM systems that incorporate features such as sales coaching tools, lead scoring, and sales closure features, enabling them to adapt quickly to changing customer dynamics.
Further integrating your CRM system with other omnichannel sales platforms, like your 3D planning solution, can make the way you communicate with your customers even more powerful. With a 360-degree view of your customers, gain deeper insights regarding their product preferences, designs and more. This way you can offer tailored engagement and product recommendations based on their design behavior, while also gaining the information required to support sales, logistics, and merchandizing along the way.
76% of organizations are planning on long-term IT changes in 2021, and retailers should adopt the same strategy. A cloud-based 3D planning solution will grow with your business, offering you maximum flexibility and assurance that you can respond to changes in demand – whether this be a rise in sales or a change in consumer preferences.
3D planning, cloud technology, and CRM – each of these technologies offer undeniable benefits to home and kitchen retailers, but to get the most out of these systems, retailers should think about deploying them together. Consider a phased approach to your implementation so that you can get all the benefits of each technology in a modular and manageable manner for optimal ROI, growth, and possibility.
Get in touch and schedule a demo to find out more: 3DVIA.Sales@3ds.com