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How to respond to innovative trends in the retail market at breakneck speed

The market has been seriously shaken up by innovative, new companies during recent years. These market shakers introduce creative business models for which unique software applications are often at the center. Consider Flink, the on-demand delivery service, that rapidly delivers groceries to their customers with a simple app. And do this from small distribution centers in city centers. Another good example is the online bank N26 that also serves people with an excellent application, without having any physical branches. In both cases technology forms the basis and offers companies agility and low costs.

To be able to innovate IT must be flexible enough to adapt to your ideas. The technology must adapt to support the business, rather than the other way around. Something that appears to be almost impossible with old, unwieldy legacy systems. If you want to follow trends, then you need a flexible core system. 

Focus on sustainable choices

Research from McKinsey (2020) confirms what we already saw: consumers make more sustainable choices. They preferably buy products or services from companies that consciously respect humans and the planet. It is becoming more important for them that companies also contribute to this. The first step to greater sustainability, is making all product streams transparent.

With better connections between your data streams, there is greater transparency to identify places in the chain where you can also increase sustainability. We already mentioned benefits such as the smarter planning of trucks and reducing returns. With more knowledge about your product, transportation and sales, greener choices can be made. Better decisions about recycling, returns and transport become achievable.

Make personalized offers

Automation, insight into data across all layers and connections between systems, can lead to increasingly detailed offers. Consider, for instance, individual bonus offers by Albert Heijn, paying without having to walk pass the checkout in the Amazon stores and Zalando, which indicates in real-time the size that you need of the product that you are looking at.

If this automation of prices and product configurations is well designed, then this offers opportunities for one-of-a-kind products. Customers can themselves configure a sofa, making choices for cloth, color, material and legs. This is error-sensitive in old systems, but with Thinkwise software such calculation errors are reduced to a minimum.

Targeted organization of your supply chain

By gaining insight into various data streams you can greatly improve many steps in your supply chain. Consider pricing determination, promotion and presentations in shop-window, home pages or product listing pages. Stocks are updated in real time, so that you can make better business decisions. According to Shopify (2022) this is important to manage inventory costs and to avoid that you run out of stock. If this is well managed, consumers will quickly gain confidence in your company, giving you a competitive advantage much earlier than the competition. This not only ensures that products are brought to the market as effectively as possible, it also enables you to predict consumer behavior.

Automation and improvement

A Thinkwise core system offers numerous benefits and opportunities. Backlogs become shorter and the system never ever becomes legacy, just to mention a couple. Another major benefit is the easy connection of all kinds of business applications. You can combine many data streams to create transparent dashboards. You build and integrate transport, warehouse, merchandising and POS systems in one low-code platform, which provides the ultimate insight into all your data. These insights enable you to make smart choices. This produces numerous benefits: price calculations are no longer needed in Excel, trucks are loaded even smarter, returns are minimized and it becomes possible to store smaller stock levels in your distribution centers.

Building applications and dashboards with Thinkwise is 10 to 30 times faster than with traditional coding, such as in C# or Java (QSM Report, 2017). Currently IT spends a lot of time in maintaining existing legacy software. From our experience only 20% of the time is actually devoted to IT innovation. In short: you save time, money and resources with Thinkwise low-code.

Do you want to know more?

Businesses that already make use of Thinkwise low-code can respond better to the market and are not inhibited by their IT landscape. This is a tremendous competitive advantage because you can rapidly adapt to trends and developments.

Would you prefer to exchange ideas directly with a Retail Advisor? Then please contact us.