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How to make your enterprise more customer-centric

Target’s sortation center in Minneapolis.
Target’s sortation center in Minneapolis.

The goal of retail has always been to provide shoppers with the items they want, when and where they want them.

But until the last 20 years or so, retailers were highly limited in their ability to cater to individual customer needs. No more. As the evolution of mobile technology has led consumers to lead “constantly connected” lifestyles where handheld devices provide limitless access to everything they want or need, they now expect retailers to provide a custom-tailored shopping experience.

In response, the industry is developing a “customer-centric” retail model that ensures workflows across every part of the enterprise are flexible and responsive enough to provide maximum convenience and satisfaction for each individual customer. Here are three retailers that serve as examples of how to make different enterprise workflows more customer-centric:

All merchandising is local at Academy Sports

Academy Sports, which plans to open 13 to 15 new stores this year, has a localized merchandising strategy and a value proposition that allows it to connect with a broad range of consumers. The retailer’s product assortment focuses on key categories of outdoor, apparel, footwear and sports and recreation, and includes national brands and a portfolio of private label brands.

Key to Academy’s localized merchandising strategy is its ability to offer shoppers attractive prices in each community it serves utilizing Revionics’ Base Price solution. Additionally, with Revionics’ Markdown application, Academy can clear its seasonal inventory quickly and profitably, keeping its on-shelf selection fresh.

Academy is able take a customer-centric and data-driven approach to pricing, using an advanced AI platform to crunch massive amounts of data to help  understand how shoppers will react to different combinations of price increases and decreases.

This allows the retailer to price competitively on its most popular goods and be less aggressive on items where demand stays relatively stable even when prices go up.  

Boohoo gets smart about relevant promotions

U.K.-based global online fashion retailer Boohoo is utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to offer relevant promotions at order confirmation and acquire new customers at scale. Boohoo is expanding its partnership with Rokt, a provider of AI- and machine learning (ML)-based personalization technology, to make transactions more relevant to each shopper.

The retailer is focusing on increasing user engagement and profit per transaction across markets in North America, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand. Within a year of initially launching Rokt technology, Boohoo decided to deploy the Rokt Ecommerce and Rokt Ads solutions to provide offers relevant to a customer’s purchase in the confirmation page, as well as to acquire new customers.

Utilizing Rokt solutions, Boohoo serves relevant, non-endemic offers for global customers across both browser and app transactions for brands including Boohoo, Nasty Gal, BoohooMan and PrettyLittleThing. The retailer puts AI-based placements on its transaction flow and leverages first-party data to create relevant experiences tailored to each individual customer.

In addition, the retailer’s brands will also use Rokt Ads to acquire new customers at scale by leveraging Rokt's exclusive inventory within brands such as Ticketmaster, Uber, and AMC Theatres.

Target sorts out next-day delivery

Target Corp. continues to expand its next-day delivery capabilities with a streamlined sortation center model. The discounter opened its tenth sortation center in August 2023, in Miami.

Since Target launched its sortation center operations in 2021, the facilities have helped to increase the number of orders delivered to customers the next day by more than 150%, according to the retailer.

Looking to speed up delivery even further, the retailer in June 2023 opened its first “Target Last Mile Delivery (TLMD)” extension facility, in Smyrna, Ga. The facility receives local, pre-sorted packages from Target’s Atlanta sortation center and stages them for pickup and next-day delivery by drivers on the Target-owned Shipt online delivery platform to additional neighborhoods.

Built at a fraction of the cost of a full-size sortation center, the TLMD extension brings the retailer’s next-day delivery capabilities to more than 500,000 additional customers in the greater Atlanta market. The company has brought Target Last Mile Delivery to all its sortation center facilities. 

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