Empowering Mid-Sized Retailers

Mid-sized retailers are stuck for choice when it comes to finding technology solutions. Options are limited as many vendors offer a general small and medium enterprise package, which often neglects to address all of the business demands. And without the resources of larger businesses, mid-sized retailers often settle for solutions that ignore their unique needs. With the retail landscape shifting rapidly, there’s a growing need for customised solutions for mid-sized retailers to keep their position in the Australian market and optimise opportunities for growth – and Google Cloud will be stepping in to do just that.

 

Move fast

With technology growing increasingly more accessible every day, new small businesses have a competitive advantage by using it to build intensely personal, customised interactions with customers. Using data from every aspect of their business, it is now possible for companies to move rapidly and scale their marketing and operations to adjust to business conditions with limited risk to themselves.

Technology is evolving to become the core of much retail, especially online. Take Koala, a mattress-in-a-box start-up that’s grown to become an internationally recognised Australian lifestyle brand. Its disruption of the industry is so great that it’s forcing bigger brands like IKEA to evaluate their approach to business. In many ways, you can say they’re the Uber of the direct-to-consumer furniture industry.

Using data to reinforce marketing efforts is not a new concept – analytics have existed for decades and helped to inform creative since the 80s. But the difference is the level of integration that exists between marketing and operations, which has only become possible in the last few years as Cloud technology and services became more sophisticated. Reliance on this technology is so much so, that even Charlie Gearside, the creative director at Koala, describes the company as a technology company at heart.

 

Disrupt Fearlessly

The good news: cloud technology and services is getting exponentially more affordable and accessible with every passing year. Even though Australian businesses are about six years behind the U.S. in adapting cloud technologies, it’s becoming clearer that there is minimal risk in shifting infrastructure in this direction. In fact, there is more risk in not taking advantage of these technologies now – as mid-sized retailers are seeking ways to disrupt themselves without being cornered by new competition.

There is a level of fearlessness that helps top retailers stand out – to try new things and learn from breaking patterns in order to scale, adjust and move on from failures better, faster and stronger. With cloud technology, retailers are able to test big and small ideas in a larger quantity, accumulating data faster than ever to create the best possible strategic campaign.

 

The Age of the Customer

Between follow-me ads and scrolling video on newsfeeds, 63 per cent of people expect brands to use purchase history to provide personalised experience (Google/Greenberg Survey 2017). Further to that, the same survey by Google showed that 60 per cent of people expect brands to deliver a consistent experience when they interact with a brand, but only 42 per cent of those people believe that brands actually provide a consistent experience.

With the right tools, mid-sized retailers are positioned well to execute relationship management at scale, staying closer to their customers than large enterprises can. Using data effectively can provide several streams of value, from finding efficiencies in chain-management to growing market-audiences. Finding points of relevance that link customers and the business will be key in creating sustainable systems.

Looking to learn more about how cloud-based services and infrastructure can be customised to your business? Don’t miss our content from the Retail Super Powers Summit (in partnership with Google Cloud) from November 2018.