How Hyperautomation Is Changing the Retail Sector
The COVID-19 pandemic has put every industry in a challenging position, and the retail sector is no different. In fact, the challenges of the pandemic, such as inventory shortages and a macro shift in supply chain link, have had a reaching impact beyond making a consumer wait for their product. Internally, retail enterprises face management challenges with lining up supply with demand due to the volatile consumer trends in the new economy. Customer satisfaction is also impacted. In an “I want it now” economy, retailers need to establish a new normal for both themselves and consumers.
Given that over 30% of consumer interactions happen online this “new normal” must be technology-driven, and the key is automation. However, there is no “one size fits all” automation solution for retail or any other industry.
You’ve likely heard the word hyperautomation and the buzz around it. After all, it’s one of Gartner’s Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2022. But what does it actually mean? Hyperautomation involves connecting multiple disciplines like machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), event-driven software, low-code tools, and data analytics to digitally perform as much manual work as possible across an organization. This type of automation is not the physical automation like we see on warehouse assembly lines. This new form of automation is about creating digital minds using software that can mimic our day-to-day, mundane activities like data processing, data entry, reporting, and much more.
Like most industries, retail will have to focus more on automation than ever in order to survive and thrive, but a single-software approach will be unable to fit every need. Here are some of the most common applications of hyperautomation that retail businesses will need to continue embracing and how they can improve the workflow in the next year and beyond.
Adapting to rising customer expectations and changes in customer demands are among the biggest challenges facing modern retailers. Online shopping is more prevalent than ever, and customers are even having their groceries delivered to their doors these days. The best way to keep customers happy is to predict what they’ll want and deliver on it as soon as they want it. How is this possible? With data analytics that tracks customer behavior.
Data is one of the most powerful resources available to any organization, but you can only extract its full benefit if you’re able to keep it accurate and up to date. This is why hyperautomation is so important to analyze incoming data and use it to achieve actionable results for business users, so they can improve business processes by matching them to what the customers want. Instead of relying on pre-packaged solutions for every organization, we look for ways to help organizations improve their customer experiences and utilize automation opportunities that work to meet their specific goals.
Computer algorithms backed by machine learning can collect and analyze customer data in an instant, and with predictive analytics, they can use a combination of current and historical customer data to predict future trends. It’s true that artificial intelligence technology can’t replace human thought, but it can work some of the more tedious processes for us and help us come to data-driven conclusions faster. Demand forecasting with automation technologies makes it easier to prepare for changes in the supply chain, improve customer relationships, and inspire new product development.
Hyperautomation doesn’t just make it easier to forecast customer demands. It also makes it easier to adjust your store layout for maximum efficiency and impact. Instead of having a single, uniform store layout for every retail location, you can use this type of automation to access accurate information that’s updated in real-time for each individual store.
A good store layout is an important part of customer satisfaction, and it also helps improve your organization and operational efficiency. Naturally, one of the main business outcomes you want to achieve with your layout is creating an organized and convenient space to ensure smooth customer flow. Thanks to hyperautomation, you’ll get real-time insights into how many customers you have each day, as well as what they buy, so you can reorganize each store accordingly.
You can use a range of tools on your hyperautomation journey to determine your customer demographics and what your most popular products are. Then, you can arrange your store so that those popular products are clearly in view and conveniently arranged for your customers who purchase them. You may also find that you can segment aisles based on customer demographics and purchasing behavior in order to speed up the flow or even nudge customers toward your high-ticket items.
Developing new products and introducing them to the market is never easy, but with the suite of digital technologies available to you with hyperautomation, you can find new opportunities and pursue them with confidence backed by big data. Large retail chains have to analyze huge volumes of data, and they also have to worry about the source and quality of that data. Labeling data manually before starting product development is an extremely challenging and time-consuming process, but with machine learning data labeling, your team can focus more on core operations instead of busy work.
Creating new products requires extensive collaboration across multiple departments, including research and development, manufacturing, and the marketing team. Before hyperautomation, different departments may have stored their data in silos, requiring the manual transfer of data between departments. Thanks to hyperautomation practices, data between all departments can be shared automatically. This makes it much easier to find the ideal target audience for a product, record and analyze different kinds of products tests, and ultimately gather real-time opinions from customers using new products.
These are just a few ways the retail sector is benefiting from hyperautomation. Other use cases include automating basic accounting processes, sales audits, and even promotion tracking. Let us help you determine the automation capabilities that work for your needs so your organization can take advantage of these excellent tools.
At Novatio, we know that every organization needs its own unique approach to digital transformation, which is why we focus on helping organizations embrace hyperautomation in a way that helps them meet their goals, for example, as. reducing operational costs, meeting (and exceeding) the needs of customers, and improving efficiency and compliance.
Click here to speak to one of our experts about how Hyperautomation can improve your business.