The challenges presented by the COVID 19 pandemic forced most retailers to readjust their businesses. 2020 saw many retail stores closed across the globe. The main question was what to do next to protect business sustainability.
However, even before the pandemic, most retailers were experiencing less traffic. According to statistics, retail stores were predicted to experience 25% less foot traffic every year. This encouraged retailers to take advantage of the retail technology tools available to them.
These technology tools ensure that shoppers get their items without visiting the physical store. Unfortunately, most retailers don’t know how to use retail technology to drive their sales. Below are ways that retail technology can supercharge your sales:
- Using Digital Technology to Understand Consumer Behavior
Before the pandemic, most people preferred online shopping. In 2019, the number of online shoppers had risen to 1.92 billion. This number accounted for 14.1% of all retail purchases worldwide.
With the onset of the pandemic, most countries enforced lockdowns. This led to more consumers turning to online shopping.
Experts have predicted that the changes in consumer behavior will continue as the number of online shoppers keeps increasing. While the adoption of technology in retail stores is not new, retailers need to look for new ways to offer customers an interactive browsing experience when making their purchases online.
Make sure you use technology to understand your customer’s trends and behaviors. This will help you better engage and maintain your customers.
Remember to also invest in retail technology to understand the customer experience better. You should not view digitization as a threat to physical stores. That’s because it’s a compliment to your sales strategy.
- Use Retail Technology to Shape the Way Consumers Shop
Most online sales strategies offer clients a more independent shopping approach. However, your digital shoppers still need some help and support. This is especially true for people buying high-ticket and complex goods, such as furniture, jewelry, and electronics.
While chatbot technology has been in existence for a while now, most retailers don’t fully utilize its benefits. As a retail store owner, ensure you use the chatbot function to optimize your customers’ experience with your online brand.
You can also use other retail tech tools, such as augmented reality (AR) and video, to connect with your customers online. These tools are especially valuable when customers are considering high-value purchases online. To do this, you can use Ascentic Retail Engineering to help spark interest, increase engagements and boost sales.
One example of a high-value item is a couple shopping for an engagement ring. A ring is an item of significant sentimental value, and it’s also quite expensive. Such a couple could greatly benefit from AR shopping, where they can easily shop for the right ring from the comfort of their home.
- Embrace the Rise of the Dark Store
While the dark store is not exactly a technological advancement, they combine the physical shopping experience with the convenience of shopping online. This helps retailers to optimize the customer experience.
A dark store is a physical hub that can be accommodated in a large warehouse or storefronts, where the retailers are often on the scene showcasing their products. Embracing retail technology to foster innovation will reduce the risk of collapse.
One such innovation is using a live video feed to showcase your products to the customers who are shopping online. This is a safe and effective way to connect with the shoppers while still marketing your products. Dark stores give consumers the confidence they need when making high-value purchases.
This also gives your customers the level of personalization they require, which is only offered in physical stores. On top of the high satisfaction rate, you can also reap other benefits from dark stores. One such service is using the store as a fulfillment center to allow for quicker shipping of products.
- Take Advantage of Social Media
In 2020, platforms such as Facebook and Instagram accelerated the use of social media for online shopping. This led to a more significant shift in online shopping. Retailers took advantage of these platforms to advertise their products and allow users to purchase directly from their pages instead of going to their websites.
Ensure you take advantage of virtual shelves to run sales, advertise your products, and link ads. Today, Facebook and Instagram are helping retailers market and sell their products online. This has shifted the attention from traditional marketing methods, such as TV and radio adverts.
- Using Data and Analytics to Make More Informed Decision
Data and analytics are more useful today than ever. Collecting data from the supply chain, customers, and online sales will help you better understand your business. You will also be in a better position to know what works and what doesn’t.
Ensure you use data analytics to analyze customers and market trends and predict user behavior. You can measure the volume of customers purchasing your products and the back-end operation of the website. This will help you prioritize the digitization of your analytics and know where to improve to attract more sales.
- Using Social and Environmental Awareness
Today’s consumer cares more about environmental sustainability. This puts immeasurable pressure on the retailers to shift to eco-consciousness. To avoid being accused of consumerism, manufacturers have taken the initiative to avoid using materials such as leather and fur. Instead of using plastic as a packaging material, most companies have adopted biodegradable packaging.
Sourcing locally available materials is another way of reducing logistic emissions. Using technology can help reduce the environmental footprint. You can do this by:
- Using digitized receipts instead of printed paper ones
- Adopting innovative and sensor-based solutions for water and energy consumption
- Reverse vending machines
- Using conscious consumption technology
The best retail technology will allow your business to adopt eco-friendly processes. Ensure you also use this angle as a marketing tool, too.
Have You Adopted the Right Retail Technology?
Today, most businesses are faced with one condition, evolve or die. This has seen more and more enterprises adopting retail technology to develop their companies. Unfortunately, consumer behavior is constantly changing, and the market is ever-evolving.
Using retail technology can help you oversee complicated manufacturing procedures. It can also help you make an informed decision.
Did you like this article? Check out other posts on our site for more informative tips.
What To Know About Forex Trading In South Africa?
Trading is the newest interest of individuals around the world and is loved because of its benefits. It gives a close look at the stock market and helps people make a clear decision on what stock or company to invest in. Earning money plays a crucial role in the life of individuals and thus should always be done with full knowledge and information about the same. There are online trading people that guide individuals and help them make every decision of the market after full consideration and knowing about the stocks very well. The forex trading south africa is among some of the online trading organizations that help when needed.
What is their aim?
Forex trading in south africa aims to achieve and provide the readers with the following:
- Transparent comparisons between brokers and helping in giving a review of the brokers in South Africa
- Helps people to choose the broker that best matches their needs and requirements of trading
- It is the best platform to help build trust between the trader and the broker, where they can decide the amount to trade on and with whom
- It reduces the chances of changing brokers.
- They set up the traders in the best possible way to start their journey.
- Consistent tips on education and trading are provided
- They are ethical and work in the same way.
Besides, it offers traders with the foreign economic calendar and comes under FSCA FPA search online, further allowing people to meet with their success and fulfill their aspirations.
How are the traders rated?
On forex trading in South Africa, brokers are reviewed and rated based on the following criteria:
- Forex broker regulation: the regulatory entities are a deciding factor when people choose a broker and are the main focal point and other factors of trust. FSCA within South Africa oversees all the financial transactions. Besides, they are ethical and protect their clients whenever action is needed against fraudulent companies.
- Type of broker: the most important factor to decide for traders is the operating method and requires a lot of emphases. The brokers are divided into three main categories, mainly ECN (Electronic Communication Network), MM (Market Maker), and STP (Straight Through Processing). Every broker is given a beginner rating and has set pros and cons.
- Support for brokers: the client support enhances the overall experience of both traders and brokers and offers support on different channels both on and off the website. All traders and brokers are from different time zones, and it is important to know about the market timings.
- Deposits and withdrawals: it is a factor that can make or break a market. The system of deposits and withdrawals is instant and is carried out very smoothly. Besides, it is broad, and the main norms followed include the use of credit and debit cards and bank transfers. All other additional methods are also rewarded, and appropriate negotiations can be conducted depending on the foreign exchange rate of various banks and as per the transactions that are sent and received to and from abroad.
- Trading conditions of brokers are regulated: all the assets, spreads, and leverage are reviewed under the category, further giving a direct effect on either profit or loss. It is the bread and butter of every trader and should always be checked thoroughly.
- The platform of trading: various traders use different platforms for trading where they meet all the trading standards, including MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and Ctrader are some platforms that are specially designed for trading.
- Broker Summary: traders are provided with a user-friendly and easy way to navigate and filter various types of brokers so that they can make an informed and educated decision with a broker of their choice.
Thus, reviews of forex trading south africa are highly informative and exciting to read to conclude and to make informed decisions about the market. Further, individuals should promote and recommend these practices that benefit them and their family members where the tools of trading are highlighted and provide help in a smooth journey that is worth the time and money of all the traders.
Tips for Good Contract Management Strategies
If you are looking to get into business, then you should know that there are certain strategies that you need to follow in order to ensure that you are able to manage your contracts effectively.
When you are managing your own projects, you will want to make sure that you are able to keep track of all of the different aspects of each project. In addition, you will also want to make sure that all of the different parties involved in the project are able to communicate with each other.
Regardless of whether you are using a contract management software, we are going to share with you some of the key strategies that you need to use in order to ensure that your contract management skills are at their best.
Why is contract management so important?
After ensuring the best private sector partners and suppliers were picked, massive numbers of billable legal hours have been spent to make sure that your contractual arrangements between both of you are as clear as possible. But after all this effort, you still leave your contract management to casual.
While it is constantly easy to accuse suppliers for the problems in your major contracts, if you have not been paying attention on “what good looks like”, if you have ignored to support innovation or to question lack of performance by the supplier, if you have disregarded any form of dishonest behaviour, you may as well be opening the door to failure.
Best Management Strategies
Normally how do you set things up for best contract management? We haven ‘t got the chance to go into the entire topic of contract management but there are few clues and pointers with an aim of helping you to get started well and to successfully oversee a larger, live contract relationship.
1. Prioritize Contract Management
Do not ever consider contract management as an afterthought. Plan it into your overall strategy from the beginning of the procurement. Ensure that adequate funding is available and that appropriate resources are well elaborated right from the beginning.
Detailed Planning should be done to ensure consistency of involvement and an effective transition strategy should be in place to ensure continuity of participation if a key person decides to leave the project. This should be reinforced with the growth of a detailed Knowledge Base around the development and edition process up to, during and after the signing of the contract.
2. Develop Strong Document Storage and Sharing Facility
From the beginning of any procurement process, make sure there is a document facility that enables sharing. Pay close attention to identification of documents and versions. At the time of signing, create a conclusive library of all main documents, with inclusion of all things that are factual to this contract.
Obvious candidates are your requirements documents, the winning bidder ‘s, the bid itself, your final evaluation record, plans, logs, meeting minutes and all other physical communication so that these can be easily denoted in the future.
3. Designing of Main Post-Contract Information
Throughout the procurement process, it is important to ensure that you get the correct level of visibility into the data you need to efficiently manage the contract, so that you can make informed decisions. For instance, open book accounting is often a duty, but equally often when you get to see the data it can be “opaque” and your actual costs and margins can become very difficult to identify.
To avoid this opacity and to make sure that there is transparency, establish clear heads-of-costs to be produced, such as any hidden overheads or cross-charges. Also ensure that the obligation is transparent to allow auditing of open-book information at reasonable intervals.
4. Carefully Consider the Designs of Your Invoice
It is always fair to point out that accuracy is equally important. Poorly designed contracts that inspire, or at the very least don’t inspire, unclear entries can cost clients a lot of hours of wasted admin time over a long-lived contract.
There are many ways to arrange invoices so that they can be accounted for. Some of them may be better than others.
5. Ensure Proper Management Provisions Are Involved in all Your Contracts
It is important that these requirements, processes, and tools be embedded for the duration of this contract. The level of contract management should be proportional to the complexity and scope. For instance, an outsourcing contract may warrant extensive and deeper attention, than say, a supplies agreement commodity.
There are many different types of contracts. Some are routine, some are complex, and others are very specific.
Model contracts can be important, but getting legal and procurement advisers to review them can help ensure that satisfactory tools are within them to monitor and assure “normality” while also offering measures for when things do not go in line with the plan.
Contracts should not be viewed as just being there to allow the start of a project, and then to refer to when things do not work out. They should be monitored, updated and maintained, adjusted to meet the changing needs and circumstances surrounding the project.
You cannot guarantee success by ignoring the 11 important tips above. But following them will help guide everyone towards pulling in the same direction. This will increase the chances of success.
Quantum Warfare: The Next Military Move?
You’ve got to admit, as a species we’ve come a long way from battling out our differences with sword-drawn skirmishes and flaming arrows. And whilst modern warfare remains just as tragic and gruesome, advances in technology have seen us move on from hand-to-hand combat to instead adopt weapons of mass destruction that are chemical, nukes or biological weapons. However, in today’s threat landscape, it’s possible to cause a similar level of catastrophic damage with just a few lines of computer code aimed at the right targets.
Using code to technologically threaten government bodies, nations and their citizens, otherwise known as cyber warfare, has become a more prevailing threat in recent years. Since 2009, there have been almost 500 documented geopolitical cyber attacks across the world. With China and Russia taking the top spot as by far the biggest actors on the scene, with almost 35% of global attacks originating in either country. There have even been 79 confirmed attacks on national governments that have originated in China, and 75 in Russia.
And, when you consider that it’s these same hackers that were behind the recent Kaseya attack which affected around 1,500 businesses with attackers asking for a whopping $70 million in ransom, you’ve got to ask yourself: is it only a matter of time before the attacks get bigger and cause more damage? In other words, what happens when one country has the technology to dominate all other technologies?
Knowledge Really Is Power!
Nowadays, maintaining an information advantage is as important as having access to more weapons and more people fighting on the ground, if not more so. To keep the upper hand against your enemies you’ve got to have more knowledge and the ability to quickly, securely and safely share that knowledge with the necessary military teams.
We’re entering a new age of warfare. One that uses cutting-edge technologies with more proprietary capabilities to prevent the enemy from penetrating or disrupting hybrid networks. But (and it’s a big but), as mentioned earlier, being able to securely communicate data between your pieces of cutting-edge technology is the key to mastering this new age where data is increasingly being used as a new weapons system.
Access to data needs to be automated, interconnected and interoperable across multiple global domains. What that looks like is machine-to-machine connectivity, as well as human-to-human and human-to-machine interfaces. As you can imagine, the scale and security architecture required to match this is enormous.
Sounds Like A Job For Quantum Tech!
Digital transformation has underpinned some of the world’s greatest technological leaps of the last 20 years, with the next big leap being quantum! Experts at Google and IBM are predicting that we are likely to see quantum computers become a reality in a matter of five to ten years. Experiments with Google’s Sycamore computer have already proven that it’s entirely possible, and IBM is working towards making a stable quantum computer capable of handling more than 1,000 qubits by 2023 (that’s only two years away)!
While advancements in quantum computing are all very exciting, when it comes to cyber warfare it could spell disaster if it lands in the wrong hands. But in the right hands, quantum technology could (and is) influencing the military environment.
Revolutionising Warfare With Quantum
We’re already seeing plans to use quantum to level up the military. The Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) is a concept from the US Department of Defense (DOD) that’s set to revolutionise the military’s command and control (C2) infrastructure by establishing a combined network to connect all of the military services. Yes, all. So that means the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and even the Space Force will be connected into a single network. The network will include sensors, data sources and cloud infrastructure, that’s software enabled and shared via wireless network connectivity. For the first time ever, military factions will be able to deliver collective, real-time decision making across land, air, sea AND space. Decisions will be made within hours or minutes, if not seconds compared to today’s multi-day processes. It’s pretty impressive when you think about it.
So, where does quantum come in? Well, to be able to pull off a connected network of this scale, you’ve got to be sure that no one is going to infiltrate the cloud-based system. And that requires a dynamic security solution that’s got a cloud-friendly model and is capable of operating at hyper-scale.
As you can imagine, the answer cannot be an off the rack conventional or commercial solution that relies on Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). It’s got to be quantum. What is needed is a way to extend the Symmetric Key distribution zone to meet the new paradigm within JADC2.
Luckily, quantum company Arqit has come up with a clever solution they like to call QuantumCloud which provides a highly scalable cloud-based method that addresses the shortcomings of PKI and delivers the right sort of protection against both current cyber and future quantum attacks. It does this by creating an unlimited number of symmetric keys that are computationally secure, zero-trust and one-time across any device anywhere in the world making it ideal for the military! With QuantumCloud security, I can see how the JADC2 vision will come to life and change the face of modern warfare forever.
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