The rise of online outlets was already challenging the retail industry’s relevance, and the pandemic has inflicted a further strain upon retailers who rely on brick-and-mortar outlets - by triggering a disruptive change in market conditions, supply and demand equation, consumers’ behavior, and workplace settings.
Retailers who hastily shifted to online stores are facing both front-end and back-end issues such as:
- Messy cataloging (for example, best-selling products not being highlighted at the right time)
- Lack of personalization for shoppers
- No real-time updates on price changes or out-of-stock products
Therefore, to sail through this untimely disruption, retailers need to adopt the right digital technology and build flawless applications - efficiently and in a quick span.
According to a study by McKinsey:
- 45 percent of retailers saw COVID-19 as the biggest challenge for 2021 and 30 percent of them showed trust in the massive potential of digital.
- Activities that can be automated are currently consuming 40 percent of retailers’ time.
- Automation will add approximately $24.6 billion in value to the retail industry by 2025.
The aforementioned numbers show both missed opportunities and a promising future for the retail industry in the area of process automation.
Enter No-Code Automation
With no-code tools, retailers can build tailor-made digital storefronts, automation applications, and progressive web apps rapidly and in a highly composable fashion –
- Without an army of software engineers
- Democratizing software development
- Bringing inclusivity by turning non-technical employees into citizen developers (business users who build applications with no-code platforms)
- Supporting quick customizations
No-code can enable non-programmers to build retail execution solutions by dragging and dropping components (like lego blocks) - without writing a single line of code. With no-code apps, the retail store data can be captured in real-time to timely replace out-of-stock products and reduce bounce rates. Moreover, they can create authorized product lists for each store, distribute sales materials on mobile devices, and trigger real-time alerts for stakeholders when in-store issues arise.
IT teams, on the other hand, can simply monitor and maintain no-code applications. They can use their expertise to pursue greater innovation goals, instead of getting burdened with everyday troubleshooting. The software development life cycle is much shorter in no-code development when compared with traditional development or low-code. Therefore, no-code is highly suitable for retailers who are looking for agile transformations.
Essential No-Code Use Cases for the Retail Industry
No -code can bolster retail tech initiatives in the following areas:
Customer Retention - It’s not only about making a sale in a highly competitive industry like retail. Retailers need to earn their customer’s trust and business with consistent efforts. With no-code applications, they can automate their customer retention activities (sharing loyalty points, discount codes, customized holiday packages, feedback surveys, etc) and focus more on expanding their customer base. No-code automation can enable retail businesses:
- To deliver a personalized, high-touch experience to customers
- To achieve greater customer lifetime value
Warehouse Management - Empowered and informed floor managers are an asset for the retail industry. No-code apps can enable them to get real-time inventory updates from a mobile device, without having to venture across the warehouse. For instance, if an item is out of stock, the app can assist floor managers in checking the inventory of nearby stores and locations and guiding customers accordingly. As a result,
- There will be a significant reduction in customer loss
- Inventory levels will be managed more efficiently
- There will be greater clarity for business
- Customer experience will be enhanced
Merchandise Planning - To offset the risks associated with inventory forecasting, sales and promotions, and pricing, retailers need to hit the bullseye with their merchandise planning. They need to base their decisions on actionable insights rather than guesswork so that products and promotions never miss the mark. AI-enabled no-code applications (predictive analytics) can enable retail teams to:
- Assess the past, present, and future trends regarding the merchandise
- Make informed decisions regarding the merchandise
- Leverage opportunities they may have otherwise missed
Inventory Management - Just like with merchandise planning, retailers should hit the bull’s eye when it comes to inventory management - to ensure a precise balance between demand and supply.
Retailers can leverage a no-code app to gain a 360-degree view of retail inventory and understand which items need replenishing or which are ready to move. Some AI-enabled no-code apps can help retailers tackle the ebbs and flow in demand based on past and future trends.
No-code technology can build new capabilities and functionalities for retailers quickly and at a substantially lower cost. Retailers who are in sync with the no-code culture can respond to evolving market conditions with agility and without too much risk at stake. The shorter software development lifecycle can shorten the time-to-market – in some cases by 10 times in comparison to traditional development. It’s high time retailers adopted no-code and made a significant leap forward in digitizing their business in a sustainable, scalable, and cost-effective way.