Embracing 2020 retail trends with Dynamics 365

Feb 07, 2020 Anjan Barman

Wonder what role would digital tech play in this rapidly evolving retail universe? Here we pick the top 5 retail trends that would rule 2020 and a good part of the new decade – Tighter Inventory, aggressive e-commerce, DTC model, modern brick and mortar stores, and micro-fulfillment centers. We also discuss how a CRM like Dynamics 365 is an integral part of this transition.

Embracing 2020 retail trends with Dynamics 365

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As we enter this new decade, the world gears up for new technological miracles touching countless lives. Retail is one of the primary sectors leveraging technology big time. Starting this year, the market can expect several exceptional trends in the way retail is perceived and executed with the smart deployment of modern tools such as AI and CRM. While the demand graph would continue its steep growth, it would be exciting to see how retailers fare in catering to their customers. Modern technologies, while creating new markets and opportunities, would discard many dated retail practices. Here are the top 2020 retail trends and the scope they offer for Dynamics 365 CRM.

Optimum inventory

In the coming days, businesses would be more particular than ever about maintaining strict inventory control to better handle depleting working capital, warehousing costs, and depreciation. Thus, understanding market dynamics and maintaining the right inventory level is critical to business success. But the unavailability of products is a big letdown for customers who wouldn’t spare a second before approaching another retailer. This is where Microsoft Dynamics 365 comes to retailers’ rescue.

Dynamics 365 as inventory manager

  • Real-time visibility of warehouse operations and stocks to avoid overstocking and understocking.
  • AI-enhanced guidance and alerts for better procurement decisions.
  • ML insights and reports to choose the right vendor for stock replenishment.
  • Alerts for low stocks and assistance for maintaining safety stock.
  • Automated machine-guided drill-down invoicing.
  • Automation and centralization of warehouse operations and processes.

Going Online

The demand for variety, tempting discounts, and buyer convenience would continue to push retailers towards an online presence. So the infrastructure to handle such big scale projects has to be robust.

It is estimated that by 2040, 95% of purchases will be made online. In 2017, e-commerce was responsible for $2.3 trillion in sales, and by 2021, it’s expected to nearly double to $4.5 trillion.

Dynamics 365 as your e-commerce guide

  • Tools to create and manage online retail pages.
  • Marketing and Pricing assistance to beat the competition.
  • Machine-assisted intelligence to streamline workflows.
  • Ubiquitous communication for better collaboration across the value net.
  • Intelligent recommendations and customer service assistance for building customer loyalty.
  • Omnichannel access for customer convenience.
  • Data-backed suggestions for smart order fulfillment.

Direct to Consumer (DTC) model

The DTC concept is gaining more traction with every passing day. It basically refers to the retail model in which a brand connects directly with its customers by bypassing all touchpoints in the way including distributors, dealers, and wholesalers. The primary benefits include better pricing of products and higher margins for sellers. For this, businesses largely leverage mobile and digital channels.

Dynamics 365 injects efficiency into DTC

  • Actionable insights for personalized promotions and recommendations.
  • Personalized customer experiences beyond product recommendations.
  • Assistance for email promotions, subscriptions, and loyalty programs.
  • Accurate demand forecasts based on customer behavior and demography.
  • Efficient and shorter sales cycle implies lower costs and higher profits.

Futuristic convenience stores

In 2018, Amazon launched an entirely new concept of brick and mortar stores with Amazon Go and many more businesses are exploring this model. Unlike the traditional store, the customer walks in, picks up their desired items, and walks out without queuing for checkouts. The technology deployed in these stores keeps track of the products picked up or returned and charges the virtual wallet of the customer.

Dynamics 365 can bring in added convenience to such stores

  • Data from sensors or past purchase data and video data analytics to drive in-store product placement.
  • Auto generating and sharing of purchase receipts.
  • Inventory alerts to all stakeholders.
  • Individualized promotional messages and notifications to customers.
  • Payment status alerts.

Micro-fulfillment centers

These are small stand-alone small warehouse facilities that are set up (usually in urban areas) for autonomous fulfillment of online orders. Delivering in a tight radius, this model ensures that the customer gets a faster delivery of their ordered products.

Dynamics 365 enhances customer experience

  • Intelligent tools for better utilization of underutilized spaces.
  • Consolidating processes for better inbound and outbound handling.
  • Suggestions to optimize shipping and minimize manpower involvement.
  • Better customer experience with quicker deliveries and accurate recommendations.

The face of retail is changing rapidly and CRM is at the core of this change. We, at Nalashaa, are experts in the implementation, upgrade, and support of Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM and have numerous satisfied clients around the world. Connect with us for a quick chat on how Dynamics 365 can drive your business to the next level.

Anjan Barman

Anjan Barman is a technology enthusiast with primary interests in the applications and possibilities of Cloud, RPA, AI, CRM, and the like in modern businesses. He loves exploring how innovations help organizations improve their efficiency while reducing the operating costs and presents the same in an atypical way. His other indulgences are non-fiction paperbacks, oriental music, and cricket.

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