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Community Blog Reinventing Your Business with New Retail Roadshow and Booth Solutions

Reinventing Your Business with New Retail Roadshow and Booth Solutions

This article will address how new retail methodology and technology can be applied to a retail booth, or pop-up store scenario.

By Henry Lee, Solutions Architect, and Charles Tse, Staff Solutions Architect

A retail booth, also known as a popup store, is a location in the shopping mall where rental is more temporary in nature. The main advantage is the lower risk in testing out new products or new venue, because of the often shorter term rental binding, and lower renovation/decoration costs.

Roadshow is a particular use of a retail booth location for doing promotional events, especially for the launch of new products or performing promotion corresponding to seasonal needs. Conceptually, roadshows and retail booths are slightly different, but in this discussion, we will simply call the both of them as a "retail booth".

In this article, we will address how new retail methodology and technology can be applied to a retail booth, or pop-up store scenario.

Reinventing Your Business with New Retail

There are typically 4 key business objectives of incorporating new retail into existing businesses:

  1. CRM Data Expansion: Attract customers to the booth/road-show by lookalike (similar audience) expansion of customer base
  2. Customer-Centric Experience: Build a fully digital experience for customer shopping to keep them engaged
  3. Offline Digitalization: Further capture reality digitally to improve demographic/product/layout/understanding
  4. Data-Driven Retail: Fueled by AI, data analysis can be done to improve marketing, promotions, store layout, and product recommendation

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Fig. 1: Key Business Objectives of New Retail Booth

These objectives essentially encapsulate how technologies are applied in to the booth.

Let's have a closer look at a typical user journey from online to offline, i.e. from getting promotional/marketing messages to reaching the store and leaving afterwards:

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Fig. 2: O2O User Journey for Retail Booth

Let's dissect this O2O journey path for a better understanding. There are essentially 3 segments: customer acquisition (Fig. 3), retailtainment (Fig. 4), and physical store visit (Fig. 5).

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Fig. 3: Customer Acquisition (targeting the right customers for marketing target)

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Fig. 4: Retailtainment (engaging the customer before visiting the store)

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Fig. 5: Physical Store Journey (analyze and convert customers)

Alibaba Cloud provides the technology solutions either directly or as platform for the retailers to implement the necessary capabilities.

Key Technologies in New Retail

In a nutshell, there are 4 main technology areas involved in New Retail:

  1. Image Recognition
  2. Facial Recognition and Flow Tracking
  3. Data Analysis and Machine Learning
  4. Personalized Recommendation

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Fig. 6: Four Main Technology Areas Applicable to New Retail Booth

Specifically, around the booth, there are several applicable technologies that can be used:

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Fig. 7: Technologies Applicable Around Booth

Within the booth, further tracking can be done with the following technologies:

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Fig. 8: Technologies Applicable Within Booth

However, what confuses retailers is how these technologies can be orchestrated to produce business intelligence. The following diagram depicts how customers' behavior can be captured and then analyzed for their preferences:

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Fig. 9: Customer Behavior Capture and Lookalike Marketing

Core to Alibaba's new retail will be the concepts of customer, product, and venue (channel). The following diagram illustrates the people and product relationship capturing:

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Fig. 10: Technologies Applicable Around Booth

With the understanding of customer preferences, accurate and relevant recommendations can be generated to enhance the customers' experience while increasing sales for the merchants:

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Even for a small setting like the retail booth, the retailer can already experience what we call a digital closed loop, which is the power house of Alibaba's group of retail entities for years. Essentially, it is a data driven self-improvement loop:

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External to the closed loop will be the injection of additional marketing, and demographic insights. This is what our AMAP service can provide. Based on existing customer data, AMAP allows the finding of additional attributes of these customers so that lookalikes can be targeted for promotion/marketing. In the whole process, AMAP does not disclose personally identifiable data. As a matter of fact, the risk of narrowing down of data to identify individual will also be avoided.

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The most significant advantage of such a relatively smaller scale new retail deployment for a popup store, roadshow, or simply retail booth is that the business will get a solid understanding of how a digitally transformed retail operation will look like, and the visualization of the potential benefits. Retail businesses can now minimize risks by eliminating the unknown and step forth into the era of new retail boldly to enjoy its inherent benefits.

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