Retailers seek innovative marketing strategies to meet several needs. Your whole focus is to inspire people to come to your store. Low code emerged as a way to keep up with the customer’s demand as their expectations alter substantially toward digital touchpoints.
What is low code? And what are low-code platforms? Low code is a software development process that uses minimal coding. Low code for retail has emerged as a new normal at present. The low code market size is estimated to cross $148 billion by 2030.
Now, you might be wondering how low-code applications in the retail industry work. This article will give a deep insight into what is a low code for retail and low-code application examples.
Issues Affecting International Retail Firms
Firms are confronted with new obstacles daily. It is particularly challenging to find and retain customers in the retail business, which gives hundreds of alternatives for every product. Some of the issues that affect international retail firms are:
Digital transformation is a multilayered endeavor, and no instrument or solution can promise change. Some of the primary challenges firms encounter on their journey to this transformation are:
- Inadequate governance because of shadow IT
- Despite the digitalization of front-office activities, manual operations persist at the back end.
- Prolonged response to rising demands owing to a lack of dynamic processes.
- Inability to adapt effectively to end-user demands
- Inadequate trained IT professionals to manage day-to-day and intricate industry needs
- Hurdles in growing corporate operations
The global digital transformation market in retail was valued at $143 billion in 2020. A company’s digital transformation plan necessitates using several concepts and tools. Low-code platforms play an essential role in this composition by minimizing the resources spent on traditional development methods. It encourages firms and employees to dive into development regardless of technical expertise.
Offering Personalized Services
Shoppers prefer personalized experiences over being bombarded with a multitude of products. Every customer has a different preference. They want retailers to understand them and recognize their choices.
Recent study concludes that approximately 84% of customers prefer personalized shopping experiences. As Jeff Bezos said, “If we have 4.5 million customers, we shouldn’t have one store. We should have 4.5 million stores.”
Online pioneers have made customers desire personalized experiences. Now, personalization is something shoppers take for granted. But if a retailer gets it wrong, they may lose their customers. Not only must retailers cater to the desire for tailored experiences to differentiate themselves, but also to survive. Personalization helps shops to do more than survive: it allows them to prosper.
Limited Time to Innovate
Many retailers are hampered in time and resources to reinvent and innovate. With an ever-increasing number of retail shops and malls, firms find it challenging to keep up with changing consumer preferences. Consumers typically expect more from a purchasing experience than a simple transaction. Consumer demand could be growing for the following reasons:
- Enticing experiences
- Purchase convenience
- A wider selection
- Benefits and bonuses
- Interactions and exceptional customer service
Retailers should simplify their idea, design, development, and sourcing processes. It will allow them to be innovative and deliver a better consumer experience.
Highly Fragmented IT Landscape
The existence of multiple legacy systems is a downside for the retail industry. Retailers frequently encounter a highly fragmented, unstable, and inefficient IT landscape. It makes the integration of new technologies and solutions more complex and negatively affects the customer experience. It all results in lower productivity and higher costs are the back-end processes.
Retailers need to modernize their business and operating models to boost profits in the digital age. With drag-and-drop process modeling that allows users to develop from prevailing apps and information, low-code enables automation of the most crucial and complex operations. Low code is a robust and safe solution for internal operations in industries and facilitates vital infrastructure. It also manages sensitive data assets with its built-in security measures.
Supply Chain Management
The change in customer preference has complicated the retail supply chain. Some of the typical challenges retailers face are:
- Tight margin profit
- Operational inefficiency
- Meeting customer demands
- Omnichannel integration
- Compliance and Quality
In this global economy, country-specific politics, trade and tariff law, international partnerships, and quality control all impact the retail supply chain. Retailers must continuously monitor the supply chain to ensure that the items are free of faults and moving every time to achieve a low cycle time. Traditional and outdated technologies do not allow smooth communication with logistics chain vendors. As a result, unaligned systems pose a hazard to operational continuity.
How Low-Code Solutions Assist Retailers in Overcoming these Difficulties?
The primary benefit of the low-code application market is substantially faster application development. The development process in low-code settings is more analogous to a production line than dealing with raw code. Most low-code platforms employ a microservices architecture, which enables the assembly of Lego-like code modules based on business services into entire applications. Low-code apps also take advantage of tried-and-true API-based solutions provided by other firms, further simplifying development.
Some of the perks of implementing low-code applications in the retail industry are:
1. Easier Application Development
Low code enables retailers to integrate new cost structures or operating system models. The capacity to implement change is especially critical in retail during seasonal shifts and busy holiday shopping seasons.
Low-code tools help firms in various ways. For instance,
- It provides better customer service through innovative customer experiences and order fulfillment systems.
- Companies using low-code platforms reduce their delivery timeline from months to weeks or hours, deploy modifications, and furnish quality products based on user reviews.
- It enables low-code users to extend and adapt applications to suit market needs.
2. Faster Time to Market
Software development often hinders the development of an online store. Long hard-coding and code-testing processes result in delayed application delivery, which impacts revenue. Low-code solutions enable application delivery ten times faster.
- Low code for retail is simple to understand and does not need a thorough knowledge of software development.
- Developers can view what they develop in real-time and make changes as necessary. It allows you to start creating quickly, with the ability to change on the roll and edit and republish as requisite.
- It also enables you to keep up with market trends, regulatory changes, and customer requests.
- Its ready-to-use components and visual environment boost developer efficiency.
- Decision-making is also relatively easier during development owing to the collaborative aspects of these platforms.
All such features help firms to design and verify apps more quickly than ever before. Rapid development iterations result in shorter time-to-market, which provides firms with a competitive advantage over their competitors.
3. Improved Customer Engagement
Online digital stores always try to engage and keep customers with interactive web and mobile applications. Customers appreciate visually appealing, user-friendly, and engaging application experiences.
- Low-code solutions are incredibly effective in enhancing an online customer experience.
- While these technologies handle the back-end functionality, designers can build the application’s interface layer. You can use low-code solutions to develop applications that assist your retail consumers.
- It will help customers locate what they’re searching for in stores. Further, they can browse through things on display, place orders, and even pay for items on their mobile devices.
- A low-code retail app will also be suitable for driving sales by providing relevant discounts and promotions directly to customers’ phones as they wander through a store or purchase online.
The iterative development method of low-code tools is another feature that contributes to a better customer experience. Iterations enable applications to improve continually in response to customer feedback, culminating in a customer-approved application.
4. Increased Productivity
Low-code systems are highly user-friendly. The goal is to access novel automation solutions as soon as feasible and with as little code as possible.
- You can drastically enhance productivity and minimize expenses associated with manual operations by automating multiple processes such as order management, inventory management, marketing campaigns, and more. It means spending less time on daily tasks.
- Low code app development offers a comprehensive ecosystem of simple UI builders, ready-to-use UI components, pre-built API and data connections, template apps and tools, and more resources to introduce new applications.
You can devote more time to core tasks like connecting with consumers to improve their digital retail experiences.
5. Reduction in Manual Effort
You can save time and money using low-code development. Low-code platforms enable you to automate operations by eliminating the need for human interaction and reducing manual effort. It increases efficiency and lowers expenses for training employees or recruiting contractors for certain activities. You can operate top applications on low code by firms if you have a low tolerance for downtime and data loss.
- It will assist in continuous audits and independent security certification.
- When you merge automation with low-code application development, you can work quickly, iterate constantly, and involve all relevant parties.
- You can also deploy automation in low-code applications such as self-service portals, mobile apps, or an eCommerce platform.
- Consequently, modernized retail workflows combine applications with existing processes in your core systems.
6. Reduced Errors due to Human Intervention
When your company lacks automation in critical areas like accounting and finance, it can lead to a significant loss. Manual systems are always prone to mistakes, which can directly influence profitability. Businesses spend a lot of money hiring developers as their applications rely on them. One mistake from a developer can affect the brand’s name.
Low-code solutions assist you in overcoming these issues by automating critical procedures.
- Low-code development tools employ a visual design style rather than coding jargon, allowing non-verse designers to participate in the development process.
- A user-friendly interface also allows designers to perform modifications quickly and efficiently, saving time and money on human resources.
Use Cases For The Retail Industry
Low-code development enables record levels of innovation. Low-code solutions can significantly assist retailers with the never-ending competition and increased pressure. Approximately 71% of shoppers spend more in-store than when shopping online. Low code for retail can be a powerful tool for enhancing the customer experience. Retailers can employ multiple low-code use cases to streamline the process and provide a convenient shopping experience to consumers.
1. Customer Retention
Retailers work hard to earn their consumers’ trust. They can use low-code apps to automate client retention strategies such as sharing loyalty points, discount coupons, customized holiday gifts, feedback surveys, etc., and focus on building their customer base. Retail organizations can benefit from low-code automation in the following ways:
- Provide customers with a customized, high-touch experience
- Increase the customer lifetime value
2. Warehouse Management
Retailers can avail of the latest inventory updates from a mobile device without going across the warehouse using low-code applications. For example, floor supervisors can use the app to check inventory at nearby stores and locations and route customers suitably if an item is out of supply. It will result in
- Effectively handling inventory levels
- There will be more clarity in business
- Improving the customer experience
3. Merchandise Planning
Retailers must meet the target with their merchandise planning to reduce inventory forecasting, sales and promotions, and pricing risks. They must make decisions based on actionable data rather than speculation to ensure items and campaigns never miss their goal. Retailers can employ AI-enabled low-code apps to do the following:
- Examine the product’s past, present, and future trends
- Make informed selections about the product
- Capitalize unnoticed opportunities
4. Inventory Management
Inventory management is challenging. Almost 56% of retailers agree that their inventory management is inaccurate. Firms must now understand their inventory to execute effective and quick operations at a fair cost. Goods management software allows you to keep track of inventory from purchase to sale while also aiding you in cost reduction. If you’re still maintaining your stock on a spreadsheet, or even worse, not at all, your business will suffer. Moreover, it is past time to update your inventory management practices. You can use low-code for retail to manage inventory. It will help to
- Avoid stockouts and automate level monitoring
- Combine several orders into a single receipt and save space.
- Streamline return processes by simplifying tracking.
Incorporating Low-Code Applications in the Retail Industry
Automation and low-code apps may not tackle all of your retail hurdles, but they can assist with several. Retailers can instantly add new features and abilities at a minimal cost using low code for retail. Some astute retailers are already adopting low-code tactics in their companies to provide a secure shopping experience for customers and retail personnel. Now, retailers can retrieve the richness of their legacy and use low code to initiate seamless operations in stores and workplaces to make a breakthrough in digitizing their business flexibly and cost-effectively, ensuring that they remain relevant to the consumer.
The sooner all retailers embrace low code, the easier they will be able to adapt to the ever-changing demands of digital-age consumers. Parangat, a leading mobile application development company, aims to assist retailers in making a difference by adopting digital transformation. The highly qualified professionals here dive into the business’ workings to comprehend the needs and requirements and help implement low-code for retail.
With roll up sleeves, dive in and get the job done approach, it was in the year 2010 when Sahil started Parangat Technologies. Emphasizing a healthy work culture and technology-driven company, he has successfully created a workplace where people love to work and live. He is a software engineer and a passionate blockchain enthusiast.