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Three lessons from retail's experience with the pandemic; Digital adoption during the second wave

xeno pulse pandemic
Published On
April 16, 2021

It's been more than a year since the pandemic hit us, Just when everyone thought things are going back to normal and everyone was finally on their recovery graph, the second wave of pandemic hit us again. But what's different this time? The situation is a lot calmer & certain than what it was a year ago. Customers have already adapted to digital consumptions & so have retailers, and seems like this trend is going to stay, with or without the pandemic. That's what we are talking about in today's edition of Xeno Pulse. Tune in to learn from retail's experience with the pandemic to date, how is Levis melding AI with its 168 years of data, and much more.

Good Friday Morning!

It almost feels like we are back in March 2020. Just when I thought that things are getting back to normal, here we are back to square 1. However, things are a a lot calm & certain than what it was an year ago.

We fought through the most difficult times and we will fight this too, together.

Customers have already adapted to digital consumptions, and seems like this trend is going to stay, with or without pandemic. It’s time we start taking digital adaption more seriously.

Let’s come out of this stronger than ever before.

In today’s edition:

  • Forbes: Three Lessons From Retail’s Experience With The Pandemic
  • How is Levi’s melding AI, data, fashion & retail with 168 years of data
  • Contactless retail: What can retailers do to stay relevant during 2021?
  • How is AI supercharging the food services industry
  • Yours Digitally Season 2 is on it’s way

E-commerce & Digitalisation

👩🏻‍💻Forbes: Three Lessons From Retail’s Experience With The Pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown to curtail it is not something the world is going to forget anytime soon. Adding on to that, The second wave of the pandemic and partial lockdowns may prove to be a setback for shopping malls and offline retailers, who were recovering from last year's impact.

Here are some Retail’s Experience With The Pandemic that you can learn from and continue on your growth trajectory:

  • Embrace E-Commerce And The Online Experience: It’s undeniable that e-commerce was retail’s saving grace last year, with online sales accounting for 101% of all growth in 2020. To meet consumer expectations, companies and organizations must invest in a rich, intuitive online experience that ensures all visitors can easily access the products, services and information they are looking for.
  • Reimagine The In-Person Experience: Retailers met the changing needs of their customers and employees by implementing new technologies and initiatives. Personal shopping devices ensured customer service remained exemplary even when staff numbers were purposefully kept low, while self-checkout options allowed customers to make purchases without human-to-human contact.
  • Leverage Your Existing Data: Data has always been king in retail, and this was especially true as the industry grappled with the pandemic. Advanced data analytics proved to be indispensable as retailers worked to create seamless customer experiences to maximize revenue and customer satisfaction.

Learn more here.

Artificial Intelligence

📊How is Levis melding AI, data, fashion & retail with 168 years of data

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Levi's is best known for its denim, but the company's master plan is to redefine itself with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science. And the apparel company has 168 years of data to become more efficient, predict and create trends and improve the customer experience. Levi's saw a sprint where AI and data had to be used for anything from improving the customer experience to delivering internal operating and operational efficiencies, and also possibly looking into new revenue models and business models for the company.

Here’s what Dr. Katia Walsh, Chief Strategy and AI Officer at Levi's, says, ‘The opportunities are absolutely endless when it comes to data and Levi's.

What we are doing is partner with designers, partner with planners, planning is the original data science function in a company like Levi's and retail and apparel and bringing the latest tools and this combination, this flywheel of digital data and AI to be able to drive demand, to predict demand, to optimize costs, and to also really deepen the connection with consumers. And we are looking to predict demand in the next half of the year, in the next month, in the next three months.’

Tune in to the interview here


🛒Contactless retail: What can retailers do to stay relevant in 2021?

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The emergence of new consumer behavior is blurring the lines between online and in-store shopping experiences. Retailers worldwide have had to quickly adapt to consumer needs by enhancing their digital and contactless capabilities.

Create a seamless commerce experience: Consumers value a seamless shopping experience more than ever: according to Adyen, 60% of consumers see convenient shopping experiences across in-store and online as a reason to shop at one retailer over the other.

Retailers must find ways to optimize the customer journey. Adopting a seamless omnichannel experience is one way to do so, putting a single solution in place that supports commerce on the front and back end through all channels. Bringing together technology systems and bridging the gap between in-store and online operations.

Transitioning to a unified approach will ensure that shoppers can more easily move between sales channels, ultimately fostering loyalty and driving conversion rates.

Reimagine the future of retail: Multiple sales touchpoints have brought about an unparalleled wave of data. Retailers must leverage this information to gain insight into customer expectations and make more informed business decisions about what consumers want.

Today's shoppers expect retailers to deliver on their expectations of safety and superior customer experience, even after the pandemic. With that, retailers need to reimagine what customer experience looks like in a contactless retail era. Retailers need to adopt more innovative methods to ensure customers feel safe and satisfied.

Learn more here

Food & tech

🍩How is AI supercharging the food services industry

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Catering to the post-pandemic lifestyle, savvy foodpreneurs are focused on digitization to offer tech-friendly services to catch their target audience's attention.

Establishing a digital presence, building a smooth and intuitive tap-to-order experience, along with an efficient last-mile delivery circuit is the need of the hour for food brands. Players are stepping up to match the customers' expectations of safety, hygiene, hyperlocal supply, and no-contact service.

In addition to novel service experience, the use of AI-based customer insights and analytics allow brands to better understand consumers and thereby, enable them to market better, customize products to their needs, and innovate more.

Tailoring solutions to customers' preferences and comfort, the sector is incorporating smart-interactive tables and virtual bars. Sparking a buzz among millennials and boomers alike, innovation is empowering the food services industry to put its best foot forward in the ‘new normal.’

With cocktail robots introduced for the food services industry and smart-glass technology being used to create intuitive digital checklists, conduct inventory management, and employee training; the future of the industry is going to be defined by innovation through tech.

Read more here.

Next-Gen CRM

🔥Yours Digitally Season 2 is on it’s way & it’s going to be bigger & better!!

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Team Xeno is coming back with the Season 2 of its very loved podcast series Yours Digitally. In our first season last year, we did 10+ episodes with some of the top retail leaders of the country to see how retail marketing changed amidst Covid-19.

And this time we are coming back with more power ⚡

Season 2 will be talking about how the digital transformation of customers during the pandemic is going to affect CRM strategies in a post-covid world. We also look at how brands can meet the expectations of tech-savvy customers of 2021 and keep up with them going forward.

Stay tuned for some exciting episodes. Till then tune into Season 1 here

🔎Hand-picked tool for the week:

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🤗Brand & Marketing News

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1. Nestlé Milkybar uses personalised augmented reality technology in latest campaign

2. Budweiser to sit out Super Bowl to support vaccine awareness campaign

3. Google has a secret blocklist that hides YouTube hate videos from advertisers — but it’s full of holes

That’s all for today folks. Hope you liked today’s edition.

Stay in & stay safe :”)


Marketing & Content Strategist

Anisha Arora is an experienced Marketing & Content Professional who often breaks down complex topics for readers here. She collaborates with various teams to seamlessly combine different viewpoints and knowledge about customer retention, CRM, loyalty, and marketing technology. When she's not working, you'll find Anisha sipping coffee and binge-watching her favorite TV shows.


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