The implementation of technology within the retail space is shaping how consumers interact with brands. A number of technology trends over the past five years have dramatically altered the retail landscape. Today, consumers have become increasingly savvy at taking more control of their shopping experiences. Smart retailers understand that deciphering shoppers’ behaviour is instrumental for a unified success. Retailers are warming up to sending target specific messages to their customers, creating an exclusive, personalized experience, unmatched by competitors. The foundation for this revamping lies in the attempt to utilize a massive amount of data that is easily available to retailers and channel, benefiting both, the retailers and their customers.
Here’s how big retailers are using technology to provide value to consumers and increase their revenue scale:
Improved Customer Service
Customer service being the key in sustentation of business growth in current market scenario is of utmost obviousness – according to CEI Survey, 86% of buyers will shell out for an exceptional customer experience. Retailers comprehend this as well and have been successful in revamping their customer service, excelling in areas such as enhanced in-store experience and free, effortless returns. Technological encroachments in customer service, including augmented use of digital channels, are leading a surge in escalation of consumer expectations and setting higher standards for retailers. Maintaining the happiness and well-being of their customers reflects in revenue. Hence, customer service is the no: 1 area where technology is playing a dominant role in surge of profits.
Retailers are reshuffling the digital procedures involved in purchase, facilitating well-situated services such as one-click ordering, secure billing information storage, and direct purchasing from alternative retail modes, such as print circulars. By abolishing hindrances at the point of purchase, retailers are signifying the power in modern user-experience and directly influencing ROI through elevated checkout achievement rates. Through simplified checkouts, modern consumers are being privy to a surge of augmented shopping experience, which translates into a hike in profit.
Offline Shopping Experience to online verticals
Improvements in retail platforms and services are already serving as the chief growth catalyst behind online retail market’s massive growth projection. Real-time features such as rotating, interactive product displays and optimized personalizations are empowering retailers to create an online experience more intrinsic with consumer preferences. Retailers are enmeshing offline familiarity through technology to create a symbiotic experience comparable to what consumers encounter in brick-and-mortar establishments. The expediency of online shopping paired with real-time personalization provides customers with the best possible experience. The key motivation here is to make the online shopping experience simulate that of an offline implementation. Whether it’s customizing the site appearance depending on specific user, uplifting product views, or highlighting key product offerings similar to what an animated SALE signs do in-store, the onus is to make the online shopping process as simple and intuitive, as possible.
Value- Added Services
When retailers propose value- added services, they cultivate stronger customer loyalty through sweetening the deal hence, a competitive advantage. By integrating modern expertise, retailers are now providing value-added services to renovate shopping into an all-inclusive, enjoyable, profiting experience. This in-turn helps create brand value, which would lead to brownie points in generating buzz. Customized memberships, on-point checks, cloud-operated messages on birthdays and anniversaries are few ways via which retailers can lure consumers. Mobile based tools, such as retail and loyalty applications, can also create awareness amongst retailers of their customers' preferences and needs. This information allows retailers to create a customized in-store shopping experience while being in-synch to the demands of an augmented digital age.
A large number of game-changing technologies — such as the cloud and mobile payments — have emerged, not to mention the ever-changing ways consumers are now choosing to research and make their purchases. When considered together, these trends have forced retailers and e-commerce vendors to adapt constantly to stay ahead of the curve. With cloud analytics to track consumption behaviour and target message consumers through apps and pop-ups, retailers are able to create an augmented reach, coaxing consumers to avail their products/services. Through technology, retailers can tap into the uncharted scale of consumer and convert them into loyalists.
IOT: the game changer
Today’s consumers expect their shopping experience to be seamless across every channel, whether it’s a brick-and-mortar store, an ecommerce site, a mobile app or even a phone call with customer service. IOT technologies offer an almost endless capacity for transforming the retail consumer experience. Everything from electronic shelf labels with dynamic pricing to interactive digital signs that tailor promotions to the individual, are under the realms of IOT. With IOT, retailers can provide an enhanced experience that would drive-in consumers in droves and create a loyalty-base, unmatched by their competitors.
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