The Retail industry is experiencing a digital innovation surge with customers from various sectors becoming more tech savvy and the expectation of enjoying increasingly customised experiences. Other external circumstances, for example the pandemic, have also increased the speed at which this technology is being demanded and developed. We focus on a few of the ways that these changes are driving a better retail experience for the buyer.
#1 Consumers expect a customised retail technology experience
Consumers would like to have an experience and receive fast, efficient service. People want to purchase groceries online and have them delivered, or pick them up at the curb (eg. Sixty60). They want to be able to purchase books and stream music and movies, but still have the option of going into a store and purchasing a print copy to read at a cafe with a cappuccino.
Buyers want simple checkouts and easy returns no matter where they are purchasing. They want habits and preferences stored so that future purchases can be anticipated and repeated when the time comes for buying, creating an easy decision path.
And shoppers don’t just want the products or services they buy. They want experiences and ideas. New technology in the retail industry needs to take all this into account and customise an experience based on consumers’ wants and desires.
#2 Retail technology needs to be agile and adjustable
There is no single answer (no matter how out of the box it may be) that meets the list of customer expectations. Only adaptive digital solutions or Customer Strategies can deliver these results. Retail technology that observes shopper behaviour and customer insights needs to be agile and adjustable to meet the new demands and opportunities that now arise.
This approach considers and applies fluid and flexible engagement and adapts to meet changing consumer demands. The best retail technology uses predictive analytics to act in an anticipatory manner to deliver engagement strategies aiding retailers to deliver the customer an experience that they enjoy and are satisfied with.
#3 Taking an integrated approach to retail tech
The latest technology takes an integrated approach to personalising the customer experience. It could take the form of geofencing and beacons to draw customers to the store with personalised offers on a branded mobile app or by merging in-store capabilities with online applications.
Some retailers even use virtual and augmented reality to bring traffic to in-store product discovery as well as project ideation. Internet and mobile retail tech are being joined online to enhance the shopper experience.
Some retailers use augmented reality apps to help customers visualise furniture and decor in their homes (eg. IKEA’s personalisation app). Shopping giants, Neiman Marcus and Sephora, are among fashion retailers that have mobile apps that facilitate a virtual ‘fitting’ feature for clothing and makeup to pair with what the owners’ own.
#4 Coordinated connectivity in store and online
Brick and mortar stores are now focusing on the shopper experience as they see their customer base turn to online shopping more and more. While putting creative effort to engage their customers online, they are also beginning to offer unique, memorable and entertaining experiences in-store to draw their customers in-store. This is where new technology is pivotal in the Retail industry. The aim is to use the tech to coordinate engagement efforts across online channels and integrate connectivity in seamless user experiences.
Retail innovation needs to look to connectivity between online, brick and mortar stores, and customers if they hope to keep connection with their buyers. If you are looking for an ISP near you who will provide reliable, well-supported internet services to link your digital network with your brick and mortar stores, why not get in touch with us?