It has become vital for retail industry to give their customers a seamless shopping experience over the web and in the store. According to a Vend University survey, retailers indicated putting in more efforts on building strategies to find ways to bridge the gap between offline and digital channels for driving improved customer experience.
Key trends and predictions for 2015-16
With the increase in use of personal devices like smartphones, tablets and wearable devices, retailers can take advantage of technology for delivering better customer experience. Companies strive to attract new customers and retain existing ones by differentiating prospects from the competition. New technologies are setting new rules for data and analytics, driving better operations, customer insight and returns in IT infrastructure. Digital stores provide the ability to support massive amounts of data for real-time analysis too.
Retailers have already started using social networks to sell their products. Brands have used social media to market products; however in the coming months, it is anticipated that merchants will add ecommerce features to sell their products through social websites.
Personalizing the shopping experience will no longer be limited to customized product recommendations and offers. Retailers will be investing in finding newer ways to make each customer’s experience unique. The loyalty programs will focus on rewarding shoppers for their actions and engagement, and not just purchases.
Retailers will be adopting newer technologies to improve the shopping experience. Cloud based PoS, adoption of beacons and in-store video analytics and wearable devices will be part of the most adopted technology trends.
With the use of in-store technology and customer-owned smart phones, new trends indicate improved customer experience with customer tracking and reward redemption through smartphone apps. More customers are likely to adopt mobile wallets and mobile payment solutions.
In 2014, several traders explored Omni-channel retailing and adopted in-store marketing solutions to enhance customers’ shopping experience in stores as well as online. In the recent past, Increase in customer expectations and new technology trends have altered the retail landscape. Retailers are already embracing multiple channels to serve customers and these trends will be continued. According to MediaPost, retailers have found that click-and-collect not only serves as a convenient option for customers, but also increases payments.
Today, customers want their purchasing journeys not only convenient but also safe and secure. Chain Store Age cites, “The 2014 Identity Fraud Study reported an increase of more than 500,000 fraud victims to 13.1 million people in 2013, the second highest number since the research began.”
In 2015-16, it is anticipated that risk mitigation and data security are among retailers’ top priorities. Vulnerability assessment and Penetration testing are now part of key strategies to secure e-stores and the online presence of retail stores.