We are inching closer and closer to an impending revolution in the field of technology, something that can significantly enhance how businesses are serving their customers. When it comes to the retail industry taking full advantage of this tech revolution has become crucial.
It’s no secret that the retail industry has suffered a massive blow from its online counterparts in recent years. This is primarily due to the enhanced customer experience and the ease of purchase that is being provided by e-commerce firms. Therefore retail marketers are focussing on leveraging digital technology to enhance their existing customer experience.
Here are the most popular mannerisms in which the retail industry is undergoing this change.
1. Voice-based searches
It may not be that prevalent yet, but voice search is gradually dominating the browsing landscape, and the coming years would give us a firsthand experience of that.
In fact, more than half of mobile searches are voice-based.
Realizing the huge potential of voice-based searches and the major value addition it can provide to their customer base, retailers have already started leveraging voice- search in their Digital Marketing strategy.
As of now, the most prominent way is to collaborate with firms that produce voice-based devices like Google and Amazon and providing personalized services to retail customers.
For example, a leading French retailer, Monoprix, has collaborated with Google home and launched a Voice application that allows a user to create his own personalized shopping list.
He can do this by simply having a conversation with a Chatbot that can recommend certain products based on his purchasing behavior.
2. Cross Channel Integration
This is primarily in response to a change in the retail consumer’s overall purchase journey. Unlike previous times, the retail consumer’s purchase trajectory has taken a multi/Omnichannel direction.
In other words, the primary stages of the consumer’s decision-making journey, i.e., the Awareness and consideration stage is being carried out majorly through the online medium.
Today’s retail consumer almost always has a pre-conceived mindset regarding a certain product before visiting the retail store to purchase it.
This is the reason why retailers are focussing on cross channel integration so that they can provide sufficient online engagement to their target consumer when he is going through the initial stages of the purchase journey.
Walmart collaborated with a Japanese E-Retailer, Rakuten, to launch an online version of their grocery store in Japan and an e-book store in the USA.
3. Taking Customer experience to the digital front
This is something that retailers have realized is the key to the retail industry’s survival in the long run. Online e-commerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba have given a strong blow to the retail industry primarily when it comes to two aspects:
- The ease with which a consumer can finally purchase a product.
- The overall digital customer experience that comes into play before a customer makes the final purchase Example: product displays, reviews, etc.
Although the first aspect can’t be countered, the second element offers a huge scope of improvement for the retail industry.
And this is how retailers are planning to compete with their online counterparts, i.e. increasing the consumer’s onsite experience by leveraging digital technology.
Mobile app development has been quite feasible as well as a lucrative option for retailers in this scenario until now.
For example, Zara has launched a mobile app that allows customers to visualize clothes on themselves when they are in the store.
This is to free them from the hassle of waiting in long queues in front of trial rooms. Such digital-based features help in enhancing the convenience factor in the consumer’s overall shopping experience.
Finally, it’s important to realize that simply adapting these technologies on a one-time basis won’t do much benefit to retail companies.
They have to keep on evolving as per new technological developments and constantly monitor their current performances to fine-tune the final customer experience that they are bringing out for their customers.