The digital transformation of the retail trade is in full swing. Customer behaviour is changing, drastically and quickly, making it crucial for retailers to adapt to these changes instead of falling behind with conventional methods. And when it comes to making the change, digitisation is a priceless partner to have.
In the United States in 2020, e-commerce grew three times as quickly as in the previous five years. As such, even more customers purchased products without having first tried them. Traditional retailers therefore need to develop a stronger brand and offer, an immersive and superior customer experience on the basis of digitization, to build up a stronger and more memorable connections with their clients.
In 2018, Forbes predicted that ‘95% of all customer interactions will be driven by AI, as a result of which it will become a crucial resource for retailers if they’re to remain competitive.’ By trusting technology, companies will improve business decisions and increase their margins. This is achieved through real-time analysis of millions of details, innovative proposals, handy and simple payment methods and the automation of processes.
We are being confronted with an omnichannel customer who is searching for personalized experiences. Our goal therefore needs to be to anticipate the behaviour of the consumer and conveniently and quickly fulfil their needs.
Technology makes this possible and the following trends will determine the future of the retail market:
Hybrid and omnichannel customer journeys
The trend towards a digital model is becoming increasing strong because it makes it possible to shop from anywhere at any time, offering incredible ease and convenience. This model presents retailers with the ideal opportunity to follow the behaviour of clients.
However, in-store shopping remains attractive for anyone who prefers a more tangible experience. Hybrid shopping combines the best of both worlds, creating customer journeys that meet all demands.
Physical stores can use logistics and stock management to offer flexible payment methods or loyalty programmes. At the same time, online retailers can promote customer relations and immersive shopping experiences that traditional retailers offer for online trade.
Extended reality -XR- and the Metaverse for Immersive Shopping
Customer experience is one of the most important aspects of the retail trade, making it necessary for retailers to offer efficient, consistent and memorable services.
This is where immersive technologies and their strong involvement come into their own. In recent months, the hype surrounding these technologies has grown considerably because of the endless possibilities they offer. Companies like Nike have already begun offering their clients new experiences in this digital world.
Dynamic pricing can be made more effective with help of smart labels that offer real-time information about demand and stock levels. These labels can immediately adjust the prices for an entire shelf and multiple stores so that manual updates are no longer needed. They’re also more legible and can display extra product information.
Retailers can improve their follow-up of stock with help from solutions on the basis of artificial intelligence (AI) that makes it possible to follow the turnaround of products in real-time and analyse purchase patterns. By predicting the demand on the basis of parameters such as weather forecasts, retailers can guarantee the availability of goods and prevent waste.
Digital wallets and user-friendly store and payment solutions are becoming increasingly popular: more than 20,000 stores in Europe now make use of them. Clients want more choice in the purchasing process, from payment options to product information and location. By separating the front-end from the back-end, retailers can roll out new models and functions more quickly. Digital wallets will therefore play a crucial role in the digitisation of discount coupons and the eventual arrival of the mobile coupon. HighCo DATA, GS1 and the representatives of the brands and distributors are working together on these solutions.
Loss prevention is crucial with self-checkout technology (now being tested at Colruyt), computer vision and enhanced video surveillance (EVS) cameras helping to reduce theft. The implementation of AI to automate proceedings, with everything from age verification to appropriate product samples, can also help with marketing campaigns on the basis of data-based insights.
Speech assistants and chatbots with natural language processing (NLP) are becoming an excellent partner in the retail world. Internet of Things (IoT) devices and beacon networks make personalised experiences and promotions for customers possible, improving the general shopping experience.
The arrival of IoT devices has triggered a revolution in the way companies communicate with clients. By making use of speech recognition technology, these devices can effectively respond to questions from clients and help them to find products. Furthermore, chatbots have emerged as a powerful resource for offering real-time customer support, saving both companies and their customers time.
One such innovative technology is the Beacon Network. It makes use of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) applications to give retailers real-time insight into the physical location of their customers in their stores. The technology makes it possible for them to offer personalised experiences and promotions to customers so that their shopping experience is tuned to their needs and preferences.
Carrefour is an excellent example of a company that has successfully implemented this technology, allowing them to communicate with their customers in a targeted manner during the purchase process. Using the Beacon Network, they can offer personalised offers and discounts that are tuned to the unique shopping preferences of every customer.
How are your remaining competitive as a retailer? How do you anticipate the behaviour of your customers? Digitisation offers powerful options. HighCoDATA.be offers brands and retailers a full-service solution for e-coupons, allowing us to realise their digital transformation. Increase customer satisfaction and anticipate customer needs by working together with HighCoDATA.be. Contact us today to see what we offer you.