Today in the 21st century, technology has taken full effect over various domains in the business world including the Retail industry. Rapid advent in the field of mobile technology has opened up various avenues in the retail sector. Personalised Shopping experience of the customers is the main area of concern and with the huge advancement of mobile & tablet technology, the number of possibilities is endless. The Retail Industry today, contrary to previous beliefs, is not lagging behind anymore. Let us have a look at the recent avenues or trends that have opened up in the retail world.
Cloud Technology has caused a significant turnaround in the fortunes of the retail industry. Cloud technology not only diminishes the overall IT costs that an enterprise has to incur, but also ensures that the customers enjoy a better shopping experience. The communication is more personalised as customers can now get all their queries and doubts answered with the aid of their mobile device or tablet. Data can be tracked and controlled easily through cloud technology and a better focus can be provided on customer demands as a result of this. Cloud technology allows the liberty to innovate but also restricts cost at the same time. The only on-line retailers can be given a stiff challenge by availing this form of technology.
It has to be understood that today the customer expects to shop through channels that is most convenient to him/ her at the given time. Gone are the days when one can expect definite store traffic whenever the need for shopping arises among customers. Now, it's about providing them with the right path. Whether it is information on social media, data via video chat, promotion via telephone or information through mobile apps, the objective should be to provide relevant and informative data that properly compliments the customer's queries or desires. Another very important thing to establish is the prevalence of a proper organisational structure that will go hand in hand with the omni-channel strategies.
The Internet of Things
The IoT makes it possible for retailers to interconnect products or shopping entities with the customers digitally. As a result of this, a lot of data and information can be gathered on aspects like purchasing behaviour & tendencies and also helps in estimating as to which are the products which are likely to be in demand and vice-versa. With this established, the retailers can strategise their pricing and promotion of the different products and services accordingly. The whole idea is to ensure that the shopper's in-store experience is enhanced. IoT also helps in optimising the various supply chain operations. This leads to strategised merchandising and measured product placement in the store. Thus, the Internet of Things is not just beneficial to the retailer, but also acts in properly engaging the customers as they shop and overall enhances their entire shopping experience.
Technological boom in recent years has led to the discovery of gadgets like smart watches, activity, trackers, etc. These devices again provide a lot of data to the retailers with which they can ensure a better shopping experience for the customers. Location of the customer can be tracked on a daily basis and that can be used to promote and market products and services in a particular way. Promotional messages can be compiled in a personalised way that will better meet the customer's expectations in order to develop a more favourable relationship with the customers. It further provides more in-roads into customer analytics that helps the retailers understand why the customers are not making the purchase, what is stopping them, which aspects of in-store detailing needs to be improved, etc. The challenge lies in streamlining the bulk of information about customer specifics and concentrating on the relevant and absolute insights of the customer.