Looking at the retail industry is extremely helpful in understanding the fast pace at which the world is changing, as it is among the sectors where the trend to employing new technologies is clearest and in which they are most useful for consumers.
In the last couple of years we have seen many changes in retailing that use new tech, such as augmented reality and the use of new payment methods, to improve the consumer experience before, during and after purchase.
Shop assistants using virtual/augmented reality and robots that help select products as well as providing guidance or suggestions in-store are certainly better able to ensure the best customer experience during the shopping process, as we have mentioned previously.
There are apps being used to see how clothes look on a customer with 3D avatars that help clothes retailers help customers find the best fit when buying online. Some stores already have mirrors that make it possible to ‘try on’ clothes without even having to undress, using virtual reality.
The number of online stores offering a wide range of options to customise specific products has been rising exponentially. This is the direction things seem to be heading, as we see not only in retail but also in the way companies present their products, using ultra- personalised marketing.
Designing your clothes by altering minor details or choosing the fittings of your new car seems to be very appealing to customers and is changing the way they shop; even if it is entails extra costs for the company, people are usually also predisposed to pay more for this kind of personalised service.
Social media is an amazing way to connect with your customers and keep them engaged but it works even better when used in a smart way as is the case with some brands.
Currently, the top three brands on social media are Wendy’s, Disney and General Electric, according to Newswhip, as they create outstanding posts and use social media to interact with customers in innovative ways.
People are valuing content more than ever so extra effort needs to be put into writing posts with new and engaging content to spark interaction with customers, as well as keeping the presence on various social networks up to date.
There has been a big shift in the way people pay for goods. The rising number of online methods such as paying with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies and the possibility of generating virtual credit cards with apps are good examples of ways to change how people pay.
Paying with your mobile phone has also become quite trendy and is being implemented in more and more physical stores.
Collecting data from multiple sources, such as shopping behaviours or results from marketing campaigns, can hugely improve the way products are sold.
Nowadays 90 percent of people use their smartphones in stores while they shop, according to SessionM, making this a great opportunity for companies to easily target customers when they are more likely actually to buy a product.
Data is helping marketers and retailers understand consumers behaviour and trends, anticipating a customer’s preferences and adapting their strategies to different kinds of target groups.
There are many different possibilities for improving retailing and interaction with customers in buying processes and we believe that is the way the world is heading.