In 2019, retailers are focused on staying connected and providing interactive technology to enhance the customer experience
Retail trends have been continuously changing with advancements in technology, and the demand for more drives these innovations. In an Omnichannel experience, the market demands more than just the best price and an efficient supply chain model.
According to KPMG Retail Trends 2018 report, Customer experience has become the key to success for any retail brand. The ready availability of a product is no longer adequate for offline retail businesses. Stores have to work on integrating technology to ensure they offer an Omnichannel shopping experience. Retail now is expected to empower the customer at multiple levels and provide them with more data for decision making while also adding to their superior customer experience. Factors that can help in integrating technology and enhance customer experience are:
- Stay connected
Customers go through multiple options across channels before buying a product. Today, they expect all the channels to provide a seamlessly connected experience. Retailers have to ensure that their apps, websites, social channels, kiosks, in-store merchandising and POS systems share data and should be telling the same related story.
For instance, retailers can also leverage IoT and get smart shelves. IoT driven ERP systems can ensure better inventory planning, with constant customer connect to inform of availability, etc., while the customer can even get notifications when the product is available. However, connected platforms are vulnerable to security outages, since a large number of open nodes need much higher monitoring.
Track and analyze the possible data from all the transactions. For regular customers, retailers need to use all the information available through purchase channels. This helps to personalize their shopping experience. Also, 2019 is expected to see more AI adoption. There is a pitfall of lack of clarity on the business value AI will provide, and tech leaders need to identify the best value points for AI adoption, before investing in it. They first need to understand where AI fits with their organizational needs and then serve the customers by leveraging this technology. Customer experiences need to be tailored accordingly.
- Empower customers
Some customers want to interact through a mobile app; some want a self-service kiosk, while some still want a human. Technology should assist in providing them with all these options and let customers experience the environment on their terms.
These steps will help retailers leverage technology to provide unique customer experiences.
Improved mobile technology, virtual reality, and augmented reality will continue to push retail brands to add new experiences to the traditional retail models in 2019.