The digital transformation has completely reshaped the online shopping experience and customer expectations in physical stores. Looking at the competition in the market, retailers also need to consider technology and automation if they want the growth of their business.
The retail industry has drastically changed since COVID19, Where physical stores remain closed as per government guidelines. Such restrictions changed the consumer mindset toward online stores and businesses toward technological innovation. Businesses that were giving services only at physical stores, followed an online approach to reach their customers.
Retailers didn’t face any difficulties in reaching out to the consumers but challenges were faced while providing a better shopping experience to consumers. To deal with the proper shopping experience technology has come with new innovations that helped both consumers and retailers.
There are some technologies that were available and were implemented by industries like healthcare, agro etc but were not by retail. After the rising pandemic, retailers started using those technologies to provide service to their customers.
In this blog, we will discuss some technologies that are currently in trend and will reshape the retail industry in the coming years.
Big Data and Machine Learning:
Data is the biggest asset and biggest challenge for retailers. It’s the key to understanding and engaging their consumers. The combination of Big Data and Machine Learning is one of the popular trends that contributes to better logistics management and operation. The retailer can implement big data throughout their organisation to unlock hidden value and many other functions as well, for instance, risk management. It gives a huge opportunity for retailers to use their existing data to improve the bottom line. Big data analytics provides a risk of missing opportunities to engage consumers with kinds of products and offers them that they are searching for or maybe didn’t even know they wanted. Big data lets retailers target consumers with personalised suggestions upsell and cross-sell based on prior behaviour and predictive models. This can include acquisition pattern analysis, collaborative filtering, customer-specific scorecards, real-time store sales modelling and can even determine optimal pricing for individual consumers.
For retailers, big data means intelligently measuring, monitoring and modelling their business in real-time. This creates the ability to understand customers’ demands efficiently. It improves customer acquisition and conversion for lower cost and increased revenues.
Retailers can take help from those insights to build a powerful marketing campaign that can attract more customers and can increase their shopping expenditure.
The introduction of cashless payment or UPI payment has emerged as a lifesaver for both customers and retailers. This trend allows customers to shop with increased comfort, as they don’t need to carry cash. They can make a quick payment by scanning the QR code. Some of the retailers are providing contactless payment. Customers can make payments from the retail app, from which customers can get an e-bill by scanning the barcodes of their purchased products, which they can pay from their phone. This makes customers more relaxed as they don’t need to interact with any store executive. This model can be further reshaped by developing apps that will let customers know details about a product (e.g. price, ingredients, and more) by scanning the barcode. This will let customers get additional information about a product without holding it.
Shop and Collect:
Simply having an online shopping option is not enough for business growth. Businesses need to integrate their eCommerce platform with a seamless store. After ordering anything online, customers used to wait till they received the order. This model was reshaped to a new one. where Customers can shop their products online and can collect them from the stores. This model is greatly appreciated by customers as they don’t have to wait for the product to arrive. The advantages of shopping and collecting include quickness, convenience and low cost. Such integration will provide excellent benefits for customers and will synchronise online and offline transactions for retailers. It can maximise the sale for retails by offering exclusive discounts to the customer based on their shopping interests.
Shopping Through Augmented Reality(AR):
One of the biggest challenges faced by consumers in online marketing is the inability to try the product before they buy it. Shopping for any product from an eCommerce website is an easy task for consumers but they face a challenge when they want to purchase items like dresses, jewellery etc. They are confused about whether it will look good to them or not. Most of the time, consumers return or exchange their purchased products. As a result, it attacks the profit margin or conversion rate of retailers. To avoid this loss and enhance customers’ online shopping experience, the retail industry has started with Augmented Reality. This allows customers to try before they buy. By the use of AR, retail brands offer customers to check products in a more immersive and realistic way from their smartphones. This model is already introduced in the healthcare, and construction industries. Its wide adoption in the retail industry is just a matter of time.
Voice shopping can be said as an emerging technology trend that will reshape retail industries in the coming days. It reduces end-user dependence. People are using virtual assistants like Siri, and Alexa to aid them with everything, from checking the weather to calling someone. Now voice assistance can help customers to shop just by talking. Voice shopping allows customers to talk to a virtual assistant and search for products that can be added to a virtual cart. Later on, after completing the cart, customers need to place the order and wait for the delivery. Voice shopping seems to have a good start with retailers like Walmart, which allows customers to shop for groceries and other items just by using their voice.
Initially, this tech trend seems to be facing some challenges while shopping, but with the advancement of technology, it is expected to fix those issues and enhance customer effort during shopping.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Delivery (UAV):
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles or drones for delivery is not new. This delivery came into reality for the first time in New Zealand in November 2016, when domino’s with its drone delivery partner Flirtey, dropped off an order of pizza at the customer’s door. The adoption of drones is growing rapidly among both consumers and companies, and the retail industry is leading the way in that adoption. The largest e-commerce companies like Amazon and Walmart have already started their drone delivery service. The implementation of this technology would save money on shipping costs, which will reduce the cost for consumers. Consumers would receive their delivery more quickly and reliably. Anyhow this technology is still to be implemented on a large scale and is expected to be adopted by eCommerce companies in full-fledged in the coming years. The face of the retail industry will completely change when e-Commerce companies will start adopting this UAV technology to fulfil orders.
Video Content for Product:
The advancement of technology and the reach of the internet to every corner of the globe is set to be a boon for eCommerce industries. Mobile Devices are one the powerful tools to reach customers who increasingly spend time online and make purchasing decisions based on the content they view on YouTube. Usually, customers love to know a lot about a product before purchasing. Now, most retailers have started sharing video content for their products on their channels. So that customers could know in detail. Affiliate marketing is another way to share video content of a product. People love to hear about your product from others instead of what you say. Ecommerce companies like Amazon, and Flipkart allow people to start affiliates for their products. Affiliate marketers start sharing video content and review of the products. As a result, it brings the interest of customers toward a product. Video content sharing for products is quite popular nowadays and will be also at the top in the coming years.
These are some of the tech trends which are currently reshaping the retail industry and with further advancement, they will change the structure of the retail industry. Those technologies were available even before but got implemented after the COVID19 pandemic. Retailers started adopting these technologies after restrictions were imposed by the government. After the pandemic people became more health-conscious. Maximum tech trends evolved after the pandemic, where people face challenges in shopping. Along with reshaping the retail industry, tech trends have changed the consumer experience. Now, these trends will rule retail industries. Several eCommerce companies have now started adopting these trends. To remain in competition it is necessary for the rest of the e-commerce companies to implement those trends soon.
If you want to implement tech trends like Big Data and Machine Learning for your eCommerce Gloify will help you out in implementing such technologies.