Is Your Retail Outlet In Step with these 5 Digital Trends?
Consumers cannot get enough of real-time, personalized digital experiences and retailers are having to keep up with the times in order to best serve them. Retailers are not only selling their products and services, but providing clients with a whole new buying experience. The following are the technological advancements that are majorly impacting the retail industry for both retailers and consumers alike.
Mobile devices have led to the advent of sales staff with mobile devices, websites which are mobile compatible, and the availability of discounts through mobile applications while the consumer is in a physical store. A study even suggests that 82% of smart phone users consult applications and websites while they are in a store, before deciding on a product they wish to purchase.
Further digital advancements allow customers to wear virtual reality (VR) goggles in a store, and try out various clothes without ever touching them, before they make a purchase. This has turned retail into a fast, simple and enjoyable experience.
Smart beacons have transformed the entire sphere of targeted marketing. Smart beacons use Bluetooth to alert retailers when a client is near their store, and the retailer can then communicate with the client. Retailers can now lure in customers, by offering them coupons or discounts when they are in front of the store, and boost sales by a significant margin.
IoT has been changing the way people gather actionable data, analyze it and utilize the data to their advantage. There are 6.4 billion IoT devices currently in the market, with the anticipation of 50 billion by 2020. Just like smart beacons, IoT and the data from all “Things”, will empower retailers to provide consumers with personalized shopping experiences – the right products, for the right people, at the right time.
In a world where retail is all about personalization, AI is aiding retailers to leverage big data and automation, and understand their customer’s preferences before they do. AI helps clients with product recommendations based on previous purchases and products viewed online, and even redesigns web home pages in real time based on the client and their needs. AI will play a major role in the future, where they will replace product experts and help clients make decisions in real time.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual and augmented reality are bridging the gap between the retail experience of yester years with that of the future. Using AR or VR goggles, clients can now find out how a piece of clothing would suit them, without having to ever put it on. VR can even help clients purchase houses or cars without ever stepping into the real house or taking the car for a test drive.
These technologies are shaping the future of the digital world that we have witnessed the inception of, and the retail industry is one of the markets being revolutionized during this evolution.