The opportunities to create an engaging retail experience

Etp-blog-the-opportunities-to-create-an-engaging-retail-experience

Gone are the days where retail used to be treated as a transactional business where in retailers sold the products to consumers who came to their stores to buy those and the mutual give and take of the product and the cost was the be all and end all. It has all changed now. While the transaction is still integral, it is just one of the many processes that make the retail business the way it is today.

A shopper not only buys a product from a retail brand, he/she wants to interact and engage with brand across certain stages of the shopping journey which has evolved into a complex, multi-dimensional journey that shoppers embark upon when they want to buy a product. This complexity has come in due to the influence of technology into the retail sector leading to substantial shifts in the shopping behaviour. The point to focus is not on the complexity but the opportunities that retailers have to connect with their end customers.

Consider this scenario – a shopper intends to purchase a mobile phone. So he decides to research about the options and varieties online on the website of his preferred retail brand. He is not happy with the options so he decides to further research on a market place online. Having shortlisted the devices that he could consider to buy, he visits multiple stores to check out the devices, to have an experience of their look-and-feel. Still not convinced of which one to go with, he goes onto social media and seeks opinions. Moreover, he also checks out information portals that review products.

Now, the above shopping journey is an incomplete one since the purchase has not happened yet, however it is interesting to note the number of times the shopper has interacted with the brand through multiple touch-points. From a retailer’s point-of-view, these are indeed the opportunities for the brand to interact and engage with the customer. The above scenario is one of the complex shopping journeys and the complexity can further increase along with the number of touch-points that can be used throughout the entire shopping journey. Again, these are multiple opportunities that retail brands have to interact and engage with the customer and create the impact.

To sum up, as shopping behaviour has evolved, it has provided ample opportunities for retail companies to go beyond the traditional concepts of retailing. Rather, this evolution has enabled brands to meet and greet their customers across multiple stages and touch points of their shopping journey. Ultimately, customers prefer an engaging experience and those brands who will be able to offer that kind of an experience will thrive.

Understanding Millennial Shopping Behavior is Important for Retail Brands.

Millennials enjoy a seamless experience while expecting a high level of convenience across multiple devices and touch-points when it comes to shopping. There has been a profound influence of smartphones and social media in everyday life. Millennials use these mediums substantially and on-the-fly to get assistance while they are shopping in a brick-and-mortar store as well as to search for coupons and other offers.

Though Millennials generally love to shop in a store, they demand cross-channel capabilities so that they can acquire whatever information and help they seek from any channel that is most convenient to them during the shopping journey. To summarize, Millennials and the newer generations expect a lot more, a lot faster, at their own convenience and at desirable prices. All this has forced retail businesses to evolve and this is an ongoing process.

The below infographic depicts certain important trends about Millennial shopping:

etp blog understanging millenial

Millennials have been one of the game changers for the retail industry, demanding versatility, flexibility, convenience, and speed from retail brands. Going forward, this generation along with the Gen Y and Gen Z are set to disrupt the retail industry further. It is high time, retail brands take the right steps to understand these consumers and be able to satisfy their demands.

4 sure-shot ways to attract mobile shoppers

Mobile devices, the offspring of inspiring technology have been a revolution since their inception and continue to undergo further evolution with the daily advancement in technology. Even today, there is something new happening every year when it comes to mobile technology. The number of mobile users has also increased exponentially over the last few years. Mobile devices have penetrated into the lives of the masses and have percolated to an extent where the first thing most people do when they wake up is check their mobile phones. Such is the power and influence of this technology that it has disrupted many industries and the retail sector has been the one to feel it the most.

The mobile disruption in retail has given rise to a new breed of shoppers who are commonly known as ‘mobile shoppers’. These are the kind of customers who are always on the go and their mobile phone is their go-to device to cater to most of their activities including shopping. As mobile penetration increases further, so will the number of mobile shoppers and retail businesses must be able to grab a share of this incremental customer base. Below are 4 sure-shot ways retail brands can attract mobile shoppers:

  • Mobile channel for shopping: Retail organizations must ensure proper integration of mobile commerce or m-commerce into their business. This acts as an additional channel for retailers to extend their reach as well as be available to shoppers’ on-the-go. Some ways of implementing mobile commerce would be by having a mobile friendly/responsive shopping website or downloadable mobile apps.
  • Mobile engagement: Another technique by which retailers can expand their brand presence and reach larger audiences is by planning and implementing engagement strategies to cater to their mobile customers. There are various avenues that retailers can use such as mobile ads, sms, calls, and more to be on top of their customers’ and prospects’ minds.
  • Mobile payments: Revolutionizing the traditional payment methods through secure mobile payments is something retail companies must certainly consider. As mobile shoppers are highly mobile savvy, allowing them to pay using their handheld devices will be much appreciated by them as it enhances the payment experience while shopping.
  • Mobile based geo-marketing: Location based marketing is an excellent opportunity for retailers to promote their brands to mobile shoppers. Mobile devices have made it easy for retailers to enable shoppers to locate the nearest store or to send them notifications about the new or promotional offers within a particular region.

Consumers are increasingly spending more time on their mobile phones and an increasing number of shoppers are turning to mobile before any other channel. In order to make the most of this scenario, retailers must use the right mobile technology and think of ways to create and deliver lasting ‘mobile first’ experiences.