Trends retailers need to invest in

ETP blog trends retailers need to invest

Evolution is key to sustainability and every business needs to evolve in order to survive for years together. Retail businesses also need to adapt to their fast paced, dynamic, highly competitive and challenging environment to be able to progress in today’s day and age. This can certainly seem like climbing a huge mountain. Hence, to be able to achieve this feat, below are a few trends that retailers can invest in now, before it is too late for them.

Omni-channel is the way to go: If a retail business is still banking on one or a few channels to stake its claim to the market share, well, it is time to realize that such a strategy won’t work in the long run and sooner or later, the business would be biting the dust. Omni-channel retailing is the way to go forward and any retailer who is not adopting an omni-channel strategy should invest in it right away, else the business’s survival will be jeopardized.

Same day delivery or it is a ‘no-sale’: Gone are the days when retailers could take weeks and months to deliver products to their customers. With the intense competition in the e-Commerce market, everyone is trying to be better than the others. One of the latest features big giants have started providing to their benefit is ‘same-day delivery’ to their customers for the products purchased. Fulfilling this kind of a commitment requires a pre-planned yet flexible and comprehensive supply chain management. Retailers need to invest in it or else face no sale situations.

Customer expectations is not the limit: If the focus is not the customer, the retail business is sure to perish. Customer experience today is an extremely competitive battle ground. In order to stay in business, retailers, however big or small, need to ensure that they are leaving no stone unturned in providing their customers with an experience that would drive them to come back. Retail business owners have to ensure they invest in the right resources so that they do not limit their offerings to merely fulfilling the customer expectations, but aim to exceeding them.

Mobile is the destination: Retail businesses need to be where their customers are and one of the most favorable destinations where retailers can engage with their cusomers is on mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets are the new norm for the consumers today. If retailers need to keep up with this norm, they have to invest in the right mobile technology. This will enable them to be where their customers are and not fade away because of obsolescence.

If retail businesses want to make a lasting impact on their customers, they have to be armed with the right resources – people, products, processes, technologies and so on. Retailers must get ready to invest in the right trends at the right time as this will help their businesses to evolve and keep-up with the quick, ever changing needs of the retail industry.

Online In-Store – Shopper’s Paradise

ETP blog online in-store

Smartphones are getting smarter and making their users more savvy shoppers. Today, customers research, review, compare, purchase products online and in-store. Research shows more than 80% shoppers use their smartphones in-store, while shopping. The customer’s mobile is the starting point of most shopping journeys. It begins with searching about the various categories of interest. The search leads to the customer browsing deeper into the product information, while in the physical store, and ready to make the purchase.

Most shoppers use their phones to ascertain pre-shopping information like searching the store location and timings, comparing prices and understanding the store or brand specific promotions and ensuring the product availability at the store. Customers who use mobiles more often buy more. This is seen across product categories like health and beauty, electronics, home care and appliances. Browsing through substantial product information and reviews surreptitiously influences customers positively and removes any doubts regarding a purchase. Sometimes, customers also buy experience enhancing accompaniments for the selected products after reading about them online.

Mobile technology in retail is impacting a broad spectrum of business functions such as campaign and promotion management, customer service and acquisition, retention and loyalty management, space planning and optimization, operational processes, demand and supply forecasting, inventory management, security management, etc. Retailers are focusing strongly on mobile connect and analytics to gain actionable customer insights out of the enterprise data. For this, mobile technology like mPOS and beacons are being introduced into the retail store to deliver superior shopping experiences.