It’s no secret that the retail world is going through some major shifts. The continuing rise of
ecommerce as well as emerging trends like mobile and augmented reality are changing the way
consumers behave. In order to keep up, brick-and-mortar merchants must adapt to the
rapidly-changing landscape of modern retail.
Below are some the top trends dictating these changes. If you’re a retailer looking to thrive in the
coming years, be sure to keep the following in your radar:
Meanwhile in Indonesia, Toyota published an AR-enabled print ad that allowed users to see the
Toyota Yaris in a whole new way. All they had to do was place the print ad in front of their web cam and they would see the Yaris come to life.
Mobile is making huge waves in the payments space. Mobile payment solutions such as Google Wallet, PayPal Here, and Singapore’s own MobileP@y are enabling consumers to complete their transactions using just their mobile device, thus eliminating the need to carry cash or bulky wallets.
Retailers have started to embrace mobile payment technology because it helps them speed up checkout time and offer more flexible payment options.
Case in point: McDonald’s Singapore, recently added payments to its McDelivery program. The fast food chain partnered up with Visa to let consumers place orders and pay with a tap of a button. Retailers that want to get in on the technology can do so by adopting payment solutions such as PayPal, Dwolla, or Google. They can also implement mobile payments by integrating the technology into their existing POS software.
Smart gadgets like the Pebble Watch and Google Glass are making their way into the mainstream world, and retailers have started to notice. Forward-thinking brands are already experimenting with the technology and are looking to use wearable tech to engage people and enhance shopper experience.
For instance, fashion label Kenneth Cole recently built a Google Glass app called “21 Days, 21 Deeds” and incorporated it into the launch of its new MANKIND cologne. The app challenged users to take photos of themselves doing random acts of kindness and post them online with the hashtag #manupformankind.
The ability to track shopper behavior used to be reserved for ecommerce websites. However, thanks to retail technologies such as Beacons, people counters, and Wi-Fi tracking, brick-and-mortar stores can also reap the benefits of customer analytics.
Using in-store analytics technology, retailers can measure various metrics such as dwell time, foot traffic, average shop time, etc. Data gathered through location analytics gives them the insights they need to improve their store design, marketing, staffing, operations, and more.
One example of a retailer putting this into action is VLC Cycling. With the help of store analytics vendor Swarm Mobile, the company used streams of digital video to recognize shoppers moving through the location. This enabled them to monitor the amount of visitors they had as well as where people lingered or stalled. As a result, VLC Cycling’s sales for stores with location analytics increased significantly and theft was reduced.
The concept of omnichannel must not be confused with “multichannel.” Whereas multichannel retailing means establishing a presence on various channels or touchpoints (i.e. brick-and-mortar, ecommerce, catalog, etc.), ominichannel goes beyond that and instead pertains to the ability to conduct business and interact with customers across numerous channels simultaneously and interchangeably.
One notable brand that’s executing a good omnichannel strategy is Starbucks. It has a mobile rewards app that lets users make purchases and earn rewards. What’s great about it though is that it offers a seamless experience across channels.
For instance, users have the option of checking and reloading their balance through the app, the Starbucks website, or when they’re at the store. Any balance or profile changes are updated in real-time, across all channels, thus letting users stay in-the-know no matter where they are or what device they’re using.