2018: A Retail Revival
As we already reach the end of February 2018 is proving to be a fast paced, action packed year, perfect for a retail revival.
With the growth of e-commerce, high-street retail stores have fallen behind, and so a retail revival is desperately needed in 2018.
While some may believe that the retail world is in the midst of an apocalypse, 2018 is the awakening of success if retailers make the right progress. Simply see it a process of innovation. We can’t stress enough that consumer demands have increased with high expectation, and retailers must keep up with the times.
Personalisation and a more extensive range of delivery options are just some of the paths retailers can take to provide customers with a memorable and pleasing shopping experience. Although it seems as if retailers need to step away from digital aspects to thrive on their own, implementing a technological factor will help to provide a boost.
Don’t dismiss brick and mortar just yet!
Brick and mortar stores are still very much relied on by consumers who mainly make purchases online. Physical stores are still crucial in supporting the growth of online sales. Did you know 21% of online purchases use click and collect methods – of which two-thirds picked up their purchases in store, and the remainder used other options such as local collection points. Overall 35% of online purchases were later returned in store. It just goes to show that although we are living in a predominately online world, retail stores are still a vital piece of the retail experience. (*)
As we mentioned in 2016, customers demand real-time engagement and immediate satisfaction. They want more choice, but only if it is relevant and tailored to them personally. Last year, providing personalised touchpoints became an unmissable process, but in 2018 it will become a must have if you want to keep your consumers engaged with your business.
Advanced technologies that keep track of what a customer is engaging with, what they purchase and their interactions with your brand. This will help retailers understand precisely what it is that their customers desire, and give it to them through utilising predictive technology.
A great example of this comes from major retailer, Lush, in an article written by Marketing Week. The company has now launched its own tablet till system. The open-source system includes an app built on Google’s Android that allows its shop staff to walk around the store with mobile checkout points at hand, as well as personalised product information. The tablet tills are also replacing the normal cash desks, providing faster transactions and payment options.
Bring back the in store ‘experience.’
Despite Deloitte’s report stating that 90% of customers use their phones in the shopping process. According to Think With Google more than 80% of shoppers use their mobile devices to research purchases they’re about to make in store, and a quarter of those even said they have changed their mind while standing in line just by looking up details!
Retailers are now realising that improving their in-store experience with their own mobile initiatives is essential if they want to be considered as top of the scale. For example, British chain, M&S, are now showcasing ‘browse and order hubs’ that allow shoppers to browse the store catalogue or scan barcodes to explore product information. Customers have the opportunity to order on the device and collect at a later date or have the product delivered to their home. They even have card payment machines so you can purchase there and then!
Involving the option to access information through a mobile in-store experience will encourage user engagement and also bring another level of personalisation to the table.
Options for omnichannel
Retailers can no longer hide away in the store, they must meet consumers halfway, and usually, that means they can be found on a variety of channels. 2018 is the year we will witness brands provide the seamless omnichannel experience consumers demand – which means availability and access to the brand everywhere.
Nectarom stated that famous store, Nordstrom, is doing just that. “Nordstrom has made it possible to buy items from Instagram and find items based on Pinterest favourites. Instagram has been a modelling platform for retail items. The retailer’s Instagram account now features a link which directs customers to Like2Buy, a platform that makes Instagram shopping easy. All of the items available for sale from the retailer’s feed are displayed as an elegant grid of photos. Shoppers can then scroll and “like” items, which are curated into a personal wishlist or shopping cart.”
Cybersecurity affects physical stores too.
Cybersecurity has been a primary concern for online stores. However, with physical stores adapting to new technologies, the increasing regularity of data breaches is forcing retailers to consider digital security. Data breaches of such sensitive general and card customer data can result in costly lawsuits, financial loss, reputation damage and customer trust/loyalty.
With GDPR coming in May, brands can not afford to lose consumer data. More and more retailers now realise putting security as a top priority is crucial. With the use of in store wifi, mobile apps and POS systems in store, the monitoring of security and keeping up to date with software will help ensure a cyber attack is kept at bay.
Whether a retail revival is in the cards for some brands or not, shoppers have moved their focus to the digital world. Keeping up with the times through digital transformation will ensure retailers provide that all important, unforgettable shopping experience.
Here at Bray Solutions, we can support your ‘retail revival’ by taking control of your shipping and returns process. To find out more, call us on 01780 784875 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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