Retail is in a state of flux, as customers demand more, faster, cheaper. Brands must evolve their strategies to adapt to shifting consumer preferences, and there are some emerging technologies that can help, according to Meyar Sheik, CEO at Certona.
He says, “The retail industry is at a tipping point, as customer experience claims a greater influence over retail conversion than any other business process or output. However, improving and personalising the customer experience requires the right mix of new technologies, processes and strategies designed to address the changing hierarchy of consumer demands and needs.”
According to Gartner research, “in many industries, hyper-competition has eroded traditional product and service advantages, making customer experience the new competitive battlefield. Competitors and alternatives abound and product innovation is subject to accelerating commoditisation. Customer experience innovation remains the secret to lasting brand loyalty.”
Certona has put together a report predicting a number of changes that should be expected across retail in 2015.:
- E-commerce, M-commerce and in-store commerce will evolve closer into simply commerce. The battles between brick-and-mortar stores and digital channels such as web and mobile will abate, and instead, each channel will be designed to direct the customer down the most likely path to conversion.
- Access to APIs will pave the way to more personalised consumer experiences: Merchants will actively pursue open APIs to develop more predictive apps that allow sharing of information and leveraging new functionality in real time to better personalise the user experience.
- Discounts will be in high demand by customers, threatening retail margins. Retailers will be forced to offer discounts and free shipping to meet consumers’ demands during the peak shopping season. However, retailers will also have the opportunity to make up the gap in revenue with personalizsed offers and recommendations. Ultimately, this will allow brands to deliver in-demand discounts, while recovering margins through recommended add-ons.
- Customer data will claim its position as a company’s DNA. Businesses with data-centric cultures will thrive, while companies that ignore the discipline of data science will lose to the competition.
- Mobile device makers revamp hardware and software strategies to specifically cater to mobile commerce. In response to consumer demand for streamlined commerce, device makers will make strategic decisions based on improving geotargeting, integrating payment technology, user authentication, messaging and inter-app communication.
Find out more with Certona‘s White Paper 5-emerging-technologies-that-will-drive-revenue-in-2015