Retailers across the globe have been challenged with exceptional changes in the past and have reshaped the retail business completely. To stay relevant, the substantial changes, the retail industry is facing include unpredictable customer expectations, push towards technology, hyper-personalization, and more.
Many new businesses got the opportunity to reach their right consumer through the ‘World of Amazon’ challenging the existing businesses to find new ways to differentiate themselves.
Mckinsey in one of their report has shared that, “10 years’ of e-commerce growth took place in just three months in the US alone and 75 percent of consumers tried different stores, websites, and brands in 2020”, and has dubbed this unexpected innovation and shift to technology as “The Quickening”.
Retailers are now forced to deliver the right product at right time to the right customer through Omnichannel strategies as customers like to shop in-store environment but appreciate the convenience of online retail. Retailers have learned the future of retail lies somewhere in phygital retail where the efforts are required to be made in improving store experience as well using technology in reducing physical touch-points. The new retail age demands being flexible and agile to stay connected to new age-connected consumers.
What Next – It’s Generation ‘C’
The digital revolution is bringing an incredible transformation, where marketers have found a big advantage by targeting connected customers in a more relevant and personalized way. The future is in the hands of a generation that has a birth certificate as well as a social presence upon delivery into this world i.e. Generation C.
A generation who is well connected, multi-tasker, expect rich experience, and is always on a physical store, e-commerce, social commerce, or m-commerce. And, thus they are the targeted consumer of every brand.
As brands have observed the shift in consumer demand from products to services, hyper-personalization, and modern technology, brands are building their strategies to control customer senses and show them what they want to see (personalization), what they want to hear (constant conversation), what they want to feel (trust), and then building an active relationship with real participation.
It’s not easy to make someone open their wallet for your products, the exercise is a give and takes exercise where brands have to learn about their customers thoroughly.
Evolving Customer Engagement
The most popular method to ensure continuous engagement is through influencers, social media, delivery apps, and various other emerging channels.
Angelica Munson, Global Chief Digital Officer, Shiseido mentioned, “The path to purchase has become fragmented and immersive. Brands must develop one-on-one relationships with consumers across platforms such as social media, messaging apps, and live streaming to remain relevant”.
Unifying the store experience and improving physical and digital points will help retailers in revamping their loyalty programs too. In today’s digital world, data is the key that will impact the future of retail as data provides multiple insights like what kind of product customer is exploring, what price bracket s/he is looking forward to. Capturing data from the connected consumer is ‘a gut and a guess’ that keep businesses running and help in creating a solid Omnichannel experience.
It’s the age of ‘WITH’
The market is experience-centric now, where it’s important to understand the advanced analytics, consumer, and markets to embrace agile decision making. Retailers should understand the power of data WITH analytics WITH machines WITH human advantage to succeed in the future.
It’s important to place personalized plans in the system by incorporating real-time analytics, AI for merchandising management, and transparent inventory technology.
Adyen payments have mentioned in their report that, “Platforms and marketplaces will account for more than 30 percent of global corporate revenue by 2025”, as the pandemic has helped in building the confidence in making payments and sales from platforms.
Being flexible and agile is essential to stay connected to new-age customers.