The future of the retail sector seems exciting with major global brands entering the market with technology revolutionizing the Indian retail sector. So far 2017 opened doors to ground-breaking technologies revolutionizing customers’ journey while enhancing retail operations. We look at some of the retail trends that will dominate this year.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
A few decades ago, it would have been impossible to imagine that a chatbot would take over the place of a sales executive at a store. Thanks to the millennial consumers’ demands, retail supply chain next year, will be dominated by revolutionary technologies.Since speed, retail convenience and personalization will have huge demand, more stakeholders will invest in retail tech to provide omni-channel services such as click-and-collect or same-day shipping and delivery. Conversational AI is expected to be significantly utilized in 2018 for setting new standards of business intelligence and advanced analytics.
E-commerce will continue to boom
Although India’s offline retail mogul Kishore Biyani has downplayed the growth of online retail in India and has said that e-commerce faces threat from physical stores, industry experts believe that the Indian online retail market will grow more than 4-folds to reach USD 14.5 billion by next year. According to a survey by RNCOS, the growth in online retail will mainly be driven by the need for shopping ease, growing number of smartphone users, higher mobility, and time-saving factor.
Hyper-Personalization to boost sales
Many stakeholders believe that personalization will be the topmost priority for Indian retailers to promote their product. Based on data like shopping behavior of consumers, brand preferences, geographical locations and preferences, modern retailers may leverage hyper-personalization models. It is believed that hyper-personalization will be the key to enhance shopping experience of consumers.
Importance to customer experience
From connecting with customers on messaging apps to starting conversations with customers, recommending them styles and products, giving updates and feedback, the coming year will stress on satisfying the customer. With the help of chatbot, shopping experiences are expected to hit new levels.
Wallet Usage to Rise
Although 2017 saw huge demand for digital wallets, especially after recovering from demonetization effect, the trend is likely to gain momentum in the coming year too. With major players like Amazon Pay, Paytm, PhonePe, among others using loyalty programs to promote digital wallets it is said that the e-cash will become the preferred payment mode for a lot more users.
Customer Engagement Will Be Crucial
Customer satisfaction will gain more importance and most of brands will keep pace with changing trends to ensure they effectively communicate with their customers. With the future to have tech-based approach, virtual assistants like - Siri, Google Voice, Alexa and Echo will have more roles to play. Not will technology help businesses handle real-time customer queries but ensure they experience hassle-free shopping.