Mobility has changed everything in this world. Everything. Literally. It has revolutionized the way people think, live, engage or do business. In the gaining omnipresence of mobility, retail has perhaps undergone the maximum metamorphosis, because in a manner, mobility has got a lot to do with individuality aka personality. And from personality comes personalization.
Here’s looking at the top 10 mobility induced trends that have emerged in retail and the extent of personalization that has come into being:
1. Commerce anywhere: à laMe-Commerce. Evolution of the Me-Commerce concept can be attributed to the sky-rocketing customer expectations in getting a personalized retail experience. It’s a chicken and egg situation when we speak of mobility and Me-Commerce. It’s not decisive whether mobility had a role to play in the development of this advanced form of retail or it was already in the making where mobility only acts as a benefactor. But overall, one thing is clear. Me-Commerce is here to stay and mobility is a fantastic instrument for retailers to take advantage.
2. Omni channel not just channels but across brands: Intersection of mobile and physical stores. For instance, the Harris and Hoole App which was an instant hit brought a symbiotic application of CRM and POS. Another example is window shopping technology that helps in online virtual shopping.
3. Mobility is just not a smart phone app: Whoever thought mobile meant a bunch of apps that assisted in shopping was not seeing the other side of the coin. Mobility makes employees become more productive. BYOD, apps for pre-sales are all things that help an employee work smarter.
4. Embrace show rooming: Ever went to a store, asked for a product to a sales person and got an answer almost 30 mins later? Almost all the time. But, by developing a strategy for Show rooming in store employees can be empowered to provide enough product data for better sales assistance.
5. Hyper targeting: Promoting better online personalization & moving in-store. Using tools like Wi-fi, LTE, iBeacon, AR shoppers can get more personalized experience in-store.
6. Big data: The impact of Big Data is being felt everywhere. But optimum usage of Data Sciences can bringing science to the art of retail. Humungous amounts of customer data can be analyzed to understand, comprehend and target customers with their preferences.
7. Reinvent loyalty programs: Loyalty programs are not a tick mark activity anymore. A stellar example is the instant rave created by the ATM loyalty initiative of a Canadian bank. As it works in retail banking, it is to work better in mainstream retail. Retailers all across are investing heavily in re-inventing loyalty programs and finding better ways of staying connected with customers. Rightfully so.
8. Social driving inventory: Increasing the gamut of social drivers by promoting inventories. Pinterest, Instagram, Quora, Criag’s list are great places to start with.
9. Digitization of stores: Imagine entering a store and being able to see a map of all products, prices and being able to find things within minutes! A sure-shot customer wow moment. Retailers are getting there with digital displays, ePubs, ESS, stores are becoming more digitized. A huge success was Argos in UK, where a store was both physical and virtual with digitized ways of surfing, selecting and buying things.
10. API Economy and Marketplace: Integration is everything. By increased usage of API and service providers, retail has a lot to offer as a service – catalog as a service, wish list as a service, registry as a service, real-time price, stock and so on.
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