No matter who you ask about the top trends in the retail business right now, the answers are bound to include things such as automation, robotics, online technologies, AI and AR and so on. The modern world and its innovations are not just fads, they’re here to stay. The world has changed and in order to survive, businesses must adapt.
Personalisation is huge right now. The customers want even mass-produced products to be unique and personalised. This might seem impossible, but luckily with new innovations and solutions coming to market every day, it isn’t. True, most can’t yet offer a truly unique product to each and every customer, but if you’re not able to personalise the product, you can personalise the retail experience.
This brings us to another major trend – immersive shopping. Shopping in physical, brick-and-mortar stores is competing with the fierce and brutal online market, and it has to step up its game in order to stay profitable. We’ve already written on what the physical store can offer that the online store can’t - the retail experience and making the in-store visit immersive by personalised service is key.
While a customer wants human interaction and excellent customer service while in the store, they also demand that the store is up to date in the technological sense. Mobile payments, self-checkouts and even cashier-less stores, using augmented reality software, and click-and-collect-shopping are not in the future anymore.
Even though the customer wants a personalised relationship with the store they shop in, usually utilising smartphones and online services, privacy needs to be taken very seriously. This spring privacy and data protection were talked about by everyone, everywhere, thanks to the EU’s GDPR. We at Noccela have always wanted to make sure that even though we use indoor positioning, we follow products, not people.
The worlds of physical and online shopping are colliding. In a sense, it is the trend of all trends – all things listed here could be examples of it. You could call it shopping physically 2.0 – the online world is seeping into the brick-and-mortar world. We don’t mean just the importance of the company’s online presence on social media – by now, we hope you know how important that is! – but how the perks of online shopping are imported into the physical shop. In an online store, you can instantly see if your size of an article of clothing is available and add it to your cart. You can instantly connect to a customer server or a chatbot to ask questions. Remember to take note of what the online stores are doing well, and replicate that in a physical environment.