Retail has witnessed a sea of change, from the earlier tropes of predictable sales to experiential marketing, which calls out for an in-depth look into the scenario. With an eye for winning the bigger chunk of the pie, marketers are experimenting with their strategies to create a veritable foolproof plan of action.
Gone are the days of shucking together a half-baked attempt to woo the audience, as brand perceptiveness grows on an escalating stage. Audiences demand for an experience that would bring value to their existence and are smarter than ever. The need to elevate the retail sector is eminent and here’s how retailers are doing that:
Personalization has helped retail grow exponentially and it will continue to be a key retail trend in 2018 and beyond. And personalization goes beyond e-mails and initials as it touches even the microscopic build of the product/service. This would provide consumers to get involved at a molecular level, maxing up on experience building to create a story worth recounting/revisiting again and again. This will turn a casual shopper into a loyalist, helping the cause of marketing to the greatest extent.
Reliance on BOTS
While the world that is shown in Spielberg’s famed Artificial Intelligence is far from being a reality, we expect BOTS to play a bigger role in supporting retail operations, especially when it comes to building Fulfilment Centres. Retail giants are investing on chatbots to deliver actionable offerings that go beyond their we are here to help statement and actually helps. Instant messaging apps would be leveraged to provide rapid solutions, streamlining communications. Simply posting photos or updates to a branded social profile won’t cut it anymore, with retailers opening up to newer possibilities.
Data Driven Retail Decisions
Wondered how Amazon remembers what you have looked for, three weeks back? It is data after all and retailers worth their salt are using Big Data and machine learning to help develop their strategies. Collection and leveraging of data in sales, marketing, customer service, and operations will continue to reign supreme. Machine learning to optimize and empower purchase decision is one thing; it is now empowering delivery routes to inculcate a system of prediction. IoT and Face Recognition software are being utilized to create an interactive platform for retailers to milk on the cause of experience, with customers now being able to interact and create a bond with the brand. This isn’t restricted to just big retailers with ample to spend, but also small players with limited spend, who can also leverage data and gain actionable insights, now.
Apart from personalization, there is another super ingredient that is primed to elevate the game- curation.Retailers that are able to effectively curate assortments for their customer, providing them novel ways to engage, are winning. Modern shoppers are bombarded with choices, and at the end of the day, they choose to buy from those, that provide something novel and unique. Curation signifies a level of thoughtfulness, making consumers feel special and increasing the brand value.
Retailers can approach product curation by creating a thoughtful (often hand-picked) assortment of products, they know their specific customer would love. This would act as an extension to their existence and leave a mark in the consumer mind.
The segment is set to flourish and prosper as new novelties are gearing up to set the pace of the industry. With time, we shall see other developments challenging the pre-conceived parameters, breaking the shackles of redundant practices.