Connected Retail Solutions Transforming the Retail Industry in North America
A consumer’s shopping journey today involves a lot of friction, which not only hampers shopping experience and has a negative impact on loyalty, but also creates a significant dent on the revenue. One of the biggest reason for this is the lack of coordination between sales channels, which results in information and process silos that prohibit customers from receiving the personalized, fluid experience they desire. To remain competitive, progressive retailers are focusing on streamlining the consumer’s path to purchase by building retail experiences that put them at the center of each interaction. This is at the heart of connected retail – a solution for creating a cohesive shopping journey across sales channels.
How connected retail solutions are disrupting customer shopping experience?
Developing a connected retail solution starts with understanding the needs of the customer. These needs are at the root of all the disruptions taking place in retail and dictate the terms of engagement. With connected retail solutions, customers are rewarded with experiences that transcend the shopping journey. Currently, 84% of North American retailers are seeing a marked rise in consumer expectations upon deploying connected retail solutions, and hence, the North America connected retail solutions market is gaining significant traction.
Connected retail solutions typically revolve around the following three pillars that are prerequisites for customers –
1. Convenience – Customers typically want fast and easy experiences. They want to shop when, where, and how they want in a manner that allows them to reach their desired good or service in the most efficient way possible.
2. Context - Customers expect themselves to be treated as individuals and are seeking out experiences customized for them.
3. Control - Consumers want maximum engage with retailers albeit on their own terms, including through messaging apps and social networks. Further, they expect to be able to pay using their preferred method while being assured that their data is secure.
What’s ahead for connected retail solutions in North America?
Today, retailers are investing significant time and money to implement connected retail solutions that can best drive sales. Retailers are increasingly leveraging virtual technology to drive better, faster and smarter customer decisions. Brands and retailers are moving from a static environment to a more dynamic one, which includes virtual shelves with realistic 3D product representations built from 2D pictures. Brands and retailers are using the technology to efficiently design shelf layouts, experience from the point of view of consumers, and augment shelves with real-time business indicators to make informed decisions. The shopping experience design process can then take place significantly faster, with greater extent and flexibility and at lower cost.
Connected retail solutions can translate into real results that bolster a retailer's bottom line. Hence, it is essential for retailers to map out their current customer journey and identify all existing friction points. Ultimately, any area where the shopper's momentum is obstructed creates an opportunity for abandonment and behavior change. With billions of dollars in potential sales at stake, the business case for implementing connected retail solutions is imperative.