Future-shaping Trends to influence the Omnichannel Retail
As technology has been growing at a breakneck pace, it would be interesting to look at some of the upcoming indications for the retail trends. The most recent year witnessed active internet users of almost 4.39 billion, a significant hike of about 366 million, or 9%, compared to the number of users last year. At the start of the year, there were about 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, with 288 million new users added in the next few months, which brought the global penetration rate to 45%.
It’s wholly understood that customer demands have constantly been changing with time. As such, it’s more important than ever to focus on customers rather than brands. On the other hand, Retail must be ready to respond to the churning of consumers as quickly as consumers adapt to new technologies.
Below are some important retail trends to keep a tab in the future and how businesses can use technology to keep themselves abreast with consumers’ ever-changing demands.
A Natural flow of Conversations
It has been a well-established fact that processing information with analytics is the go-to tool for businesses to leverage the vast amount of data. In today’s world, 51% of companies utilize a minimum of eight channels to engage with their clients. So it makes way more sense for brands to have the availability of one source to access all the O2O user data from all touchpoints. Businesses that use multichannel engagement techniques have benefitted in such a way that they were able to retain 89% of their clients. Customers’ engagement and retention will increase manifold when having a single, unified view.
Historically, 86% of marketers in the last decade have pointed to having difficulty obtaining a single, unified consumer perspective. While increasing interactions, disjointed data structures across channels, and a lack of in-house resources have made it a tricky proposition, optimism about the emergence of solutions in the coming decade will answer this demand head-on. Brands are now expected to successfully develop and install a customer data platform to consolidate, interpret, and maximize consumer data across channels.
Engagement to transcend beyond transactions & include in-store interactions
Recognizing and incentivizing participation only based on transactions is long gone. Brands are proactively establishing emotional bonds with their customers. According to 84% of respondents in a survey, customers are more inclined to pick brands that provide meaningful loyalty programs. Brands will not only acknowledge and reward customers in the coming decade but will also actively develop touchpoints for customer interactions. Businesses will look to monitor and foster all the rewarding activities like customer feedback, product evaluations, and social interactions, viz. “Likes”, “Comments”, “Uploads” and “Shares”), and in-app games. Gamified interaction will also be seen in-store, with customers who are most likely to purchase will also be targeted with activities and prizes.
Brands will generate the highest customer lifetime value if they emotionally engage with customers and make them feel seen, heard, thrilled, and rewarded.
A Shift in preference toward individualized customer experience
A tectonic shift has been seen in the marketing domain in ways that have progressed from a mass appeal period demanding personalized relevance. According to research, 69% of customers seek a customized customer experience, and 41% will shift their business elsewhere if their engagements with a company fall short of their expectations. This decade will witness marketers creating more seamless personalized experiences than ever before, as consumers finally recognize their worth in time, money, and digital space.
The future will witness Artificial intelligence and machine learning being used together and paving the door for large-scale customization. Brands that have already adopted AI earlier have seen considerable benefits such as enhanced efficiency, cost savings, a higher work-life satisfaction index, improved customer service, and the ability to maintain viable revenue growth. To develop innovative and more profitable campaigns, AI and machine learning will work jointly with automation to fruition their goals.
Over the next three years, businesses are predicted to increase their expenditure on customization by a significant margin of 18%. Companies in the future will also be focusing on improving their customer service in the coming decade, their decision having a clear backing by data, as pointed out by a survey stating 73% of consumers acknowledge that customer service directly influences their purchase decisions.
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