5 Ways Depicting Retail Sector Transformation : Shopping Then & Now

reatail sector

The factors like connectivity, contextual relevance and a multi-screen world have resulted in the transformation of both, the online and offline ways of shopping. The eCommerce revolution has created exciting new opportunities and possibilities for the forward-thinking retailers. This is the time when it is important for the business owners to think beyond online and offline platforms.

This article provides explanation on how the combination of the classic retail truths and digital savvy people can help the retailers to do the right thing : Serve customers in a better way!

When it comes to the global market, consumers no longer see a distinction between online and offline shopping. Whether it is about searching for products on a laptop, checking out the main street shops or hanging out at the mall – basically, it is all shopping. In order to adapt to the competitive new reality, the smart retailers are analyzing the classic retailing truths of the past and augmenting them as of now.

The innovative retailers are embracing this new fact by using the digital options for extending their storefronts.

Below mentioned are the top 5 factors that determine the transformation of shopping and suggestions for the business owners to adapt to them for joining the retail revolution:

Shoppers Know As Much As Sales People

Then

Earlier people cam into stores with little or no knowledge of buying stuff and they relied on a salesperson for buying anything.

Now

Today, shoppers are advanced and they do their own research to get maximum value for money and to feel secure about the purchase. As a result of this power shift, the retailers have a great opportunity to diminish the gap between the smart online customer and the offline retailer. This helps in gaining a competitive edge as well. Every moment in the consumer’s decision process is important. In order to win these moments, the smart retailers need to be there when the consumers start doing their own research.

Retailers Can Deliver Personal And Trustworthy Suggestions At Scale

Then

Retailing started through the shopkeepers who would welcome people in their store and then start knowing about the needs and preferences of the potential customers.

Now

We are living in a constantly connected world, a mobile device or a laptop is all you need for knowing the customers. Devices provide with context that helps the retailers learn what matters to the customers in a particular location and at a particular time. As a result of this, the retailers are in a better position to deliver the relevant suggestions. The next level in customer service is conveying the right message at the right time. As a result of this, the intent can be quickly and easily turned into action.

Context also enables the customers to be better than before and thus they can anticipate the customer’s need on the basis of the information about when and how the potential customers arrive at your website. People are constantly searching for product information, local availability, deals and online local discounts. In this situation, the retailers who are not there to provide the right information at the right time will lose out.

Mobile Devices Drive Traffic To Stores

Then

Earlier, finding the right store and the best product was a challenge. It all depended on familiarity and serendipity.

Now

As the lines have blurred between the online and the offline mediums, the innovative retailers are focused on integrating the mobile technology into their brick-and-mortar store experience. When shoppers search online for a store name or category, their expectation is to come across a map with directions, a phone number where they can call or information on special offers that match their location and time. For example Adidas worked with their agency iProspect in order to evaluate how the mobile clicks coming to their store locator were driving the in-store sales. They found that for a mobile investment of $1 million, the value created by the store locator clicks in the mobile ads generated sales of additional $1.6 million.

The ‘search’ factor of shopping does not end when the customer walks into a store. It is also a fact that people get lost in the supermarket, searching for the aisles for an exclusive item. The mobile technology comes to the rescue, as with the help of it, there can be a map, a personal shopper, a shopping list and a product locator, all at once.

Opinions Carry A Lot Of Weight

Then:

The retail information was shared by friends and family earlier. Word of mouth was a powerful social force that transformed the new products into the must-haves and the small shops into big retail outlets.

Now:

The thing mentioned above is true even today. With websites like YouTube and Google Plus, people are now sharing their opinions about the products not just with a specific group of friends, but with millions of other people as well. This is the reason why Google shopping features reviews and it has introduced shortlists to simplify things for the people. Because of this, people can easily discuss products and purchases with friends and family. Smart retailers are catching the opportunities provided by the digital world. Instead of having worldwide campaigns, the retailers can now identify the potential audience and design online activities specific for them. Retailers are also taking complete advantage of the online comments by advertising with terms like ‘reviews’ and working towards promoting the positive aspects and counteracting the negative ones.

Products Jump Off The Screen!

Then:

Internet was a fine source for researching, but there was no alternative for feeling, holding, inspecting any physical product; like it can be done on a store shelf or a showroom floor.

Now :

The internet world provides with a great platform for making the products come alive for the customers. This can be done by product videos, comments, gesture controls, tutorials etc. every digital stride provides with exciting opportunities for closing the gap between an on-screen image and the physical experience of holding a product. Google shopping has introduced the spectacular 360-degrees imagery for some product sets that give the shoppers a better insight on what the product really looks like. Some innovative and creative retailers also offer the shoppers with virtual try-ons. For example the eye glass retailer – lenskart provides great views of each and every lens so that people know what suits them the best. Every online store website should be aware of the essential aspects it cannot function without. When the retailers present the product online in a unique way, they create an emotional connect between the customers and the products. When customer’s emotions are activated, their desire of buying becomes stronger.

Conclusion

As the digital world becomes a stronger aspect of everyone’s lives, smart retailers know that making the most of new opportunities is not just limited to the gadgets and technology. It is all about the human nature! The forward thinking retailers should consider how they are using the digital tools like mobile, contexts and videos for generating sales, marketing the products and connecting with the customers. If you know how to use these tools perfectly, technology becomes your friend and the customers start seeing your online platform as the best place of giving them what they want.

Ujwala

I am a passionate writer. Presentation of information in an interesting way is something I do the best. I write on various topics related to social media, search engine optimization, web hosting, mobile website and marketing and some great interesting stuff.

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