When it comes to eCommerce and retail, creating shopping experiences across multiple channels is essential to the modern consumer. Taking an omnichannel approach in retail is becoming increasingly important, as today’s customers expect a seamless user journey, wherever and whenever they browse and shop for products. Brands must leverage new technologies and utilise the tools available to them, to help them achieve an effective omnichannel strategy.
Today’s shoppers seek easy navigation and browsing, frictionless routes to purchase and flexible payment and shipping methods. So, the onus is on retail brands to meet consumer expectations and delight them with a seamless customer experience throughout the user journey.
Browsing and buying behaviours are forever changing, and we’ve seen an accelerated shift due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With advanced technology, brands can deliver immersive commerce experiences to consumers online. This has heightened customer expectations, putting pressure on merchants to meet their needs, and leaving in-store experiences looking outdated. Now, the high street is back open; how can in-store join up with your online store experience?
Here are some of the key technologies and trends influencing retail and marketing, which you should be aware of and try to incorporate in your strategies.
Forward-thinking retailers are already leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to get the most out of the wealth of data available to them and create more targeted and relevant experiences for consumers. For effective omnichannel commerce, you must maintain continuity in your customer experience and level of service, both offline and online. Here are some ways AI is helping:
VR technologies deliver impressive visual experiences of products to online and offline customers.
ARKit is one of the leading innovators in augmented reality. The app has enabled brands such as IKEA to offer customers unique browsing experiences, better visualise products in their homes, and help decision-making by allowing users to virtually place IKEA furniture into their homes.
We’ve seen VR implemented on shop floors in magic mirrors. They offer an immersive experience that brands, including Charlotte Tilbury, have adopted.
This is where you can really harmonise your offline and online customer experience. Investing in a platform that offers a single customer view means retailers and marketers can create more relevant and tailored experiences and communications with customers, as offline and online behaviours, preferences, and purchase history are pooled together. This enables merchants to create more continuity for customers and enhance marketing campaigns with more granular targeting and personalization.
The more seamless and interconnected your commerce channels and communications, the better the experience for consumers. A customer-centric strategy is a smart strategy. In retail, creating outstanding shopping experiences across multiple channels and easy routes to purchase helps meet the modern consumer’s heightened expectations in this fast-changing landscape.
Today’s shoppers like flexibility regarding where and when they purchase products and their delivery options. Browsing and buying behaviours are changing, and retailers must meet consumer expectations. Some customers want to browse products online and get them delivered to stores or pick-up locations. Others want to buy products in-store and have them delivered home. Some shoppers are concerned about picking up germs from the point of sale (POS) systems. But what if they could check out without touching anything? Contactless payments are a key requirement from customers and should be adapted by every retailer.
Then some like to try products out in-store and buy online later. The latter has led to pureplay brands opening physical stores to cater for the trend. Gymshark announced at the end of 2021 that as retail gets more digital, they get more physical with plans to open up a flagship store on London’s Regent Street later this year. This will be one to keep an eye on as Gymshark have always been one step ahead of the online game, we’re sure the same will go for their in-store experience.
Lasting success in retail comes from customer retention and encouraging repeat purchases. You need to give customers reasons to keep coming back to your stores, online and in-store. For more information on giving your consumers the best of both worlds, check out our latest eGuide on Retail of the Future here.
Space 48 is an award-winning eCommerce agency working with global, forward-thinking retailers. They specialize in blending CX-focused solutions with unbeatable eCommerce technology to amplify the revenue you generate online. Trusted by Magento, BigCommerce, Shopware and more to deliver exceptional eCommerce experiences that achieve global results, Space 48 has a growing partnership with Mapp to help create insight-led customer experiences using Mapp Cloud.