Today’s consumers are better informed and more price and service critical than ever before; they purchase goods in an omnichannel environment, interacting with retailers and brands in increasingly sophisticated ways.
Responding to this new and demanding consumer is a challenge that all retailers now face, whether operating in the traditional bricks and mortar or online-only environments. Consumers have demanded to see their stores turned into ‘theatres’ of shopping that include; in-store WI-FI with Bluetooth used for push alerts, plasma screens with HD advertising content, and in-store kiosks delivering the capability to order online or check stock availability.
But this is only the start of the retail technology race, leading to an uncertain future dominated by shifting consumer spending mixed with consistent demand for high quality customer engagement. Retail performance in 2012 has already indicated that smarter retailing is about responding to your customers’ needs, while predicting the trends that will be determining sales patterns throughout the year to come.
How long will it be before consumers expect iPads in every store? Maybe some stores will scrap payment desks altogether and just have roving staff members who process payments with NFC-enabled mobile technology. Stepping up to meet these changes, and helping to ensure that retailers are properly prepared for what is to come, has become the driving force behind a new campaign to better educate retailers about the benefits of adopting a seamless approach to selling across the business.
The Connected Store is a campaign is aimed at helping retailers find the gaps that exist between the channels and fulfilling them through technology. It is critical for retailers to gain a better understanding of the kinds of data that is being generated from omnichannel retailing and more importantly how it can be used to provide better customer service.
More retailers are now getting behind this concept, enabling them to communicate with their customers at every stage of the shopping journey, generating key data and pulling down the walls of traditional retailing to deliver a highly personalized service.