Future of Retail — Omnichannel

issue 03

as customers expect a seamless shopping experience across a widening range of connected channels and social platforms. Added to this, the dynamics of the customer base are changing. The retailer has to successfully cater to the needs of an ageing population as well as the dynamic young customer who is looking to use every channel possible and is seeking not simply a product, solution or service but an engaging experience. Retailers have to satisfy the demands of

‘omni-customers’ who will increasingly alternate between the online and offl ine world. With the boundaries of physical and digital shopping blurring, a single brand should deliver a consistent experience across all channels with choice an essential component of this. Technologies such as augmented reality and

virtual reality provide retailers with a range of opportunities to change how customers shop such as allowing them to view how items will look without even visiting a physical store. However, bricks-and-mortar stores still provide the social interaction and a physical dimension to the shopping experience that customers will strive for. Many customers will want an environment where shopping is an event experience with interactive, highly engaging online and real-world retail environments. Interactive smart mirrors in-store that allow the customer to digitally try out clothing are just one example of this type of environment. These stores will be challenged further

as the blurring between in-store and online retailing becomes more pronounced and as online retailers become more visible on the high street. It is all about combining digital and physical experiences into one and delivering omnichannel experiences at every opportunity and point of brand experience. Retail physical spaces are likely to reduce in size as in-store online commerce and software becomes more prevalent and provides the customer with extended product choice to deliver a wider array of product and delivery options. By enhancing the in-store customer experience, the retailer will capture the

customer’s imagination. Big data and technologies such as near-fi eld communication, geofencing and facial recognition will enable retailers to offer real-time micro- personalisation in stores, tailoring the product offering and retailing experience to purchase history, social media or even the customer’s current mood. Social media can be used as a tool to

make the customer experience seamless. Customers want and expect to be able to contact organisations via social media channels to share their views and have their questions answered, issues resolved and points of view heard in real time at any time. Developing relationships with the customer and gathering data from their profi le information and engagements can be used to create an omnichannel experience across all channels and social platforms. However, in order to implement this cross-platform strategy, marketing and social media teams need to be in constant communication. And it is not only marketing and social media teams that need to communicate effectively. Traditionally independent retail departments will have to work together across the business to effectively collaborate in order to develop a coherent and successful omnichannel strategy and provide a seamless experience. Retailers and logistics providers will have

to manage much more complex order and distribution channels. They will need to take advantage of new forms of retail software, overhaul retail software management systems and streamline marketing strategies in line with technological innovation and changing customer demand in order to stay profi table and expand. Retail will increasingly become dominated by effective multichannel retailers who have adopted new, agile, scalable and highly integrated software systems. The evolving retail world will create new

challenges and the need to ’futureproof’ the business will take on a new importance. Mobile technology is a key enabler to purchase and retention. The widespread adoption of increasingly powerful smartphones will continue to improve the mobile commerce

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72