As emerging technologies keep driving the digital disruption of pretty much every industry on the planet, customer experience is quickly becoming the new currency business must use to get ahead.
The retail, fashion, and entertainment industries, in particular, are leading the transformation as this period of unprecedented change completely revolutionizes how people perceive the online world, interact with others, and carry out their daily responsibilities.
The use of a combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation has revolutionized every stage of a product’s journey from retail through value addition to inventory management and customer service. However, this is the retail and commercial landscape today, how should we expect the world to have changed tomorrow?
Retail service will get even more personal
There is no better way to demonstrate how fast the retail world is evolving than by observing one of humanity’s oldest industries: the gaming and gambling industry. The same way you would expect the online casino to completely replace walk-in casinos in the near future, the casino of tomorrow will not be recognizable by today’s standard. Online casinos like NetBet have massively advanced with the digital age and can provide a clearer picture of where the retail world is headed over the next couple of years.
The most forward-looking gaming companies are focusing on providing more personalized services through the use of newer technologies including personalized recommendations and offers, adopting the use of Artificial and Virtual Reality technologies, and even developing updated versions of classic games.
Shopping will be more social and mobile
The year 2019 was by far the greatest for social shopping and marketing. Should the trend we observe continue in this and coming years, it is just a matter of time before social media and interactions and retail shopping become so intricately intertwined that one traditional shopping will be a thing of the past. Companies keep adding novel features to their eCommerce and mobile shopping tools. For example, money-saving websites such as https://www.raise.com/coupons/kohls can offer a discount and supply a link that takes the customer to right section of the eCommerce store where the discount applies. There are also mobile apps in development that do the same. The public is being very receptive to new ways to live simpler lives and shop more conveniently. A combination of social tools, beginning with present-day social media marketing platforms and the smartphone, is essential to making this a reality.
The retail revolution is happening in both the physical products as well as the services market. Considering that customization of products and retail experiences is still perceived as a symbol of luxury, the commercial world of tomorrow is expected to base all its marketing strategies on the target customers’ social profiles and optimize content delivery for mobile devices.
The online retail revolution is data-powered
Tech-savvy retailers today understand that the customer’s buying journey begins long before they walk into the store or visit the retailer’s website. The ‘technology on their fingertips’ has empowered shoppers to quickly and conveniently do some research before, during, and even after they complete a purchase. Online reviews, opinions from other customers, and powerful product and price comparison tools have become necessary steps in almost every shopping situation. In the near future, the retailer will have the power to use this information to which the potential customer has access.
Tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook are giants because they were among the first to uncover the tremendous wealth in data exploitation. Data is the new oil, and soon enough, even small businesses will be able to leverage customer data to anticipate a shopper’s expectations and curate their retail products to close a sale.
Future online shopping experiences will be immersive
The online retail revolution that has been going on for at least a decade has so far been driven by eCommerce leaders eager to evolve their business models to a hybrid of online and online retail. This explains why Amazon is continuing to acquire physical businesses such as Whole Foods. Businesses have also focused on transforming their technological infrastructure and shift their operations to the cloud, even when they operate in an industry that demands physical delivery of services and products.
The future of shopping will be defined by location-based cloud services for consumers that deliver virtual and augmented reality shopping experiences remotely. The technology required to fully implement this and make it mainstream is already here. They include intelligent image recognition software, dynamic pricing tools, dynamic planograms, and accurate demand and pricing forecasting.
Author Arthur C. Clarke’s famous quote, “A sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” establishes the baseline of what we would expect of tomorrow’s online retail technology. As the world ushers in a new decade full of promises for the retail industry, developers and entrepreneurs are deploying more and more tools that increase their opportunities to sell and make it easier for the customer to enjoy their shopping experience. The marketing chatbots, drone delivery experimentations, and multiple sales channels exploration among others all play a role in defining a retail future that is expected to be a shopper’s magical experience.