Omni-Channel Retailing: 5 Emerging Technologies to Watch Out for
With the advent of digital technologies and development of eCommerce in India, the concept of shopping has evolved a lot in terms of consumer buying patterns, formats, modern infrastructures, virtual stores and ushering of modern retail. Indeed, retail has become a strong game across the country. The advancement of innovations seem to be on the rise. Many of the technologies are yet to see wide adoption.
The modern retail is expected to witness a substantial rise from 19% to 24% in the next three years, driven majorly by omni-channel retailing. But what exactly is it all about?
What is Omni-Channel Retailing?
Omni-channel retailing is an integrated approach wherein shoppers are provided with a unified experience across offline and online channels. Omni-channel extends from basic brick-and-mortar stores to virtual stores, online marketplaces, social media and many more in between.
Omni-channel retailing helps retailers to combine multiple sales channels and integrate them effectively to bring sales a notch higher. It helps to provide customers better CX.
So what will the upcoming years bring? Let us have a look at the technologies that are likely to influence how retailers will interact with their prospective customers and manage their operations.
- Omni-Channel Devices
Customer is the king. Online presence should be as per the convenience of the customers. According to the statistics of Google, about 85% online shoppers start a purchase on one device and end up on another.
For instance, your customers might spend their office breaks in shopping from your store using their mobile phones and then complete the checkout process using their laptop or in a brick-and-mortar shop. For such cases, you need to set up a powerful retail management store to accommodate such types of shopping experiences otherwise, you might miss out on sales from omni-channel customers.
Furthermore, it is vital that you make sure that your content displays well on all types of devices. Responsive web pages should be designed so as to ensure that they work smoothly on all devices like desktop, laptop, TV, tablet or mobile phones.
- Customer Service
Although keeping the physical stores open 24 hours is not possible, but it is feasible for retailers to offer 24*7 online shopping and customer service. The coming years will witness an enhanced customer service with 24*7 presence. As per the reports of Google, customer service has grown over 400% in the last four years. Customer service can help you maximize CX and stand out from your competitors.
Undoubtedly, selling across multiple platforms gets you good business, but it can also bring more questions from your customers. By providing customer service through live chat, email or telephonic support and more can ensure good review, which is a win-win situation for your brand.
The biggest emerging trend in the next few years would be the application of chat bot on your website. As per a study by Oracle, 80% of entrepreneurs said that they use or are planning to use chat bots on their website for better customer support.
- Augmented Reality
Another emerging technology in our list is Augmented Reality (AR). It is all about empowering the customers. Augmented reality, these days is helping to provide a great shopping experience into homes, cars and liquor cabinets.
For instance, BMW has several apps that give customers a view of the design of their vehicles is a classic example of AR. It is helping the retailers to revive their concept in omni-channel presence. AR is basically a channel from which encourages referrals and retention of the customers.
Robotics technology is not new to the retail sector. Several big retailers are now experimenting with this technology in their stores. Big eCommerce players like Amazon has been using around 45,000 robots in their warehouses for quite some time now. Robotics will help the retailers in other aspects such as customer experience, supply, and logistics. Progress of the autonomous in-store robot – LoweBot is currently being scrutinized closely. Its success can pave the way for many other such robots.
- Expedited Shipping
The customers today, want their products faster than ever. eCommerce giants like Amazon is blazing the ultimate eCommerce strategy by offering same day shipping with the help of Amazon Prime. In order to compete with such big companies, retailers and manufacturers will bring in a sophisticated solution to ensure faster deliveries. The trend will witness courier aggregators such as Shiprocket in the next few years. These aggregators will help in reducing the overall costs and ensure expedited shipping.
Are you ready to deliver on omni-channel emerging technologies? It may sound daunting, especially if you’re a newbie in niche markets. However, integrating your selling channels will help you grow business with reduced costs. If you’re still unsure of omni-channel business strategies, let us know. We will help you discover how to master the art of selling in next year and beyond!