For centuries, retail has been the same. You walk into a store, find what you want, and purchase it from one of the employees there. But this traditional model is changing as we speak, with technology changing how we shop in ways that are at once familiar and completely new to us.
The Customer is Always Right
It’s a common saying that the customer is always right, but it can be argued that retailers are often right too. The customer may not know the price, the features of the product, or any more than the basics of what they want to buy, while retailers have all this information to work with and use in their negotiations with customers. This dynamic makes it easy for buyers to get taken advantage of, which isn’t good for anyone involved in the transaction – buyer or seller.
Personalization is Key
In the past year alone, more than $6 billion worth of brands has been acquired by e-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart as well as slot machines. With 3D printing, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence making inroads into fashion and retail, the e-commerce landscape looks set to change significantly over the coming years.
Technology Should Make Life Easier, not Harder
The future of commerce will be personal, seamless, and shareable. We will move beyond the digital interface to live in a world where technology enhances life and not makes it more difficult. It will be a future where customers are welcomed into stores with devices that help them find what they need, provide feedback on their experience and connect with other shoppers who have similar interests. In this world, we’re not just selling products; we’re selling moments – and people want to spend money on experiences more than anything else
Mobile First, Always
The internet became mobile first, always with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. The introduction of this new technology was a turning point in digital marketing and customer engagement people could now access the internet from their pockets and purchase items with ease. From then on, companies like online real money casinos started viewing their websites as an extension of their business and needed to have a mobile presence to stay competitive in today’s economy.
Data is Everything
The retail industry has been in a state of flux for some time now, with companies like Amazon and Alibaba leading the charge in online shopping, and brick-and-mortar stores closing their doors at an unprecedented rate. But as the dust settles from this seismic shift, we can start to see how technology will shape the way we shop in the future. The new data revolution has set retailers on a path toward using data to create personalized experiences that are more relevant than ever before.
Make it Easy to Buy
1) Find products that people want to buy and are willing to pay a premium for (i.e. Warby Parker, Everlane).
2) Deliver the product at an affordable price point with free shipping and returns in two days or less (i.e. Jet, eBags).
3) Offer a mix of curated products from established designers as well as emerging designers.
Free Shipping & Returns are Table Stakes
Free shipping and returns are table stakes at this point, and a customer who isn’t offered both is likely to go elsewhere. But in order to keep up with the growing competition, retailers need to be thinking about ways they can make their customer experience even better than just offering free shipping and returns.