Four trends to watch in retail

In a context of rapidly changing consumer habits and health instability, distributors must offer an exceptional shopping experience in order to survive. SOTI’s From Physical to Digital: The Retail Revolution study reveals that 76% of consumers want a personalized in-store experience via mobile devices and 67% believe that distributors who use mobile technologies offer a faster shopping experience . Here are four trends that retailers are following very closely:

1. More technology in the post-Covid in-store journey

Physical stores have long struggled to gain customers and drive sales. As a result, online and in-store commerce began to merge, driven by the industry’s need to reinvent itself to improve the customer experience.

Customers demand both the immediacy of online shopping and the personal touch of the store. Some companies are using new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), self-service scanners or even beacons to combine the best of both worlds. For example, stores can analyze in-store receipts and returns to assess purchases and consumer trends, producing data that allows them to better manage inventory and promotions.

With increasing investment in technology, shopping experiences will become more and more satisfying. Whether it’s the increased use of kiosks to improve in-store customer service or e-merchants trying their hand at brick-and-mortar stores like Amazon Go, the retail industry faces a technological turmoil.

2. The delivery is automated

The pandemic spurs innovation. Distributors have therefore considered delivering products using autonomous means of transport, whether cars or drones. Proof of concept have already emerged and it is likely that these projects will be democratized soon.

Covid-19 has brought many changes, and as customers seek suitable purchasing methods, these forms of contactless delivery will accelerate this year. This sudden change in consumer attitude will change the future of delivery. But for this to become a reality, distributors must invest now in more robust mobile technologies, to manage logistics and the supply chain. These technologies are varied, ranging from traceability with beacons to delivery itself by drone.

3. Omnichannel benefits from the interconnection of technologies

Connecting technologies together, including AI, robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT), must enable retailers to create a truly omnichannel experience. This will guarantee a unique and high quality customer journey.

It is also to be expected that the use of augmented reality and virtual reality will become more widespread, making online and in-store experiences much more interactive for consumers. For example, in-store customers will be able to use augmented reality to scan physical products for instant information, and virtual reality will allow online shoppers to try their hand at immersive experiences.

Cosmetics brands like L’Oréal are already using this technology to their advantage. This allows its clients to virtually try on make-up to choose the right foundation for their skin color thanks to augmented reality.

This convergence between online and in-store commerce will continue, with distributors looking for ways to set themselves apart from their competitors and meet the needs of their customers through their products as well as their services.

4. Mobile technologies improve the entire supply chain

Since a return to “business as usual” seems unlikely in the near future, retailers who have not yet invested in their digital strategy must accelerate their transformation in order to survive. This implies in particular investments in mobile technologies.

Mobile solutions enabling warehouse staff to become more efficient will multiply, as these devices save them time when processing orders. These solutions will also be used by logistics teams, who will be able, thanks to smartphone applications, to have complete visibility of the supply chain, from the warehouse to the place of destination, in order to quickly resolve any disruption and save time. precious.

The various crises of recent years have shaken the distribution sector, which is seeking to reinvent itself to cope with changes in the market. Customers are becoming more and more demanding. To survive, merchants rely on mobile technologies to increase efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, and prosper.

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