Why Retail CIOs Should Embrace Technology

Why Retail CIOs Should Embrace Technology

By: Retail CIO Outlook | Friday, October 18, 2019

The retail sector, by utilizing technology, can improve customer relationships by providing them with industry best options, which can be accessed through a human touch on a digital screen.

FREMONT, CA: The companies embracing marketing strategies are undergoing rapid growth. In the year 2017, there were 1.66 billion online buyers. This number is expected to increase to 2.14 billion by 2021. eCommerce is growing day by day in both the B-to-B and B-to-C context. Here are a few trends in eCommerce to watch in the coming years.

Personalization and Customer Engagement

Compared to traditional retail shopping, eCommerce enterprises lack face-to-face personal interaction. The online stores do not have a retail clerk to suggest their customers with products based on their interests and preferences. To imitate this experience, the eCommerce companies leverage personalization opportunities in the entire shopping journey. Utilizing the personal online data like the search queries, page visits, and the purchase history, the brands transform the online stores to serve the customer's needs and interests. Similar to how personalized emails generate 6x larger transaction rates and transform better into cold emails, customers spend 48 percent more when their experience is personalized.  In a period where privacy is the key element, studies revealed that 57 percent of online users are comfortable with offering personal information to a brand, as long as it instantly benefits the customer's shopping experience. Linking an online store to a CRM, like HubSpot, will allow enterprises to use their customer's purchase and website behavior to personalize their marketing, emails, and also the pages for discarded cart nurturing, as well as upsell campaigns.

Artificial Intelligence, Assistance, and Chatbots

At present, it is estimated that the robots will start to invade the eCommerce stores. Chatbots and other artificial intelligence (AI) platforms are designed to increase the customer's overall shopping experience. AI assistants are developed to handle several tasks that are assigned to humans, such as managing inventory or handling inquiries. These assistants can carry out different tasks and help employees use their time more efficiently. For example, the chatbots can fulfill several customer service needs, like answering questions about a product or to discuss a complaint. AI and chatbots learn from customer conversations and develop into better assistants to assist user's personalized eCommerce experience.

More Customer Retail Experience

While many of the big-box stores are going bankrupt, retail experiences are not going away, rather adapting to a new reality. Interactive product technology, personalization, and chatbots all work to replicate the feeling online. No technology can replace the detail of an in-store experience. The brand creates a retail experience to drive sales and develop lasting customer relationships. For example, Amazon is launching stores named 4 Star throughout the United States. At these stores, the customers can interact with Amazon's devices. Brick and click stores will also profit from this new reality. These stores provide customers with a combination of unified retail and eCommerce experience. These brands open retail stores with less square footage and employees, but with a personalized and interactive in-store visit.

Product Visualization

The customers hesitate to hit the "buy" button when they shop online. Before getting to the payment section, the customers might begin to wonder if they're making the right purchase. Online reviews won't be enough for a customer to buy that particular product Virtual reality, 3D imaging, and augmented reality helps provide customers with the best customer experience. Interactive product visualization technology seeks to bring a better store experience to the online consumers and decrease the hesitation of purchasing. For example, Converse provides its customers with the ability to customize their shoes online.

Almost all the retail growth in the US at present is highly driven by eCommerce. Greater personalization and better customer experience will be the center for eCommerce businesses in the coming years.

Check This Out: Top Customer Experience Solution Companies

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