Experiences like this can add to the enjoyment of visiting physical stores, ensuring they retain their place in the wider retail ecosystem
One of the main benefits of digital transformation in retail is the ability to collect and analyze data, subject to permissions, on individual shopper details, history and preferences. This opens up the potential to create individual shopper profiles, enabling increasingly personalized experiences and services, both online and in-store. Of course, products and services still need to meet expectations for quality and delivery arrangements, otherwise loyalty will quickly erode in an increasingly competitive retail market. In this context, the ability to track and personalize individual shopper experiences is key to strengthening long term customer loyalty.
The benefits of personalization can be felt in-store as well as on-line. For example, by allowing in-store employees to easily call up customer’s previous preferences and buying history so that they can quickly identify a relevant choice of suitable products. Or by deploying new generation solutions like digitalized changing rooms, opening up new opportunities for personalization and cross-selling in a modern, engaging store environment. Experiences like this can add to the enjoyment of visiting physical stores, ensuring they retain their place in the wider retail ecosystem post COVID-19, alongside on-line alternatives.
Digital solutions will be key to providing consistent, reliable service to individuals across multiple devices and locations
Creating frictionless experiences
Modern connected retail is based on removing potential obstacles between initial purchasing intent and the actual purchase. Purchasing decisions can often be complex, with false starts, changes of mind and impulsive purchasing decisions made at the most unexpected times and places. And, of course, this seamless service needs to continue post-sale, both in the event of problems and to encourage further purchases. Post-COVID 19, and as a consequence of changing buying behaviors during the pandemic, we expect to see more business permanently shifting on-line. In this climate, digital solutions will be key to providing consistent, reliable service to individuals across multiple devices and locations, at various stages in the buying process.
In a physical store environment, frictionless shopping may involve enabling payment through mobile devices, both to avoid the conventional queuing at tills and to minimize physical contact in line with health directives relating to the pandemic. The use of digital devices can also give employees easy access to relevant customer information, such as saved on-line preferences and previous purchases. This shift towards frictionless shopping is increasingly blurring the lines between physical and on-line stores. The key to success, made possible through digital technology, is to deliver a consistently good experience for the customer across multiple settings, creating deeper relationships and driving loyalty.