Written by Sunil Bajaj, Posted on April 24, 2017 on IndiaRetailing.com
Omnichannel has opened a bagful of omnipresent opportunities for retailers. This year will continue to see the benefits from Omnichannel solutions and retailers will travel further ahead in the direction of physical retail.
Thriving in intelligent digital ecosystems, Omnichannel retail is benefitting businesses and customers alike. Let’s look at the Omnichannel retail trends of the current year.
Mobile First: Hand-held devices will keep ruling the market. So your Omnichannel retail strategy needs to be mobile first. Mobile shopping, mobile payment, and even addressing customer grievances on mobile is the need of the hour. Customers want to walk into your shop, browse, add to their mobile carts and pay through payment options available on the mobile. The smoother your customer journey is on the mobile platform, the more you gain out of your cross-channel retail strategy.
Smarter Shops: Brick-and-mortar is one of the most important aspects of Omnichannel and multi-channel retail. Even after the development of connected devices, customers have not outgrown the habit of shopping in physical stores, though their expectations have risen for the seamless experience. Stores, kiosks and mPOS will become smarter and customer friendly. Once a customer shops with you, they expect you to know about their preferences and history of purchase. Smart shelves, mPOS and AR (augmented reality) will be some of the big Omnichannel retail trends in 2017.
Connected Devices: More and more connected devices are emerging every day. Smart fridges send alerts if the milk carton is empty and smart washing machines diagnose problems and send text alerts about solutions. Omnichannel retail solutions connect the customer’s grocery lists to shop’s smart shelves, directing customers to the products on their lists. They no longer need to stand in queues to pay their shopping bills as the solution is connected to the POS and an e-bill is generated, which the customer can pay in whichever mode is convenient.
Enhanced Customer Experience: The more effortless the customer journey from order to delivery and return policies, the more you gain from Omnichannel retail strategy. With advanced machine learning, businesses will be able to provide better customer experience using chatbot and other artificial intelligence.
Smarter Touchpoints: Customers are expecting retailers to catch up with the smart technology trends. Seamless integration of touch points becomes a necessity gradually. Providing targeted offers and personalized recommendations are among the inescapable Omnichannel retail trends currently.
Going ahead, we will see businesses partnering up with various service providers for better customer experience, order delivery and better tracking. Personalization will get intensified and will have lesser scope for ‘choice fatigue’, offering only the best options. The coming months ahead will see Omnichannel retail outgrow multi-channel retail and become more potent in customer engagement.
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