The retail ecosystem is undergoing a rapid transformation starting with digital makeovers which are quickly changing the face of business. The world of business is becoming smart with several transformations being enabled at every instance. Automation will restructure retail business chains and the even larger value chain creating enterprises with lesser layers and a more efficient workforce powered by analytics and real-time data. The customer’s expectations are also changing rapidly and they are always looking for real-time elucidations and digital enlightenment. Honestly speaking, today’s retailers are finding it tough to compete in a very competitive ecosystem where there is tremendous pressure from the online segment.
In the past three years, there has been a significant transformation in the way business is being conducted across several platforms. Now, every retail unit has a reciprocal online presence. In case the business does not sell online, it uses the online presence to attract more customers. It can also act as a great source of information on the latest products and arrivals within the retail ecosystem. It also acts as a potential platform to promote the latest offers and the latest items which have come up for sale. Here are some of the latest changes or rather some of the major digital transformations which have been witnessed over the last few years.
- Loyalty magnetic cards or chip-based cards – As a shopper, you may have often come across several stores and instances where you have been awarded gift cards, loyalty points, and other goodies. Remember, these are basic steps taken by a retail chain to retain its offline retail customers. Else, the inevitable will happen! You will prefer shopping online rather than visiting retail outlets. The loyalty points can be easily redeemed during future purchases.
- Automatic checkouts and proximity sensor-based payment processing tools – The days are changing! You need not swipe your card at the POS. You can just get it scanned and get the payment deducted from your account.
- Personalizing the shopping experience – Once you leave the store, you will be bombarded with several SMS based questions. You will be greeted on your birthday. You will receive discount vouchers on your anniversary and you will be made to feel special. Yes! This is the era of personalization where your customer behavior would attract customized offers from retailers.
- On-demand customer service – The customer service extends beyond the customer support representatives present in the store. Now customer support is a phone call or email away. You can also use the mobile app to raise customer service queries. We bet, that in this highly competitive business ecosystem, customer service would be just a phone call away!
Today, consumer experiences will go a long way in determining the success of your brand. Today, it is all about scripting wonderful stories about your brands. The traditional ideas of impact marketing are fast replaced with influencer marketing. Today, a brand is all about story-telling, customer journeys and initiating newer chapters to be written in the retail ledger! Oh, we spoke of a ledger; right? Let us not ignore the amazing journey of blockchain in the ecosystem of retail businesses. If not today, tomorrow blockchains would drive the next level of innovation in the retail ecosystem. Right from customer service to customer retention, blockchain would have a greater role to play in the retail spectrum.