In order to sustain profitability, today’s retailers need to be able to keep up with the flurryof retail tech innovations trending within the industry at any given time.
Disruptive technology like Facebook and smartphones have literally changed the way people do business around the world. However, there are plenty of innovative tools released by leading tech firms that never gain traction in the retail sector or mainstream consumer channels as well. As we move through 2017, there are at least five tech trends that retailers should focus their attention on.
Disruptive technology like Facebook and smartphones have literally changed the way people do business around the world
Mobile Tech and Retail
Mobile devices are now an essential part of the process for many consumers and retailers, for both online and shopping in-store. Nearly 70 percent of all U.S.adults now own a smartphone, and an increasing number are using them for researching products, comparing prices and locating stores nearby. From investment tools, to travel services, there’s an app for everything – and retail’s no different. The rising popularity of mobile devices in retail is a major reason over 115 million adults have reported making at least one mobile payment in recent history. Successful retailers now focus their efforts towards improving brand loyalty and customer service by targeting the tablet, smartphones and wearable devices consumers are constantly using.
Retailers discovered a wealth of opportunities during 2016 with the introduction of augmented reality and live video. Platforms like Facebook Live broadcast in real-time and provide users with more intimate relationship with the audience. Retailers can benefit from understanding that viewers of Facebook Live are typically watching for three times as long as those watching previously-recorded broadcasts online. Researchers have also discovered that Facebook Live videos receive 10 times the number of comments than the more traditional videos posted online.
Social Media and eCommerce
The buy button has become standard protocol on many of the leading social media platforms, including Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram. Retailers now have the ability to accept payments from consumers directly through their social media messaging thread, and this trend is only becoming more popular with time. Enabling consumers to make instant purchases directly from their favorite channels can be beneficial to both smaller and larger retailers. Over 40 percent of the retailers out there still unsure about how to monetize their social media presence, so this trend is bound to gain serious momentum during the upcoming sales cycles.
Enabling consumers to make instant purchases directly from their favorite channels can be beneficial to both smaller and larger retailers.
Chatbots Invade Retail
During 2016, the retail sector realized a substantial uptick in how chatbots were used to improve customer service for consumers. Retailers of all varieties and sizes are investing in chatbots right now, including prominent brands like Facebook, Staples and Microsoft. Customer engagement is more personalized and provides a real-time response to consumers when powered by chatbots. Despite being a simulation, chatbots provide more personable, convenient, responsive and authentic interactions for consumers than traditional marketing campaigns. Conjoining this tech and live chat in 2017 now allows retailers to provide a platform that enables consumers to complete transactions using chatbots.
Around the world, retailers are realizing a 75 percent abandonment rate at their online shopping carts, a new record-high. Applying a more personalized approach to retargeting these consumers and engaging new consumers has become more popular than ever. Much of the success realized by Amazon in recent sales cycles may be accredited to their investment in personalization. There are innovative personalization applications capable of integrating valuable data across all channels that is collected from contact centers, inventory levels, POS systems, tablets and smartphones. Personalization helps retailers with making their merchandising layout more effective and merging the digital presence to the quality in-store experience that the target audience expects.