Digital trends for multichannel retail

With the number of e-retail startups entering the landscape, soon retail brands would find it difficult to differentiate the value proposition. Though ecommerce would be driving incremental revenue, for complete business transformation, retail would be focussing on multichannel optimization in the coming years.

According to Neoworks – the ecommerce people:

The focus of retail multichannel improvement will be on people and services, rather than technology and processes. Retailers are asking “how are customers engaging with my brand?” and “how can we design services that will meet the needs of our customers?”. The answers to these questions come through research and data analysis.

Below are some of the Multichannel Retail Trends for 2016 that have dominated various conferences in the last 1 year:

Data storytelling through Business Intelligence

How can we narrate our brand story through data? In short, how can my current data help me take better decisions for my brand? In 2016 we should expect more investment in business intelligence tools and data mining.

Every brand is trying to make some sense of their business data which is piling up at the speed of light. A decision on which data is relevant and which data is just noise is the first step that companies need to take if they want to make sense of all the data that they are capturing.

Need for understanding customer journey during different buying stages

Research evidence has always helped business leaders to make better decisions. In 2016 more retailers will be investing in research to incorporate the voice of the customer in product development and service improvement.

Questions like ‘How should the brand behave in terms of range of products, price, supply chain and services?’ are common areas for voice of the customer analysis.

From a business perspective, the focus on understanding the customers by listening to them and then using the information to market differently, sell differently and support differently as well as redesign processes is becoming a key differentiator for retailers.

Change happens through people, not through technology or processes

Einstein once said:

I fear the day when technology will surpass human interaction, the world will have a generation of idiots.

And he was spot on right. Technology needs to address the pain only till the point it is not pain in itself.

More than technology, for an organization to drive change, they need vision, skills, incentives, resources and an action plan. If one of those elements is missing transformation is not possible.

Successful organisational change is an adaptive process that requires the coordinated efforts of a wide range of people at all levels of an organization that are collectively seeking the same positive outcome.

Integration of the high street with the online e-commerce businesses

Most retailers have a multichannel strategy but only a few are going above and beyond the basic services such as wifi, contactless payment and click and collect.

While Line busting which is a wonderful way to manage your POS (Point of sale) is yet to take off in a big way, clienteling and endless aisle are becoming increasingly visible on the high street around the globe.

Multichannel service design

Service design is an interdisciplinary approach that combines many different tools and disciplines. In 2016 more retailers will be developing humanised services designing customer journeys that are alive and interactive.

Companies that understand the opportunity will support customer needs more effectively. Offering a differentiated and consistent customer experience can strengthen loyalty and generate sustainable value.

Multichannel Reality for Small Business Retail

Traditional stores will certainly exist ten years from now, but they will not look the same as today. Many traditional retailers will disappear as competition remains fierce and input costs continue to rise. Others will fail because of an inability to adapt or to change their business model to a multichannel reality in which boundaries between the online and physical worlds disappear.

The future winners among today’s bricks-and-mortar retailers will be those that take the future seriously and are good at managing change.

Social Media Trend : Twitter buy now button may alter consumer journey forever

In the last few years, e-commerce has transformed the way brands are looking at their businesses.

Not just the retail, but it has forced the entire services sector to build a unique experiential model online and create newer revenue channels (powered by e-commerce) to their existing business models.

Without doubt, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have literally altered the consumer’s path to purchase across industries, by making it more dynamic and real-time.

Talking about real-time, Twitter is the undisputed king of real-time marketing in social media. And yet brands are often challenged to work out exactly what role it should play in the mix. It can be used to create awareness, drive engagement, and play a crucial role in customer service.

Twitter users’ shopping habits make them a valuable audience for retailers and the findings can help businesses maximise sales by “sending Twitter shoppers the right message at the right moment.”

According to a Millward Brown survey of women on Twitter who had recently purchased household staples, Twitter users have bigger budgets and buy more often than non-users.

For five major retail categories, Crimson Hexagon used keyword analysis to quantify the share of conversation on Twitter for each stage of the purchase process.

 

“Whether they’re learning about a new product or on the cusp of buying, shoppers rely on Twitter for information and advice. The survey showed that nearly half (49%) of female Twitter shoppers say Twitter content has influenced their purchase decisions, which makes the platform prime real estate for brands,” Twitter says.

For five major retail categories, Crimson Hexagon used keyword analysis to quantify the share of conversation on Twitter for each stage of the purchase process.

Twitter Buy Now Button for e-commerce

After two years of testing, Twitter is finally making it easy for millions of merchants to sell products through a tweet.

The micro blogging network announced Wednesday that its “buy now” button will be available to any merchant in the United States that uses one of three major e-commerce platforms to run its online shopping operations. A store that is a customer of Demandware, Bigcommerce, or Shopify can use the software to tweet out a link to a product that will show up with a buy button.

What does this means for ecommerce startups and small business?

Technically speaking, you could run a startup business with the Twitter Buy button without even owning your own website. If the button allows you to connect directly with a payment processor it would work like Amazon or eBay where some people simply create an account on one of those sites and start selling — without ever having to slog through the hassle of launching their own site.

With Twitter Buy button, you can possibly cut down on the steps it takes for people to buy items from your store. From the looks of it, this button can be used as a one-click feature wherein your followers can link credit cards to their profiles.

Since no one has to go out of their way to get to your website, this feature constitutes a huge advance for the user experience. You won’t have to worry about how your shopping cart is working.

Honestly, I assume some stores would transition most of their resources to Twitter and other social outlets if this ended up working well, since the maintenance is so low and your entire checkout is handled by Twitter.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is quite frankly, a revolution in making.