Posts Tagged ‘Retail’

In a Forester blog post Adam Silverman is touching upon the subject of that Shoppers avoid contact with digital stores. I can’t say I am surprised, however not due to a poor concept but rather due to that the consumer has not matured enough. Read it here: http://blogs.forrester.com/adam_silverman/14-02-06-shoppers_avoid_digital_storefronts#forrester_new_comment 

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As businesses are discovering the need to adopt a 360-degree approach in their online strategy to remain competitive they are faced with a few challenges. This calls for a new digital ecosystem where they can adapt a disruptive mindset, understand customers’ external behavior, engage with them across multiple touch points and (very importantly) demolish internal silos to achieve a unified online strategy.

While the ongoing digital revolution has enabled customers to reach enterprises through multiple channels one angle that needs to be taken into account is that customers are embracing technology at a much faster pace than enterprises, yet nearly all businesses still choses to compete over customers with similar business models, traditional values and to often without embracing innovation and technology.

They remain on hold in comfortable patterns and old habits. However, customers are unforgiving when their aspirations are not met! Your performance will be measured down to the last detail.

In this emerging scenario, businesses must rethink their Customer Experience Management (CXM) models. As with so many other things the starting point here is a change in the human mind set, traditional silos needs to be disrupted and bridges needs to be built between all the customer touch points, all the way from the web to the call center to packaging but also in the upper layers of Management right down to the genitors. It calls for a structural change, strict governance and also a cultural shift!

In summary the challenge for the enterprise is to provide its customers with a consistent experience through multiple touch points, irrespective of when and how it occurs. Continuity is the new black when it comes to maintain a great customer experience!

Besides the cultural shift and changes described above a first step in the right direction is to bring forward a blueprint where the entire customer journey is mapped out and each of the customer touch points are identified and evaluated. Without this your efforts becomes fragmented and siloed.

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”Customers visiting our Newport store will discover a design that is built around their experiences and delivers an interactive shopping experience that mirrors their mobile lifestyle,” said Larry Evans, vice president and general manager for AT&T in Ohio to Marketwatch.com.

As the lines between the physical and digital retail worlds blurs even more and consumers continuously turn to their mobile devices and apps AT&T has gone an extra mile to meet the tech savvy consumers with cutting edge services.

The new Connected Experience Zone features ”lifestyle vignettes” that offer customers a glimpse of how solutions can be used in customers’ everyday lives. These lifestyle pavilions will highlight categories such as music, home security and entertainment and more.

Next is the Community Zone, featuring ”community tables” that encourage customers to shop and play in an open and interactive space. This space merchandises apps, accessories and devices to show customers how they can work together.

In the last two years, the number of shops selling products that are currently being digitised has fallen by 13%, to no surprise that includes those selling books, computer games, CDs and DVDs.

Fashion retailing has also been hit hard over the same period, with women’s clothing chain stores down by 13%. At the same time, independent outlets have fallen in number by 6%.

The effect is visible every where. In Sweden large retail chains such as Retail and Brands are taking a hit, and doing so with out any signs of tagging along the trend of its US counter parts.

Forrester sees significant investment from US retailers in this space. Lowes, Home Depot, Nordstrom, and others have all been spending heavily on developing the underlying infrastructures that they can then leverage to create in-store digital experiences. Store Wi-Fi, associate devices like tablets or smartphones, kiosk technology, and even more emerging technologies like ePaper signage and electronic shelf-edge labels are on some agendas.

But European firms are following at a more sedate pace. When Forrester took a look at the expectations of European consumers versus their North American counterparts, it’s interesting to see that European shoppers have significantly higher expectations as to what a digitally enabled store will deliver. Yet almost universally, European retailers are failing to unlock this potential.

Why it is so is still a subject of much speculation, but if your firm doesn’t have plans, then you really should be kick-starting things before it’s too late!

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We have already in another article here found that most businesses in travel, retail and leissure still tend to compete with the same values and business models rather than moving towards the consumers with the help of simple and available technology.

It’s billed as a battle between the high street and the internet. But a new report shows that traditional stores need to embrace mobile and social media technology to meet shoppers’ new priorities.The report is analysing global retail and technology trends.

A few quick wins drawn from the conclusions are:

  • significantly less stock on pricy high-street locations,
  • better customer service face to face,
  • low cost pop-up stores in remote locations.

But the future of retail also holds other challenges, how to create a better shopping experience is a topic high on the agenda. For inspiration I would like to promote North Face climate chamber in their flagship store or Hackett that also offers shoe shine and hair trimming in addition to their regular merchandise. But rather than comparing offline and online presence and treating these as separate entities it is vital that your online presence complements your physical offline offer and that one draws traffic to the other and vice versa.

However, changing technology is only part of the story, according to Kantar Retail and The Futures Company, as the real key for retailers is understanding and meeting shoppers’ changing priorities.

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“The social and political import of the Internet of Things is that things can now
participate in the conversations that were previously off-limits to Things. That’s
not as manifestly grand a statement as it may seem. It means, in simple terms, that
Things, once plugged into the Internet, will become agents that circulate food for
thought, that “speak on” matters from an altogether different point of view, that
lend a Thing-y perspective on micro and macro social, cultural, political and personal
matters.”

Please continue to read the following paper from Julian Bleecker

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“While food remains one of the last few remaining categories of consumer products to ‘go digital,’ there is growing evidence that several aspects of grocery shopping are trending to online” says Hartman Group in a new report.

Simultaneously Nielson reports that digital shopping intentions specifically for food and beverage categories have increased by 44% in the past two years.

Before even leaving for the grocery store, shoppers consult social sites like Pinterest for inspiration. 54% of all online consumers use social media to discover new foods and share food experiences.

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As the integration of the Internet and grocery shopping continues to evolve, those within the food and beverage industry should get ahead now in order to reap the benefits in sales. Both search and social play a part in the food and beverage purchase path, so you need to ensure your site and profiles are correctly optimized.

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