How Global Trends Are Affecting the Retail Technology of the Future

Technology and retail operations have been going hand in hand for years, and nowadays retailers work around the clock to navigate a digital world that is increasingly evolving, while tech-savvy consumers have increased their demands for technical experiences wherever they shop.

According to eConsultancy, UK online retail sales hit £133 billion in 2016, an increase of 15.9% year on year, and with more and more consumers using technology to make purchases, it’s important that retailers stay ahead of the game.

Smartphones

Buying onlineMobile shoppers use their phones to carry out research, compare prices and shop online. 1 out of 3 consumers use their smartphones to find out information about a product rather than ask an employee in-store.

Hence, mobile marketing should certainly be a part of your marketing strategy. The steps below will help to increase sales.

• Optimise your web content for mobile search so that when a consumer uses a mobile search to ask a question, they find an answer quickly and easily via your mobile site.
• Ensure you’re optimised for local and map search so that your store is clearly displayed.
• Make it easy for consumers to find promotions and discounts via your mobile site, including giving out samples of products you provide so that consumers have the chance to try out your product before purchasing it.

Apps

Consumers are progressively using apps to find what they’re looking for. With today’s fast-paced culture, this gives customers the chance to search while on the go. Allowing customers to use apps for your stores would be of great benefit.

Contactless technology

Most customers tend to make contactless card payments; as they are a lot quicker and easier than physically entering your pin. To keep up with today’s technology; retailers should consider having contactless card payment machines available.

Algorithms on social media

The culture today is very different to a decade ago; nowadays people use social media for everything, to show where

they are going on holiday, what they are eating for dinner, what new products they have just purchased and more.

For retailers, the more engagement you get on social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the better. Facebook calculates the authority and importance of Facebook Pages based on numerous factors, the most prominent of which is social interactions. The social site rewards engagement, so the algorithm considers the ratio of engagements to total number of followers.

Advertising your products and services on social media is crucial to gaining new customers as well as retaining existing ones, because showing personal insights into your business will allow customers to feel closer to you. Rewarding loyal social media followers is also proving to benefit retailers.

Web and mobile platforms

These days, customers love to check up on a business online before visiting it, whether that is to check if there are any special events or promotions, or to check out reviews. Investing in a good website that fits the needs of your customers will drive more traffic to your store and keep your business feeling fresh and approachable. Ensure your website it optimised for mobile phones.

Free Wi-Fi

Make your store compatible for internet users to encourage customers to stay longer and come back more frequently. Enabling Wi-Fi will encourage customers to share through social media when they are at your store, as well as leave reviews for your business while they are there, creating more interest for their friends and followers to check it out.

In-store technology

Memory MirrorRetailers are leveraging a wide array of in-store technologies to draw consumers to the door, so you don’t need to leave a physical store to get technology benefits which your organisation could look at investing in if you want to get more technical.

For example, some stores now use ‘memory’ mirrors which are interactive mirrors in shops allowing customers to try on different outfits and explore various colours and patterns.

Using hand gestures, shoppers can scroll through different colours, patterns and sizes, and the smart mirror remembers previous outfit choices, so the shopper can compare and contrast.

It also allows potential customers add accessories, and see outfits from different angles without straining their neck or using a wall of mirrors.

At REPL Group, we have a number of software services available that will transform retail and supply chain operations, give us a call for further information. Implementing technology can work wonders in boosting your overall sales, and we’re here to help you achieve that.

Links: econsultancy: https://econsultancy.com/blog/68709-uk-online-retail-sales-hit-133bn-in-2016-up-16-year-on-year-stats/