New Retailing Environment

Today, social media has upended traditional shopping habits by sparking an active online recommendation culture. Now, consumers easily research products on blogs or ecommerce reviews. They frequently tap into their online network of trusted advisors for firsthand insights on brands they want to try. By harnessing the power of influencer marketing, consumer brands can create a more straightforward path to purchase and generate significant retail lift. (Entrepreneur)

Latest research has shown that new technology is increasing the pressure on retailers to enhance levels of customer service as they compete for tech-savvy customers. The study shows that social media, text message responses and online instant messaging are rapidly replacing telephone services for consumers looking to reach customer service teams, and businesses increasingly have to ensure that their staff has the knowledge and skills to manage such platforms effectively. (The Retail Bulletin)

According to one estimate, retailers will be using more than 2 million tablets as payment terminals as early as 2016. Tablets can be deployed at a much lower cost than the traditional cash wrap and help optimize store operations. They also offer an intuitive, feature-rich and highly flexible platform that allows retailers to maintain a standard of service and consistency, regardless of which channels the customer navigates during the shopping process. (Luxury Daily)

As physical retailers have begun to combine on- and offline models in more innovative ways the potential of a mixed format model has become more and more attractive, which may explain why more online businesses have investigated the potential of some form of physical presence. Providing customers with a physical experience of your brand and product and using retail real estate in the fulfillment chain are all ways in which retailers can differentiate their brands. (Econsultancy)

With 87% of shoppers seeking information before stepping into a store, there’s a big opportunity for savvy retailers to create smarter shopping experiences. This research suggests that in order to satisfy consumers’ desire for smarter experiences, retailers should:

(1) Provide location and stock availability information online

(2) Optimize their search engine results and website or app

(3) Create smarter customized shopping experiences.

(Think with Google)

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