2018 saw some amazing technological developments in the retail space. What started as baby steps in voice-powered and text-enabled shopping, has now evolved into retailers leveraging technology to create more seamless, cashier-less shopping experiences. It has also set the pace for the coming future. What will retail foray into this year? Let’s take a look at the 3 most exciting trends shaping up the retail tech landscape.
AI as the new customer service reps
Facebook started it with their Facebook Messenger chatbots, powered by artificial intelligence and built to answer customer queries and tackle selective customer requests. With increasing AI adoption, AI-powered retail applications are gaining popularity. Built on big data, deep learning and insightful analytics, bots and AI capabilities can enable more personalized shopping experiences.
While it’s highly unlikely that a customer will say ‘Hey Google/Alexa, order me a $1000 pair of suede boots’, what retailers are going to increasingly experiment with is the use of AI to power certain parts of the retail and e-commerce experience. Chatbots can answer questions wherever your customers are — whether they use voice or a Facebook Messenger platform. As the new customer service reps for many businesses, they can complement human interactions to create greater customer connections.
'Customize' is the new size in retail
Ever bought a one-size-fits-all shirt that didn’t really fit or a great-looking pair of training shoes that pinched when you ran? The growing trend of customers wanting more authentic, tailor-made experiences has forced retailers to consider customization as a viable offering. And it’s beneficial for two most important customer touchpoints:
Improved retention — making the in-store shopping experience more personalized by offering highly personalized recommendations.
Customer data insights — creating more targeted retail marketing opportunities as you can collect data-points from sizes to style and color preferences at every stage of customization.
It will be impossible for retailers to resist all the opportunities customization can offer.
Retail communications to facilitate an omnichannel experience
As retailers adapt to changing customer expectations, harnessing the power of Unified Communications (UC) seems to be next driving phase of retail. Due to advancing technology, there’s an increasing demand for seamless, "omnichannel" shopping experiences. UC enables retailers to streamline their team communications and deliver valuable, meaningful customer engagements while converting more sales.
When retailers empower their employee with a mobile communications device, it allows them to provide valuable knowledge to their employees - from including the latest insights on how to support a certain product, to information about new products or a pending promotion. Not only does it remove the sense of isolation, but it also engenders a true sense of ownership and loyalty among employees that goes beyond their store. As all the customer data can get cataloged and developed into reusable content, it evolves into a knowledge centre accessible to all employees.
When retailers embrace the right UC solution, it facilitates a welcomed omnichannel experience for the employees making their online and offline retail environments more attractive to customers.
Develop a new competitive edge and establish your template for success with our retail communications solutions. By deploying CounterPath's Bria Mobile communication application on existing scanning devices combined with provisioning platform, retailers can streamline distribution, configuration, analytics and remote support. Our solutions also enable flexible code base, branding and customization. At CounterPath, we help retailers combat retail transformation and deliver the seamless omnichannel experience that consumers expect.
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