Retail in 2022 was a year of rebounding, rebuilding and invigorating customer experience strategies to pull consumers back into brick-and-mortar stores while at the same time enhancing the digital shopping.
As 2022 comes to a close, at QuartzSales we look back to get insights on how the year behave and what's to come regarding overall retail customer experience trends and strategies. Few weeks ago we published an article about 2023 trends but today we'll focus on that "connected store experience" that shoppers are waiting for.
Nothing has shocked the retail industry quite like the internet. We’re living in a world where you can order anything from dinner to tomorrow’s outfit from your couch and watch its delivery progress on your phone. Needless to say, the advent of the internet has given way to tremendous opportunity and colossal competition. It’s been tough for traditional stores to contend with online retailers who benefit from clickstream data that helps drive sales, improve customer experiences, and more.
But for some, the internet wasn’t competition but inspiration. Businesses began asking how they could integrate the chief driver of online success into physical stores. And thus, the connected store was born.
Unlocking the full potential of connected stores
With a lens on the future, retailers are reimagining stores for the digital age—using technology to create new experiences from product discovery to checkout. But just what will this new shopping experience look like?
Connected retail is a strategy that aims to effortlessly connect businesses with customers by using customized marketing, blending the physical and digital shopping experiences, improving the supply chain, providing various payment options, and giving employees the tools to work together more successfully. This is not a new concept. For example, some online businesses already offer click-and-collect functionality, which is an element of connected retail.
Connected retail provides many intriguing tools for supply chain operations, such as real-time stock management, sales data, and trend analysis, as well as automatic forecasting of goods to purchase. For this new year (2023) we recommend that brick-and-mortar merchants who lack a digital presence incorporate connected retail techniques for the following reasons:
- Customers shop based on convenience, cost, personalized service, and the simplicity of payment and delivery. Customers are moving away from brand loyalty and focusing more on the advantages that businesses have to offer.
- Consumers easily adapt to current technology, and they are knowledgeable about available alternatives, touchpoints, and services. Consumers have unlimited access to both physical and digital choices and services.
- Numerous competitors are joining the e-commerce market as it expands with the shared goal of giving consumers the most and earliest options possible. To maintain the same quality of customer service and cultivate repeat business, the market players must be consistent across all channels.
The astounding pace with which new technologies are emerging and being adopted by consumers requires retailers to optimize their customer experience, supply chain operations, and other business activities.
Advantages of connected retail
The shopping experience is better when customers engage more with retailers and their products. Let’s take a look at the advantages of leveraging connected retail to improve customer engagement.
- Stronger connections between customers and brands.
- Connected retail location makes it easier for customers to learn more about the brand.
- Consistent brand experience.
- Deeper insights into customer preferences.
The development and implementation of a connected commerce strategy is a significant endeavor. If you decide to get into this, think about introducing QuartzSales in your trade marketing strategy to control all aspects of it. If you still don't know how it works request your demo clicking here... it's free!