The retail industry is in the midst of a major shift, as technology, inflationary pricing and consumer expectations are driving changes in the way stores operate. With omnichannel retail acting as a strong foundation to the way stores will reshape themselves in 2023, here are some of the trends we expect to see.
One of the key benefits of omnichannel retail is that it allows retailers to better understand their customers and personalize the shopping experience. Also, it enables retailers to better manage inventory and fulfillment.
However, this is easier said than done and implementing an omnichannel strategy can be daunting. Retailers must ensure that their systems and processes are integrated across different channels, to share data and deliver a consistent customer experience. Retailers should also guarantee that the customer experience is consistent across channels, so that customers have a harmonious shopping experience.
What’s here to stay in 2023:
Enhancing the in-store journey
To remain relevant, retailers must focus on a seamless in-store experience. They need to look for new ways to make the in-store experience more engaging and memorable for customers.
One-way retailers are doing this is by integrating technology into the in-store experience. They are closely experimenting with virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things to create an immersive and interactive shopping experience.
Besides, there is a bigger emphasis on quickly going live with some technologies that became a bare necessity in 2020 itself, like self-service check-out, mobile check-out, and a 360-degree view of the customer.
- Self-service check out
Self-service checkout machines significantly decrease waiting times, accept various payment methods, and can be configured in multiple languages. They can also be integrated with digital displays to create a seamless shopping experience.
Many customers prefer self-checkout options when shopping in-store, and a quick checkout is a crucial factor for them to continue doing business with a retailer.
- Mobile checkout
Mobile checkout options enable sales associates to scan items and customers to pay for them immediately.
- A Customer-Centric Approach
It is important to equip the staff to deliver a customer-centric approach irrespective of the channel. It allows them to quickly access customer information and purchase history, leading to a personalized shopping experience.
Optimizing the digital touchpoints
By investing in digital experience optimization, retail businesses can increase customer satisfaction and ultimately drive sales and revenue.
- Shipping from Stores
For better accessibility, it’s a good idea to convert retail locations into smaller distribution centers. It enables customers to easily pick up or return products. Besides, it also utilizes the existing inventory and real estate.
- Ordering online
If you have an e-commerce store, how can you make the most use of data generated through this channel to sell better in your physical store and vice versa. Can the spirit of the online experience be replicated meaningfully in stores?
- Awakening the Dark Store
The pandemic showed retailers resilience and a way to stay alive despite forced closures and other game changing phenomena. Curbside pickup, contactless payments, and ship from store are just a few of the new retail omnichannel journeys that have now become the norm.
Amplifying Brand Advocacy
Brand engagement in retail is crucial for building customer loyalty and promoting long-term customer retention. Retail businesses can achieve this by creating a consistent and memorable brand experience across all customer touchpoints.
- Creating a memorable brand experience
Therefore, it’s evident that retail brands must deliver unique and engaging experiences for customers through both physical and digital means.
Building resilience for tomorrow
Future-proofing your retail business involves staying informed about the latest trends and developments in the industry and proactively adapting to changes in the market.
- Embracing e-commerce
As online shopping continues to become more popular, it is important for retail businesses to have a strong online presence. This includes having a user-friendly website, a mobile-optimized shopping experience, and the ability to process online transactions.
- Incorporating technology
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the retail industry. Retail businesses should consider using technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality to enhance the customer experience and improve operational efficiency.
- Creating a seamless omnichannel experience
Consumers expect a seamless shopping experience across all channels. Retail businesses should work to integrate their online and in-store operations to deliver customers a cohesive shopping experience.
Navigating the journey forward
The evolution of the store is rewriting the rules of omnichannel retail. Retailers are now experimenting with new technologies to create an immersive and interactive shopping experience in stores. Adaptability, agility, and customer centricity are the three pillars to staying competitive in the retail industry. Customer centricity is at the core of every business decision, and delivering personalized experiences to support new and old customer journeys is indispensable.