Consumers for the past few years have experienced a level of disruption unprecedented unlike any other time that resulted in changes for online shopping. This has been indirectly influenced by the constant evolution of digital technology and the ever-increasing adoption of smartphones. A recently published report by Walker Sands’ explored how consumer behaviors have radically shifted and identified specific areas where retailers will be able to maximize their opportunities to convert more sales.
Findings in Walker Sands’ Study
The titled of the analysis “Future of Retail Study” offers a detailed and comprehensive snap shot on what is happening today. Among those things is how the retail industry is undergoing transformation in part due to the incremental rise of mobile commerce, mobile payments (Apple Pay) and the usage of drones for same-day shipping.
The introduction of the mobile payment system, Apple Pay, has helped in creating awareness. On the bright side, consumers are expressing interest in utilizing their smartphones as a point of sale (POS). According to the study 40 percent of consumers have used a mobile payment application within the past year. This is a substantial rise since in 2013 only 8 percent had used a mobile payment app.
Who are the mobile payment providers that consumers are using nowadays? Almost half of the individuals sampled in this study used mobile payments like Google Wallet (45 percent) Chase QuickPay (41 percent) and Starbucks. The arrival of Apple’s mobile payment system changed the game and in spite of people wanting to purchase retail items apprehensions exist around security.
The futuristic expectation that in less than in decade drones will be shipping our online purchases is far from a done deal. Nevertheless, consumers surveyed strongly believe that online orders will be dispatched with these small aircrafts. To illustrate this point from the study exactly 66 percent think they will receive a drone-delivered package in the next five years.
This means that retailers will have to fill the gaps and eliminate the traditional barriers or frictions. They need to design mobile-friendly websites and integrate a convenient payment system that is seamless along with offering maximum security. In 2014 there were plenty of data breaches and the last thing a retailer wants is consumer sensitive data compromised.
Implementation of the Mobile and Social Media Marketing Experience
It is safe to say now that the mobile era is alive and kicking. Almost every single industry besides retail has created, designed and made ready a mobile version of their website. The stakes have never been higher and knowing how to target your customer is not enough. Using the latest technology will aid your business, company or retailer to generate more leads.
Retailers need to have an up and running an e-commerce site compatible with the mobile platform. These days consumers are more than likely to own a smartphone and they are always look for a bargain. In other words, retailers must act quickly to capitalize on maximizing their impacts with customers holding these devices.
According to a Topnet SEO, the bold move for retailers to make in 2015 has to be in these three areas: customer relationship management (CRM), mobile and data. In addition, an excerpt from the post below explains how the convergence will be the “killer trio”.
“Going back to the retail sector, we see a lot of room for the convergence of mobile, CRM tools and big data to configure the best mobile marketing strategies and mobile apps that will later on drive insights on consumer community conversion and sales. Customer intelligence, as mentioned above is also one of the business areas in which the “killer trio” might serve us all justice: mobile, CRM and big data can provide sales teams with actionable customer data, leading to customer sales and improved service.”
Customer Relationship Management
This gives retailers plenty of ammunition to better equip themselves and start engaging customers more proactively. “Sometimes it will be necessary to seek a third party player for an industry-specific vertical solution”, says UXC Eclipse, an intelligent business provider built on the Microsoft platform that fills the gap in areas such as CRM and more.
Mobile and Social Media Growth
Elsewhere, social media marketing has ceased to lose any momentum. Social networking has become a way of life, a way of doing business or communicating altogether. Whichever the case may be social media is core to any business or industry. The Salesforce “2015 State of Marketing” asserts the areas were marketers will increase their spending are: social media advertising (70 percent of marketers), social media marketing (70 percent of marketers) and social media engagement (67 percent of marketers). Lots of companies will have to heavily implement frictionless technologies and mobile payment systems that are seamless for satisfactory buying experience.
Social media shopping is expected to make a huge leap in business for retailers. The usual suspects like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others to make the social commerce sphere an important source of revenue. Look for retailers to test and roll out gifting technologies to heavily disrupt consumer buying experience.
Retailers need to go where most of their customers are at. The answer is they are on social media channels, so their e-commerce has to be integrated in a way that eliminates friction and offers true value for clients. Looking at the customer data will not be enough including using an intelligence software provider. This data has to be used in such a way that businesses revise what is not working in their efforts to generate more leads.
Conclusions and takeaways
The narrative in 2015 is to closely monitor those online transactions and carefully analyze how customers are responding to these trending technologies within industries like retail. The introduction of mobile payments by Apple may just have reshaped the industry once again. Implementing the payment app or system will not be enough since customers need to be reminded that payments will be safe and secure. The mobile and social media arena are in many way converging. This means putting social commerce and e-commerce to work for you. Analyze the buying patterns and consider what adjustments must be done in order to get the customer to ultimately buy your product or service.
Finally, investing in these technologies and evolving platforms is a safe bet. Companies in retail do have the data, the CRM solutions, analytics and tools to carefully carry out their core business goals.