Equipping stores with mobile and next-generation technologies, if implemented well, can reduce operating costs, improve conversion rates, and create an overall transformative omnichannel customer experience.
Mobile has disrupted and shifted the retail landscape giving easy access to information and payment for customers while increasing the retailer’s ability to cross-sell and upsell, such as making online purchases and having it delivered to a store for pick up. Mobiles evolution and the 5G high-speed network will help emerging technologies greatly impact the retail industry.
As customers continue to increase their expectations and become value-driven, retailers will need to deliver faster, more personalized omnichannel experiences to increase sales.
Here are a few technologies that will continue to shape the retail landscape:
Mobile Digital and Contactless mPOS Payments Demand Increases
Convenience continues to be top of mind for the connected consumer. With the help of mobile point of sale technology, retailers have created seamless checkout experiences from anywhere in the store. Contactless and digital payments have made it easier and quicker to checkout in-store. The use of mobile wallets, such as Google Wallet or Apple Pay, has steadily increased over the last few years. Mobile wallet payments only amounted to $75 billion in 2016, whereas they are forecasted to grow to $500 billion by the end of this year. Consumers are choosing to use digital payment methods, making cash purchases almost non-existent.
Consumers have come to expect stores to accept digital methods of payment for convenience, health and safety, and speed. They are also expecting retailers to provide fast and secure remote payment options as delivery, curbside pickup, and Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) continue to increase significantly. As retailers provide frictionless transaction payments both online and in-store, they’ll begin to see an increase in customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and repeat purchases.
Artificial Intelligence Technology Drives Personalization
Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to play a role in retail this year as more and more brands look to perfect the individual shopping experience. Twenty-five percent of the top 250 global retailers are integrating AI into their organization. With the integration of mobile apps, AI will help retail brands understand the desires and needs of their customers so that they can provide a highly personalized touch and drive demand.
Through analytics, brands will be able to predict customer purchases and provide better product recommendations. When shoppers follow AI-powered product recommendations, their average order value increases by 14%. AI will help analyze big data and customize recommendations. In-store kiosks allow customers to look up products and help tailor suggestions. AI-powered kiosks can help understand consumer behaviour, improve convenience, and increase store capacity.
Augmented Reality Influences Experiential Retail
Stores will continue to build interactive shopping experiences with the power of augmented reality. More than 100 million consumers will be using AR technologies to shop in-store and online by 2020 and by 2021 AR is expected to be worth $133 billion. With mobile apps and emerging technology, retailers will be able to transform their connected store by sharing immersive moments and leading to an increase in customer satisfaction.
Brands have begun to merge the physical and virtual worlds to create experiences that lead to increased customer satisfaction, improved customer engagement, and ultimately, lead to informed buying decisions. Brands are taking it to the next level of experience with smart mirrors, allowing customers to interact with products firsthand without using them or trying them out. And virtual fitting rooms, allowing customers to look up product information, request another size or let them see how a product looks like on them without ever trying it on. With next-generation technology, retailers will be able to transform the customer journey with seamless interactive experience.
Consumers rely on their phones on the end-to-end journey as they research products for price comparison, discounts, and online and in-store inventory availability before they make a purchase. 82% of consumers consult their phones while they’re in a store deciding what product to buy. One in 10 of those people end up buying a different product than they had planned. Mobile’s ongoing role is and will be, essential in the connected consumer’s purchasing path and in the brand’s ability to support the needs of the customer.
Retailers will continue to incorporate and accelerate innovations using mobile and emerging technologies to power their connected store, leading to enriched end-to-end customer journeys across every channel.
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