Retail 2020: Technology & sustainability will drive Indian retail

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Expectations from the Retail Sector in 2020 – We can see 3 major changes in retail sector in 2020:

– Consumers are Choosing Multichannel Buying Experiences: Customers are moving seamlessly between online and offline experiences and are open to retailers who can best facilitate these transitions. The explosion in mobile retail means in-store research and showrooming – the practice of viewing a product in-store only to make the purchase online – are now more common than ever. On the other side of the coin, online orders can be delivered to a local store – often for free – further closing the divide between online and offline retail. The solution here is to focus on creating a second-to-none customer experience across all channels. Customers are looking for retailers they can be trusted to deliver exceptional service time and again.

– Customers Expect a Seamless Experience: If retailers can create this type of fluid online/offline experience for their customers, they can cease pitting their channels against one another. Centralized customer data can help retailers build a seamless, fluid experience – beginning with an easily-accessible customer profile. Loyalty programs can help, by collecting relevant information and putting it to use. A retailer can use its loyalty program to not only reward customers but deliver relevant content and integrate data across all interaction points – including online interactions, in-store sales, and home service technicians – creating an integrated, Omnichannel customer experience.

– Inventory management: It’s not difficult to guess the inventory needed for popular goods. But for no-so-popular goods, inventory management is challenging but essential. Retailers might be lured by a higher margin offered by new principal companies who want to grab market share. But how much of that inventory sells depends on the principal company’s marketing, reputation, product demand and customer support. The more time goods spend on shelves and in warehouses, the more the revenue of retailers is impacted.

Importance of Technology in 2020 – The impact of technology, social networking and Web 2.0 will bring the best of the growth in retail industry in 2020. Technology has shown a tremendous growth in last 5-7 years. It has played a major role in bringing standardization of all the products with an increase in production and bringing down prices for customers than before. Still, the capital outlay required will result in making cost/ benefit analysis essential. The capabilities of staff, as regards technology, are of utmost importance to successful implementation. The size of the business also has considerable consequences. The advantages offered by technology include business process re-engineering, just in time ordering, electronic shelf labels, point of sale systems etc. These advantages offer greater efficiency, effectiveness, and advantage, as well as cost reduction, improvements in quality etc. One area that has been affected by technology is benefits to the supply chain. Effects of technology are clearly described in the concepts of the value chain and the value system.

When it comes to social media, it is a phenomenon that has drawn a lot of attention both of companies and individuals interacting on the networking landscape. Social media offers affordable opportunities to reach larger population. Additionally, online campaigns on social media can benefit from the persuasive features of interactive multi-media systems. Social media is a phenomenon that has become an important aspect in marketing mix and revolutionizing the way companies interact with customers.

Lastly, web 2.0 is the second stage of development of the Internet and can be a powerful lure for an organisation, characterised especially by the change from static web pages to dynamic or user-generated content and the growth of social media. The major impact of Web 2.0 in retail is that it improves relationship with customers, facilitates direct customer communications (one-to-one, many-to-many), facilitates openness of communication, improves after-sales customer service and support, obtains customer information (about current or potential customers) at low cost, builds customer relationships (customer loyalty), builds brand awareness, allows brand to obtain customer information (both current and potential customers) and speeds up feedback about market results.

Hence, Web 2.0 is a boon to retail industry, and it will be interesting to see how retailers makes the best use of it.





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