Everyone who is involved in the retail business or is in the process of opening it already understands that retail is undergoing a period of dramatic transformation. All its players today are trying to realize - how to keep up with the rapidly changing market? What technologies can sellers use now to avoid being in the last rows in a couple of years? Yulia Veshnyakova, General Director of the Academy of Retail Technologies, discusses this topic.
Today, the buyer is waiting for the shopping process to be fun, easy, and have a positive emotional connotation. He wants to not just spend time shopping in the store, but to get some experience and take part in an adventure. It is important for the buyer to be fully and often informed in advance about the benefits of the purchased goods, so if some store does not give him such information, the buyer will no longer come to the store. Therefore, our task is to give him such an opportunity as much as possible. There is simply no other way.
Since smartphones have become the dominant view among phones, most companies have begun to use technologies and applications to optimize the trading process to make it faster, easier and more profitable. And this is just the beginning. There are already a huge number of applications for various types of platforms, for example, geolocation services, which allow using a smartphone to quickly find information about the necessary goods in the most convenient place for the buyer, at the best prices, “earn” and send coupons, receive a partial refund, accumulate bonus points. There are also applications that consolidate various discount cards, store and automatically enter passwords and much more, which makes the life of a modern buyer much easier. This trend has a huge impact on the future of retail. In Russia, such resources are not very widespread, but this is a matter of only a couple of years. Already, you need to understand that you can’t get away from the race, and if you do not soon find yourself inside such systems, then buyers simply will not see you.
It is clear that the most active and profitable buyers for us are those who earn enough money. So, not only successfully, but also work hard. Due to their busy work schedules, they may forget to buy even essential everyday goods. Therefore, buyers are grateful to those companies that take off their shoulders to remember to buy important goods. For example, in the west, the delivery of basic food products, such as milk and bread, has long been widespread. And in the last few years there have been new subscription services on products such as eye lenses, tights, medicines, household chemicals, flowers, and certain categories of clothing. The "depth" of such services can be different - from a simple reminder via SMS or e-mail to delivery of goods directly to your home. The buyer subscribes once, and then he simply receives the goods at home, without doing anything: even payment is carried out automatically with the buyer's bank card tied to the subscription. For retail companies, the development of such a service is very beneficial. They get a regular customer for a long time, which means they can plan the volume of purchases and revenues, reduce investment in advertising and enjoy other benefits. There is a demand for such services in Russia, but so far there are few offers. Think about what you can offer your customers. Maybe shoe repair services? Or the delivery of water repellents with the beginning of autumn? If you organize such a service, you are unlikely to regret it.
Previously, advertising specialists aimed to achieve the best possible memorization of goods and created a predisposition to purchase. Today, instruments of influence based on mechanisms of motivation and decision making by a person are becoming more widespread. For example, such as creating artificial shortages - the ability to buy goods only if a certain number of buyers take part in the promotion or the ability to purchase only by reservation. Of course, it cannot be said that these technologies have not been applied before. They were used, although not very actively. But it is precisely their massive distribution today that cardinally changes the retail landscape around us, both online and offline. Such technologies are not only coupon sites that offer big discounts with a time or quantity limit, but also lotteries and sites with a reward for buying. In addition to certain properties of human psychology, these technologies are partially based on the ability of the human brain to secrete dopamine - the “drug of happiness” - with anticipation of some joys of life, a win or a successful deal. This makes a person feel happy in the buying process and encourages them to return more and more.
The gaming component of such methods largely coincides with the other desire of our customers -get shopping and entertainment in one bottle. Today it’s not enough just to offer customers quality products. For success, you need to add an entertaining component. The art of conducting in stores events and promotions is the best way to stand out among the competitive environment, create rumors and a viral effect, surprise and capture the imagination of your visitors.
Marketers have long known that to successfully promote a store’s brand, you need to plan comprehensive programs, the so-called integrated marketing communications. Therefore, the task of any entrepreneur is to make sure that a potential buyer, being ready to make a choice, makes it in favor of your store. To achieve this, it is necessary to influence the buyer comprehensively - through all channels of perception and media channels. True, recently the effectiveness of traditional methods of advertising has fallen sharply, and to reach the buyer today it is necessary to use empirical methods. People want goods, communications, advertising companies to wake them up, give some sensory experience. But using emotional images is not enough: to fully capture the consumer’s attention and immerse him in the brand, you need to communicate with him directly. In the first place are various events and events with which the buyer can see the product in reality, and not just read or hear about it. Global brands such as Nike are building special villages where their supporters can comprehensively research products, and in Japan, various products are displayed on special virtual stands located at subway stations.
As for sales via the Internet, despite all the convenience, virtual trading does not allow you to get involved in the atmosphere of shopping, which makes shopping through online stores less interesting. Therefore, in order to combine the convenience of e-commerce and emotional inclusion, you can use augmented reality technologies. For example, virtual dressing rooms, which have already been developed even for “fitting” shoes.
Interesting smartphone apps that already help retail overseas:
Tapestry allows the buyer to scan the tag on the product and enter it in this way into the virtual list of desired purchases, telling friends about it on social networks. The app already uses the Diesel brand department located in London's Wetfield department store
The essence of the application Kiip lies in the fact that when a user plays games on a smartphone, he can earn real rewards in the form of discounts, coupons and cumulative points from stores. Clients of the application have already become the brands American Apparel, Disney Sony and Music.
Favor.it designed by German programmers to support small stores. Store owners can mark their point of sale on the map, and regularly inform users of the application about discounts, promotions and company news.
In the service pose users can upload their photos and mark clothes, shoes and accessories on them, and the program will offer viewers not only to mark the image as they like, but also to see where you can buy the same things.
With the app Shopkick shoppers earn points by simply purchasing items at their favorite stores. They do not need to fill out questionnaires and take additional actions: on the attached Visa or MasterCard, the application itself finds out what and where it was purchased. Earned points can be spent in the same stores.
Where should any Russian retailer infiltrate right now:
Yandex Market - An analog for a smartphone from a well-known service. The application can find similar products by a scanned barcode, compare prices and offer the nearest stores.
Wisee Shopping - A guide to Russian shopping centers. Each store is marked on the shopping center map, and there is also information about discounts and promotions offered by stores. The application has a global catalog of goods, which allows the buyer to first see photos of the thing, and then find out where you can buy it.
Locata - This is a combined catalog of many brands of consumer goods. Users can mark their favorite products and find out where the nearest brand store is and what is its schedule.
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