In the 2014 year, retail will face major changes, among which are personalization of the offer, increasing the popularity of virtual payment systems and improving the service. Experts are sure that we are on the verge of a technological breakthrough, and the retail industry is moving towards more customer-oriented sales and priorities in online trading. These and other no less interesting conclusions can be made based on forecasts of leading foreign trend bureaus and business publications.
All forecasts agree on one thing: the main trend of 2014 of the year will be adaptive personalization... Advanced modern buyers are no longer surprised by the assortment or discounts, they want to be contacted personally. In this regard, services for studying the preferences of each customer based on his activity on the Internet will be especially actively developed. Discount offers will become extremely targeted, that is, they will rely on the buyer's preferences obtained from his information on social networks, on what he “likes” on Facebook, on his purchase history. The use of modern technologies should bring retail closer to the end customer.
Social Networks - that’s what will “steer” retail. Underestimating their influence is, at a minimum, shortsighted. Every encounter with a product should turn into an opportunity to buy it. In the 2013 year in the USA, Soldsie, Chirpify, and the like services gained popularity. Their essence is approximately as follows: the retailer registers with the service and connects it to his Facebook or Instagram account. Then he hangs out a record with a photo of the product and its description. To purchase this item, the user just has to write the sold or buy hashtags in the comment. The program automatically generates an invoice for payment or immediately transacts if a bank card is connected to the user’s account. A message about a completed purchase appears on the user's wall and becomes available to all his virtual friends.
Experts also advise retailers not to neglect the power of social media to influence what people buy. It's important to keep a close eye on what people are tweeting about and what kind of pictures they save on the Pinterest app. This is especially useful for buyers: not a single trend forecast, compiled by professional experts, in reflecting the wishes of buyers, can compare with the top 20 images saved by users for the query “shoes”. Social media shopping communities can also be used as a tool to measure the popularity of trends and products. For buyers, the importance of recommendations is growing, that is, likes, reposts, posts in social networks. Now, when a person wants to choose a pair of boots or a TV, he asks for advice from his friends on Facebook.
The line between shopping and entertainment is gradually blurring, so wise retailers are already using multimedia contentto make the shopping process more entertaining. This is designed to distract the buyer from the thought that he is spending his money.
In addition, now the buyer requires quality service not only from offline, but also from online shopping. He needs the opportunity to consult and ask interesting questions to a living person via chat at any time of the day. Among other important factors, buyers name the high quality of photos and product descriptions, the presence of an 3D review and the ability to examine the thing as closely as possible. When choosing an online store, the priority is delivery speed: people no longer want to wait for 2-3 days, they gave their money back, and they need the goods immediately. Buyers want to choose when and where to receive the goods - today, two hours later, home, at the office or in a restaurant.
In 2014, analytics should be just as fast. Forecasters recommend that companies learn to assess the situation in real time, quickly develop solutions and implement them immediately. To meet the world of high technology, you need to change right now, at this minute, and not six months later, according to the results of a dozen meetings. Therefore, the advantage will be for small and medium-sized companies, which are quicker to change the principles of their work much easier than retail monsters.
Another opportunity for small companies is a niche customized goods. Buyers want to own something unique, something that reflects their personality. A custom product is an indicator of status. Engraving on gadgets and bags, the ability to choose and order the color of sneakers or a print on a T-shirt - all this is encouraged by potential buyers.
Among the important trends, analysts also called the need unification of site versions for computer, tablet and mobile device. Users switch from platform to platform several times a day and do not want to rebuild each time under the new interface. Virtual payment systemssuch as PayPal, Google Wallet, Yandex.Money and others will become more popular. The Internet goes beyond the usual computers and smartphones. Nike + Fuelband bracelets, Google Glass glasses, and in general everything unusual that gadgets can do, whether it is health monitoring or budget planning, is warmly received by customers.
As for offline stores, retailers should not think about how to bring a customer to the store, but what to do with him in the store. In 2014 year will be observed massive improvement of service in stores, aimed at an individual approach to each customer and increasing loyalty. Online retailers will try to come true through temporary pop-up stores and showrooms.
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