To help in the strategic planning for your business check out the new challenges and opportunities available with predicted retail trends in 2014. Let’s have a look at useful suggestions and insights for online and offline retail.
#1. Multiple-Channel Retailing Will Be the Standard
You need to keep up with what technology potential customers are using to browse the internet, including when inspecting offline stores and when they make purchases. You also need to realize that you yourself have to use multiple channels to connect with users. In 2014, customers are expected to make purchasing decisions and actualize purchasing on their own terms. You must be ready any time they want to view your online products, make a purchase with their phones or return the products to you. Ensure that you make the customer experience exceed expectations by being up to speed with
#2. Mobile Wallet Will Continue to Rule the Game
Credit card and cash payments may not disappear any time soon, but there is definitely a good reason why you need to think about PayPal, Dwolla, Google Wallet, Square Wallet, etc. If you can develop a mobile application for this purpose all the better. Doing so would make it possible for your customers to fill their shopping cart, view your menu or book a reservation and then pay simply via their mobile.
#3. Customized In-store Experiences
If you think customization is only in the domain of online stores, it’s going to be different for customers who will be visiting brick-and-mortar stores too. The introduction of a technology that allows Bluetooth 4.0 devices like iBeacon, PayPal Beacon, and Estimotes has made it possible to send personalized messages to customers’ smartphones. In the future don’t be surprised if you receive a message explaining how to choose the most convenient seat in a theater or telling you about hamburger choices in a nearby restaurant. Amazingly enough, previous tests proved the intrusion was actually welcomed by receivers of these instant messages.
#4. Technology to Be Integrated More in Traditional Stores
Online retail stores must prepare for a technology battle as their offline counterparts will use technology more as one of the ways to get rid of antiquated settings, mainly using mobile devices targeted to introduce the necessary changes. Smartphones and tablets will be used in several ways, including demonstrating products, encouraging social sharing, offering information and taking payments. Prepare to see customer assistants carrying iPads and tablets to make it all the more convenient for customers. Once an item isn’t available, the customer can be guided to purchasing it online.
#5. Increase in the Number of Mobile Stores
You have seen food trucks plying in street corners before – now more types of mobile stores will be coming. This is all thanks to mobile POS systems and also to the many cloud applications that have been developed recently. Expect to see hair salons, flower and fashion trucks to join the parade amongst others.
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