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By Paula Da Silva, Senior VP, Asia Pacific, Citixsys Americas
Since the time eCommerce started to evolve, there was a notion that the store was dead and customers only wanted to shop online. This hasn’t been the case, if you want your store to succeed; it needs to better engage shoppers by providing an experience, not just a product showcase. Mobile is one, but a retailer should also aim to educate shoppers and bring a sense of community that appeals to our inherent social nature.
"Omni-channel capabilities ease the path for retailers to reach consumers anywhere, anytime"
Let’s focus on the Top Four 2017, omni-channel priorities for retailers. Whether a retailer is just starting out on the omni-channel journey, or the business is progressing steadily towards a connected retail model, one might want to consider these suggestions for some successful steps forward:
• Take control of the research processes that precede purchases.
• Understand the impact of cross- channel services on the store experience, and streamline those services, such as click and collect, to ensure that the diverse needs of bricks-and-mortar shoppers can be effectively met.
• Equip store associates with the technology they need to build experiences around the customer. Whether they are looking for speed, convenience, value or support, connecting the customer facing experience to operational and shopper data will ensure a personalised, integrated path to purchase.
• Digitise loyalty schemes to ensure your best customers recognise value across all channels. Deliver incentives to the channels and devices shoppers are using most frequently to nurture lifetime value.
As the year progresses we will see the emergence of the phrase, Connected Retail. Retailers have already shifted focus on elevating the customer experience. As a result there will be an uptake in businesses’ embracing connected retail, which focuses on ‘connecting the dots’ between the many touch points that mark the shopping journey today. It’s no longer enough just to deploy state-of-the-art retail technology, now the focus is on making the myriad of systems that existence in deployment landscapes today work together to share data seamlessly. Creating a single view of the customer and powering shopping experiences — whether online or in store — that surprise and delight. Omni-channel capabilities ease the path for retailers to reach consumers anywhere, any time. At the end of 2016, many retailers were doing the bare minimum with omni-channel, such as offering buy online, pickup in store better known as Click and Collect. Expect businesses to increase their adoption of advanced retail technology to deliver a truly connected retail ecosystem.
CitiXsys is a pioneer in Retail Innovations that make Retailers Profitable and Efficient. Founded in 2007, CitiXsys is presently located in New York, Chicago, Mexico, Panama, Dublin New Delhi, Toronto, London, Sydney and many other cities.