As the real world and the internet merge deeper by the day and pose to function like a single system, new trends in retail are being born every day.
The brick-and-mortar retail won’t die out. However, the physical retailer who, too, decides to break into the eCommerce world, is the one who is keeping pace with today’s customer demands.
1. Inventory Software
Keeping track of inventory is said to be the hardest job in the retail world. Before the modern inventory management software came in, sellers used to depend on spreadsheets for managing their inventory. In other cases, they used to do it manually. Today, the scenario is changing fast.
Modern inventory management software have the capacity to handle multiple functions from the same platform. In addition to giving users real-time status of their inventory, they also help retailers and wholesalers run their stores/warehouses and online stores as one, so that they need not log in to multiple places to view their sales. They also take care of order processing, payments, shipment, purchase order generation and many more.
It is crucial for today’s retailer to own a modern inventory management software as it not only saves him a lot of time, but also allows him to set foot in multiple channels of sale so as to stay forward in the competition.
2. Cashless payment
Customers seek more convenience with every purchase at your store. Research states that, ‘Consumers are leading and shaping the whole trend of shopping while retailers are lagging behind’.
The one initiative you can use to ensure your customers come back is buy making payments a much simpler job for them. Cashless payment options are becoming increasingly popular by the day. Today, at stores, one can make payments simply by using a wristband or a finger print, etc. According to a Forrester research report., 44% of the customers prefer to pay via smartphones.
Cashless payments lead to faster transaction times, queueing times are reduced, customers need not carry their wallets around, etc. At your store too, your software will take of everything and better handling of cash will take place.
3. Loyalty Scheme
There are, certainly, many ways to bring your customer back to you. But is it as much easy to discourage them from going to your competitors? Not really. This is where you can use customer loyalty programs to increase the chances of your customer coming ‘only’ to you.
A loyalty program might give a customer free merchandise, rewards, coupons, etc. In today’s scenario, it is mandatory that you design loyalty programs for your customers in order to stay ahead in the race.
You can use programs like point system, or use a tier system to reward customers wherein the value of the reward keeps increasing with the purchases.
One can also use non-monetary programs. For example, Patagonia, an eco-friendly apparel company which allows customers to resell their highly durable Patagonia clothing line on their website.
A very good example of loyalty scheme is Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime users have to pay $99 a year and they get free, two-day shipping on millions of Prime products with no minimum purchase. This is a great program, as frequent customers get the feeling that Amazon Prime is extremely beneficial for them.
Prime members spend an average of $1,500 per year when compared to $625 spent by customers who are not Prime members.
4. Augmented reality
Big box retailers like Ikea are exploiting the smart phone obsession. Around 67% of consumers prefer to purchase through their mobile phones.
Augmented reality integrates digital information with the user’s environment in real-time. It uses the existing environment and superimposes new information on top of it.
Ikea has created a catalog app in which augmented reality has been integrated. Customers can download the catalog app and can preview products at their own homes before buying them. This gives them an idea of what the product will be looking like if they would buy them.
This would increase convenience multifold for customers and has tremendously increased footfall into the store. Ikea AR app was downloaded 8.5 million times the year it was launched.
New technologies are being used every day for improving personalization with customers. Although this is not a new technology, new ways of personalizing products and making them feel that your brand has been tailor-made for them will increase trust towards your brand.
Personalization will help you push the right offers to them at the right time, and they will continue to remain your trusted customer for a very long time.
Primaseller helps retailers manage their inventory across multiple channels with utmost ease. Helping them save a huge chunk of their time, they are enabled to focus attention on designing better strategies for their business.