The future of retail shopping
In today''s world, retailers are looking for new way to personalize the online shopping experience & to engage customers in-store.
As we know, anything can be found online today. Now, imagine this. You see a top, pair of pants or a shirt that you like that may have been a posted on Facebook from a friend. You may have been out having dinner and the person in the corner was wearing something that tickled your fancy. At this point, you may or may not know what brand it is and outside of asking your friends, there is no way in finding out. Well, imagine by just having a photo of the item, you can find where to buy it online, or at the nearest store where it may be available to you. You find the store but you are not ready to buy it right now. So you become a member, enter in your details, or as with most sign-up processes today, you use your social media login. The next morning that same store that you have just signed up for, post on Facebook a sale on all in store stock. You received this by push messaging on your smart phone, at which time you were at the shopping center and that store was near by.
“Social media has become part of everyday life. It is no longer a
nice to have, but a must have.”
You enter into the store and try on but you are still unsure, and although the sale assistant states “it looks great”, you would like to ask your friends. You ask the sale assistant to take a photo, and they reply have an in store photo app that takes your photo, and sends it to your phone. From here you can send a photo off to your friends, and within minutes you have your answer and some great feedback.
In order to achieve the above experience, it is essential to have a fully integrated marketing strategy to create a seamless customer experience. Most CRM systems on the market today do not allow for this seamless integration.
CRM system deployments must include data collections from all marketing touch points. The collected data needs to be used efficiently and the distilled information needs to be available to in-store personnel, so many retailers don’t have access to this database on hand.
This means that as a customer enters a store, a sales agent can be alerted to recommend products that fall within a certain style profile to personalize the shopping experience and increase retail sales. Mechanisms like location-based messaging can be used to get interested customers in the store as they walk by or in the social media world. This can prove to be highly effective especially with a provided incentive with contextual deals. Shopping apps can be used to check ratings and reviews while in store.
Take it one step further by including augmented reality to check virtual fitting for apparel items, like in H&M''s current campaign. Campaigns need to be entertaining and provide value. Use of barcodes or rich media messaging (RMM) texting in-store to increase customer engagement and drive more sales. Avenue, a popular fashion retailer for women, recently used an in-store texting campaign to build an opt-in list and generate additional sales. Social is important to keep the conversation connected and capture user-generated preferences.
As consumers, we are now used to personalization online, and it is only a matter of time before mobile makes it possible to extend this into our in-store shopping experience. Savvy retailers are going to extend the boundaries, and get smarter on how to cater to our needs. It remains to be seen which retailer will fully embrace this model first and capitalize on the results.
Key points & tips:
- User experience in the key at all time
- Set-up Google Analytics at that start, so you can start review and analyzing the traffic data
- If you can afford to do so set-up an AdWords Campaign, it’s recommended to seek professional advice
- Make shore your site give the user to but online on all divers eg PC, mobile & tablet. A responsive design sites maybe the way.
- Social media is a must allow user to share, post and make comment on every product
- Set-up a fully integrated marketing strategy e.g. start out with Facebook, tweet, Google+, LinkedIn, pinterest & instagram
- Make shore your online store can be customization or upgraded, if you can using already a online service platform for further development
- If you are building a customization or online platform system which are great if you are just starting out or an out of a box. Look for online system that can be integrated into accounting systems like Xero.
If you would like more information on any ecommerce system,
please feel free to give as a call.