--By Shrishti Giri–
The retail industry is expected to be the top spending industry on AR and VR, and It clearly states that this industry is taking the changing technology trends quite seriously. Does the need to delight customers and reduce their efforts make this industry so dynamic? I think yes; with the pace at which the customers are demanding and expecting the brands to fulfill their expectations, retail and other industries are also looking up to technology.
One of the largest furniture brands, IKEA, launched a new VR experience that creates a 3D kitchen wherein the shoppers can try the items and purchase accordingly. Many apparel brands have provided a smart mirror to request different sizes and alternative products or even pay without leaving the dressing room. Where customer efforts are reduced to such an extent, we can undoubtedly say that the face of retail is changing much faster.
Although technology and AI are the significant factors that decide the varying face of any industry, there are a few other factors impacting the same:
Why are all the big tech giants and retail chains bringing these changes? To reduce the overall customer efforts and enhance the experience, the customer who walks out of the store today must walk out with the thought of returning again and again till he/she becomes the brand advocate. To expect such a result, there is a strong need to build a customer-friendly ambiance that empowers them to shop easily. Customers today invest in experiences rather than just shopping.
Multichannel experience states that the presence should be everywhere. For instance, the brands like future retail, Nykaa, and Landmark group have their presence on e-commerce websites like Amazon, their mobile app and website, and physical stores. This approach of having a multichannel presence ensures maximum reach, customers not visiting the stores can shop online through the app, and the customers who want to shop from the brick-and-mortar stores can do that too. This is a chance to not miss out on a single customer or the one in the making.
With Amazon and other e-commerce sites making their way to deliver to the doorsteps, Alexa playing the favorite playlist, and stores shortlisting based on the choice of your previous visits in just one go have enhanced the definition of personalization to hyper-personalization. Hence, walking into stores that are not personalized will soon seem to be a waste of time for the customers. Therefore, most retail stores are enhancing their experience to an extremely personal level.
In the end…
So, as the retail industry is moving towards more human-less interactions, it has to be careful in adopting the same. Customers love these innovations until they are understood appropriately and catered to according to their expectations. However, keeping the facts aside, this industry has grown leaps and bounds over the years and is not stopping anytime near.