No sector changes faster than the retail sector. Anyone in the retail sector, who doesn’t keep up today, probably no longer exists tomorrow. Therefore, it is essential for retailers to keep an eye on trends closely. Because the sector is changing at an unprecedented pace.
1. The rise of the flexible shop
The pressure on physical stores to change is getting bigger every day. The number of traditional retailers decreases, but we see an increase in stores in non-traditional formats, such as pop-up stores and mobile stores. All eyes are aimed at the pioneers in 2017 that take steps in this direction.
2. Chatbots and artificial intelligence jointly form killer apps for mobile commerce
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) chat bots facilitating online shopping on mobile platforms is growing strongly. The bots are available during the entire customer journey. This applies to organizations from all sectors. For example retailers that create chatbot services for messaging platforms, so that customer experience improves in both the store and online;
3. The use of the mobile wallet increases
The number of ATMs decreases sharply. People do not want to spend cash on cash, but rather pay by debit card or credit card or via their mobile phone. According to the research 'The Future of Money', consumers expect to pay fully through mobile devices over a number of years.
4. The APAC region focuses on virtual and augmented reality
China is the epicenter of growth in the global Virtual Reality (VR) market in 2017. Alibaba and Taobao are market leaders in VR commerce and invest heavily in VR stores, for virtual shopping experiences.
5. Investment shift to accelerate home delivery
Amazon has made it possible for consumers to deliver packages within the foreseeable future of the order. Order management solutions and partnerships enable this development. Accelerated delivery is the way to distinguish you as a company from the competition.
6. The voice becomes the user interface for shopping
Consumers are increasingly using voice-enabled services. They use these services not only to search for the best products or services, but also to actually buy them. Typing, tapping and swiping is greatly reduced by the use of these voice assistants, because their use is simply easier.
7. Order online and get to the store: as easy as it sounds
The physical store is experimenting with self-service checkouts and other ways to deliver online orders easily and quickly to consumers who can pick up their online order via a vending machine similar to a candy or soda vending machine.
8. Global brands investing in Europe avoid mature markets such as the United Kingdom, Germany and France
Major brands focus more on niche markets such as Portugal and Belgium. The mature markets are dominated by local players and wanting to be successful in such a country leads to major investments with less result. Luxury brands put more on the Russian or Eastern European market
9. Customer Focus: Responsibility of All
Customer orientation is an individual responsibility and of great importance at every level in an organization. This means a change in the job description of many employees and also the emergence of new roles, such as the chief customer officer. Employees are hired for their client oriented attitude and then trained on skills rather than being hired on their skills.
10. Client-related brands and retailers dump best-of-breed solutions
Best-of-breed solutions are replaced by integrated platforms that guide consumers throughout the entire consumer process - from product exploration to purchase and receipt. Every customer journey is unique and the only way to guide the customer is to understand the context of the entire journey.
Summarized text by Judith de Leede from Salesforce Commerce Cloud 1-12-2016
(Rick Kenney - head of consumer insight on blog.demandware)