--By Shrishti Giri--
The retail industry is expected to be the top spending industry on AR and VR, It clearly states that this industry is accepting the changing technology trends quite seriously. Is it the need for delighting customers and reducing their efforts that is making this industry so dynamic? I think yes. The pace at which the customers are demanding and expecting the brands to fulfil their expectations, not only retail but 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 so they can request different sizes, alternative products or even pay without leaving the dressing room. Where the customer efforts are reduced to such an extent, we can undoubtedly say that the face of retail is changing at a much faster rate.
Although technology and AI are the major 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, retail chains bringing in these changes? To reduce the overall customer efforts and enhance the experience so that the customer who walks out of the store today must walk out with a 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 ambience 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, Landmark group all have their presence on e-commerce websites like Amazon, have their own mobile app and website along with physical stores. This approach of having 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 stands a chance to not miss out on even a single customer or the one in making.
With Amazon and other e-commerce sites making their way to deliver to the doorsteps, Alexa playing the favourite playlist and stores shortlisting on the basis of your choice 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 to the customers. Therefore, most of the 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 only till they are being understood appropriately and catered 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.