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Digital Transforms the Retail Experience

The current world that we live in is one of preoccupied souls. Digital owns our attention.

As we mentioned before, the retail industry is ever changing and in order to keep up we must evolve with it. People everywhere are using the web and social media to spot the latest deals for the newest products. Even competition between businesses has increased because of these changes. The retail industry as a whole have recognised this and larger retailers are doing well to introduce digital initiatives. Smaller retailers have struggled to mirror such digital standards in their business processes. However, efforts have been made by the smaller companies to move with the curve by setting up social network accounts to expand their reach and allowing them to interact with current and potential customers.

Consumers who have now become so enthralled in the ease and convenience of always being just a click away from user reviews, comparison pricing, and endless aisles – have left retailers with no choice but to provide these paths. These initiatives have led to consumers to become smarter decision making purchasers. The digital age has allowed them to gather many sources of research, enabling them to make informed purchase decisions without having to be in a store and having their opinions swayed by pushy sales advisors. This being said, the traditional bricks and mortar store is not becoming obsolete. Research conducted in the US showed, consumers are using the store to supplement and verify their purchasing decisions. Whether it’s trying out the functionality, asking the salespeople questions, or identifying competition, visiting the store still plays a huge role in the purchase process.

The responsibility of ensuring that retailers keep up with their consumers’ needs, and making it possible to move towards the digital era, does not lie solely with the retailers. Suppliers must notice these trends that affect their own customers (retail stores) and provide gateways to allow them ease of adaption to these new demands. Below, I have noted an example of how MasterCard have showcased this theory in practice.

Are Point of Sale Systems becoming a thing of the past?

Cash, card, ecommerce, contactless, mobile networks Pay….. What’s the next method of payment? This one might shock you!

Most recently, MasterCard have announced their development of “selfie-pay”. The name says it all really. Yes, it is exactly what you’re thinking. MasterCard have jumped on the selfie band wagon and taken it to the extreme. It is marketing genius, if you ask me. Not only will this give customers another method of purchasing, but it also grabs the attention of a younger age group of “selfie” addicts who can now be directly targeted as potential customers by the credit card company.

In summary,

the digital revolution has opened pathways for innovation in every area of life. The retail business is one industry out of many that have been hit with a wall of change and paused a moment to long to process the implications. Retail have been slightly left behind in terms of readily accepting the new challenges that face their business and understanding how to capture their customers’ attention in this new era. Thankfully, retailers and suppliers alike are now realising that this is not a faze, and so are using new technologies to manage their businesses.