Today’s consumers are faced with multiple challenges due to inflation, labor shortages and supply chain delays. Even with these challenges, consumers have grown to require their rapidly evolving needs to be met by retailers both online and in-store. This opens the opportunity for retailers to better understand and connect with consumers via technology, thus adjusting the services they offer and providing a personalized shopping journey regardless of the touch point.
Consumers find greater value in retailers who always provide the status of their deliveries, offer discounted products or insight into product inventory based on interest and evolving behavior. Not to mention consumers often find a retailer memorable for creating a seamless omnichannel experience. Perhaps a customer saw an item online but cannot find it in store—a sales representative with a connected mobile device can help.
Personalization is a value
Consumers find value in personalization. In fact, SOTI’s retail report, “The Tech Effect: Strengthening the Omnichannel to Meet Consumer Demands,” found that 50 percent of global consumers prefer to shop with retailers that provide a personalized experience, yet retailers are falling behind when it comes to providing it. If two retailers are offering the same item for $100 with the same delivery times, but one retailer lets the consumer track their purchase throughout the whole delivery process and the other one does not, the value—the personalized shopping experience for the consumer—can be found with the retailer offering more. And you can expect the consumer to go back to that retailer in the future.
Information is key
Retailers are expected to inform consumers of product availability and share accurate data on when deliveries will arrive at home or in-store, ensuring consumers get the most value for their money. However, some do not have the right technology. Seventy percent of global consumers state that delivery time and speed are important factors when making a purchase decision, and 61 percent will choose to shop with brands that deliver goods the fastest. Thus, it is clear that those retailers that do not adopt the right technology that provides this more personalized experience will risk losing customers to competition.
Embracing the hybrid model
Retailers must master both online and in-store experiences so consumers can find the products they need in the manner they prefer. This can be done by presenting promotions and offers based on the customer’s interests or purchase history, providing the option to buy online and pick up in-store (BOPIS) or buy in-store and ship later to home, and more.
The omnichannel shopping model is here to stay, and retailers should start with communication, connectivity and flexibility as a way to elevate the entire consumer experience. With the help of the right technology, retailers can keep up with evolving consumer demands both online and in-store. When consumers feel like their unique needs are being met across all touchpoints, brand loyalty is formed. That’s the moment when consumers feel like they’re getting value for their money and when they choose to commit to a retailer.
Shash Anand, senior vice president of product strategy, SOTI, oversees the company’s evolution from a single product centered around mobile device management to an integrated platform that solves challenges around enterprise mobility and IoT management. Anand holds a degree in computer engineering from the University of Toronto and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management.