Generation Z, robo retail & augmented reality, retail recruiting, the challenges of the last mile – the list of current issues in the retail sector is both long and diverse. Here we present a brief overview of the latest trends.
Currently all retailers have the same questions, but due to the highly dynamic development of technologies and target groups, they cannot be answered with a single trend that promises a lasting recipe for success.
Therefore, the answer must be to know your target group very well in order to choose those measures from the broad selection of technologies, products, services, and channels that are relevant for that target group and significantly improve their shopping experience.
That is easier said than done. The following approaches may help retailers to master these challenges.
Shell UK presented its agile approach for the implementation of fuel payments using an app. First the app with the payment function was created and promoted. Then initial customer feedback was obtained, determining among other things that customers needed human assistance at the gas pump to accept this payment solution. Only then was the payment app linked to the customer loyalty program.
The availability of products and information has increased tremendously in the course of digitalization, especially due to e-commerce and m-commerce. Simultaneously customers are increasingly using all available channels across a buying process, in some cases even across countries. The customer expects the ability to complete each step in each channel, and to find consistent information everywhere. This is only possible with a modern IT infrastructure where these data can be accessed and supplied by every channel.
The fashion retailer Banana Republic is testing payment via smartphones instead of checkouts with this method in the USA. Here the smartphones are simply equipped with a cover encompassing a card reader, number pad, and scanner. Wooden bureaus and bags are needed as well, and there you have a test setting with a manageable investment volume per store. Only by trying out various trends are companies able to successfully respond to the specific needs of their market and target group.