How is the retail sector doing after the pandemic? How has digitization affected consumers? The last two years have been especially tough for the industry. As a consequence of the pandemic, retailers have had to transform, evolve and innovate to emerge stronger from a situation in which, without a doubt, resilience and adaptability to change have been key factors.
Retail must adapt to social, cultural, economic and technological changes, and this adaptation can only be achieved by using new technologies.
The appearance of the internet was a turning point in this area, to such an extent that today, thanks to online sales, consumers can see and buy what they need from the comfort of their home, with eCommerce accounting for a large percentage of the growth of many retailers.
In fact, with the boost from online sales, electronic commerce reached 26.7 billion dollars worldwide in the first half of 2021, according to data from UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development). But at this point, we must go a step further and understand technology as a much more powerful tool that is reduced to offering the customer the possibility of buying from home.
Technology in retail
In every self-respecting retail process, technology contributes to getting to know customers in-depth, which is vital, allowing in-depth segmentation (professionals, distributors, end customers, etc.)
to be carried out easily and quickly to establish a better classification that allows directing the appropriate campaigns more adequately and successfully.
We must not forget other important fields in the sector such as, for example, financial retail: a growing trend that allows you to generate income directly and in addition to sales by financing your purchases, obtaining income from interest, fixed charges, debt refinancing, etc .; but also indirectly, offering, for example, third party insurance. The previous even reverted to increased customer loyalty, achieving added value and contributing to a piece of greater knowledge.
Another point that we must not forget is customer service, essential for the success of the retail business. Bad service will lose a customer and harm the reputation of the brand, thereby losing potential customers. In contrast to a good service that will make consumers repeat the experience with the brand and recommend our company to friends and family.
Therefore, there must be active listening, capturing their comments and monitoring their perception of our services and products that offer us a global vision of customer satisfaction.
Technology, the key to improving the consumer experience in the retail sector
Fostering lasting relationships with customers, facilitating contact through different channels (email, telephone, chat, presence, etc.) will allow us to make quick decisions through the intelligent analysis of the data obtained thanks to their contributions.
Offer self-service support, personalize customer service interactions, anticipate their needs and provide a proactive service through the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, even introducing solutions based on augmented reality technology that offers customers the possibility of Seeing the products before buying them and specialized technical professionals the ability to remotely support colleagues who are in-person where an eventuality occurs, are elements that add to the experience required in what concerns us.
And to shore up this challenging but real path, the best tool will be digital transformation, which, as I have commented previously, not only involves transactions through online channels. This confusion can be reached with the term “digital” and those concerning stores and physical establishments.
In any case, the key is in the relationship we create and develop with our clients through a deep understanding and knowledge of their needs. There are methodologies, tools and solutions that help us to improve our interaction with them.
Solutions implemented in the different stages of your customer journey, personalizing the experience, optimizing marketing, sales and service efforts, and reducing costs, are based on the fundamental pillar of aligning the technological implementation in a strategic definition.
Also Read: The Role Of Logistics In eCommerce