Despite the extensive damage to the global retail industry from the impacts and aftershocks of the Covid 19 pandemic, the outlook is positive for this year, thanks to the rapid rate of vaccination. With conventional retailers looking to adopt a balanced approach to search for the optimal path to recovery. The sustainable approach is central to the mindsets of retailers across the industry segment. To maintain sustainable growth, it is important for the retailers to benefit from the learning outcomes explored throughout the Covid 19 pandemic and extenuate the learning aspects to the landscape after the conclusion of the virus.
A major evolving dimension based on the analysis of Web Gateway analysts is the blurring difference between retail manufacturers and sellers on the customer end. Product purchase options are a key part of customer expectations which makes it important for retail sellers to add additional layers of business management to keep up with consumer trends to add to their significance. The understanding of this trend will be an important step for retail sellers to mitigate a larger shift towards direct-to-manufacturer customer approaches.
For conventional brick-and-mortar stores, the focus should be on creating exceptional customer relations based on a personalized approach to prevent the loss of business to online stores. This, however, can be an increasingly uphill challenge based on the diversity of product options and intelligent tools integrated into digital stores.
Crafting the Customer Journey
Traditional retail companies must factor in the customer journey as a primary element of their brand experience. Web Gateway’s report points towards the importance of shifting away from the conventional customer approach. The conventional approach towards the customer experience has been to consider the customer process upon entry to the store and factor the culmination of this journey upon leaving the story. The shift has to consider the primary motives behind the customer journey by factoring in the elements of creating customer needs and having layers of the customer experience centered around adding value to the customer. The fulfillment aspect of the digital experience will be an important factor in creating customer satisfaction and enhancing long-term brand interaction.
With digital spending increasingly overtaking conventional in-store purchasing, brands must put in similar efforts in the digital customer journey as the efforts vested in enhancing in-store experiences. Multi-channel spenders also spend much more than conventional sellers, which amplifies the importance of an exceptional customer journey.
Integration Operational Models
Web Gateway experience projects the operational model in the future to evolve towards a highly customer-centric experience in digital experience. The greatest metric central to digital success would be the sensory stimulation of customer requirements through personalized user experiences. Compared to the past inclination to maintain a purely transactional relationship with customers, this transition would require businesses to factor in customer requirements and attempt to create exceptional customer relationships.
One of the biggest ways this solution is emerging in commerce is through the usage of smart content delivery networks to provide value to customer journeys and enhance customer interaction with the company’s content. The solution has been extensively applied by leading global brands to create innovative stores where customers are able to gradually experience increasingly personalized experiences after regular usage.
Areas of Technological Expansion
Based on the direction exhibited by technology over the past years, it is clear that the operation of modern businesses is not viable without the usage of technology. Our report indicates that the primarily emerging areas in the future will be centered around biometrics, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, and the creation of a personalized digital experience. The integration of these technologies into conventional digital retail outlets will expand to enable real-time feedback about consumer behavior and requirements. This comes as a stark contrast to conventional sales options that were not heavily dependent on technology. This changed has certainly changed during the pandemic based on the primary shift of consumers to digital options. Sellers need to adapt to the role of technology in their customer relationships and business management domains to have effective preparation for their future direction.
Based on the existing trends and outlooks for the year, it is clear that consumer trends are perpetually shifting towards digital models based on their viability and integrated convenience for the retail consumer. Despite the potential spike in physical outlets expected after the pandemic ends, the digital consumer behavior shift during the pandemic appears to be a long-term behavioral transition. It is important for brands to factor in this digital shift in their strategy and sales outlets to ensure that they’re able to expand market coverage and keep up with the future of digital channels. People still want to continue their interactions after the pandemic with the integration of technology. Web Gateway experts believe that the digital consumer shift and integration of eCommerce mediums as the primary source of client interaction is a key step for retail businesses beyond the Covid pandemic.