Today, retailers realize that there is no limit to the expectations that their customers have from them. Meeting customer expectations for a glorified existence is no more an option to achieve for retailers. It has become a requirement which they need to fulfill. In such a case, retailers can't afford to be satisfied with what they have achieved in the year gone by. They will constantly be required to improvise and innovate to keep up the levels of convenience for their shoppers. As a new year beckons, there is bound to be new expectations from customers. Let's see how retailers are looking to meet these expectations in the year 2017.
Making the most of the ‘Pokemon Go spirit’
The overwhelming response that Nintendo's 'Pokemon Go' received all over the globe is no secret to anyone. The sensor and geo-location technology is what had catapulted the game's immediate success and stores can capitalize on this aspect. Retailers can look to connect with their customers by introducing location and time sensitive discounts and look to relevantly engage them in game-time. This way, apart from catching their favorite Pokemon characters, customers can also catch their best deals. Indian retailers can also resort to this technique after the recent release of Pokemon Go in India.Geo-location technology built in smart phones will enable shoppers to receive personalized offers on their social-media accounts based on their proximity to a particular store. Making use of the Pokemon Go spirit will provide retailers with ample scope to connect with their customers.
Enabling more modes of Cashless Payments for customers
Customers across the Globe have shown tremendous flexibility with digital modes of payments. It can be said with a great deal of conviction that cashless payments are the immediate future. According to data from Bluebird-global, by the end of 2016, there will be around 447.9 million mobile payment users worldwide. Business Insider claims that by 2020, mobile payments will account for $503 billion in sales. 30% of the UK feel that they will be completely comfortable with a cashless society. Even in a growing economy like India, rural citizens are rapidly adopting digital methods of payment. The recent demonetization announcement has only increased the pace of adoption. The following figures reflect a staggering story. According to Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Electronics and IT minister, between the period of Nov 8th (Demonetization announcement) and Dec 26th,
The above figures justify the growing significance of cashless payments across the Globe. Whether it is the most advanced economies in the world like US, UK or fast growing ones like India, cashless modes of payments are gaining widespread and rapid acceptance. Come 2017, retailers will definitely look to make more modes of cashless payments available to their customers.
The Arrival of Bots – ‘Bigger and better than before’
Chatbots have been a part of serious reckoning in the past. But they have mostly been in an experimenting phase catering to basic campaigns. Brands like Sephora, Nordstrom, Tommy Hilfiger, etc have experimented with bots primarily with messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Kik, etc. Indian companies too have shown their willingness to launch their respective bots. Examples can be taken of Fynd, Lawbot, Gupshup, etc. Consumers want to communicate with their brands in the easiest and most informal of ways today. Afterall, it's all about helping customers find the right product in the most personalized way possible. With improved softwares, advanced levels of artificial intelligence, and unique brand approaches, 'Conversational Commerce' can be expected to reach a new high in 2017.
— Tickto (@tickto) November 4, 2016
Making the facility of ‘Same-Day’ Shipping available
When it comes to delivering products to the customers' house, the most important thing is speed. Obviously, faster the better. Instant gratification is one thing that customers dearly love. Who doesn't want to take home their purchases immediately? Customers might not always feel like visiting the stores for making a purchase but still want their products delivered quick. According to a study by Temando, 80% of the shoppers that were surveyed wanted shipping on the same day and 61% of people wanted their packages shipped within 1-3 hours of them placing the order. Having said that, it's not easy to make this option easily available. Retailers have to consider the rationality of a lot of aspects such as logistics, feasibility depending on the location, cost, etc. But, since this facet is so significant in terms of meeting customer expectations, retailers will definitely look to delve deep into this matter in 2017.