MN Tech Mag | Fall/Winter 2022


CHANGING THE RETAIL EXPERIENCE The pace and expectations of retail shopping have changed. Today’s consumers want the flexibility to shop how, when, and where they want. Increasingly, consumers are using digital channels as part of their shopping experience. Brands Should Be Everywhere Most consumers now use a combination of online and in- person channels throughout their shopping journey based on what makes the most sense for them at the time. For example, they may learn about a pair of shoes on social media, go to the store to try them on, and buy them online. Because the shopping journey is so fractured, you’re missing out on crucial touchpoints if you’re not selling across digital and in-person channels. A Holistic Experience But it’s not enough to sell through numerous channels. Customers want all touchpoints in their shopping journey to feel like parts of a cohesive whole. They expect a brand’s personality, messaging, and product offers will be consistent across the mobile app, in-store displays, and online store. They want to seamlessly pick up where they left off when switching between channels. Consumers also expect retailers to cater to their unique needs – for example, providing quick checkout in some situations and a richer experience in others. Near Instant Gratification Not only do customers want it all, but they also want it right now. The pandemic created an increased demand for restaurant and grocery delivery services. Despite the slow return to normal in some areas, many people have retained a preference for rapid delivery services that can quickly deliver orders – sometimes in mere minutes. If consumers are willing to head to the store, they don’t always want the burden of doing their own shopping. Instead, they choose to buy online for in-store for curbside pickup. When customers shop on their own, they still look to technology to streamline their checkout experience with self-checkout, contactless payments, and other payment innovations.

Winning Checkout at the Ringing up real change that makes both dollars and sense.

DIGITAL OPPORTUNITIES PROVIDE MORE PLACES TO WIN The changing customer journey means more opportunities for retailers of all sizes to compete at the checkout. After all, even small brands can be big online. The following are trending opportunities for companies, both big and small. Mobile Applications Mobile applications have been around for twenty years. But it’s become increasingly important that companies of all sizes have a robust mobile presence. “Companies in the past, specifically smaller companies, believed building a custom mobile application may not be worth the investment. But now, users expect brands of all sizes to have their own applications. Fortunately, small to mid-size retailers are usually pleasantly surprised to learn how affordable and valuable a custom mobile app can be for their business,” said Kaustubh Goswami, Retail Product Manager at Concord. But there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for every retail business. What works for your business depends on your customer needs and business goals. Popular types of retail apps include discount and deal givers, loyalty programs, digital wallets, price comparison helpers, and vendor portals. Connected Commerce With connected commerce, all your channels are integrated from a sales, marketing and operational standpoint – so your customers can discover, purchase, and receive their items based on their personal preferences. With seamless and personalized integration, customers will have a consistent experience with your brand wherever they interact with you – for example, through online marketplaces, your website, social media, and brick-and-mortar stores. Live Commerce Using live commerce, you can sell products through live video while shoppers interact with your brand in real-time. By 2024, livestream shopping in the United States is expected to triple to $35 billion.

Pranav Patel Executive Director of Retail Solutions at Concord

Retail—and how people have shopped—has changed. The winners are those who can harness technology to create an intuitive, frictionless hybrid user experience. W hile digital has been part of the shopping experience for decades, the pandemic accelerated the adoption and, in some But where should a retail business start when looking to develop a successful digital strategy?

cases, the preference for digital-first options. In 2022, mobile retail ecommerce sales in the United States are expected to double to $430 billion, indicating the changing nature of purchasing behaviors. In fact, nearly one-third of U.S. internet users buy something online each week via a mobile phone and experts state that 80% of B2B sales will occur in digital channels by 2025. As digital becomes integral to the buyer’s journey, retailers must reinvent themselves to benefit from the always-on consumer, prioritize user experience, increase engagement, build loyalty, and improve organizational efficiencies.

There’s no one-size-fits- all solution, and there are many ways to win at the checkout. But success is easier if you have technology on your side.

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Winning at the Checkout | 25

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