Are you across global trends in retail? – 5 trends for Australian retailers to consider
Visa is present in more than 200 countries and territories around the world, so its global reach puts it in a great position to assess emerging trends in the retail sector. Visa’s Global Innovation Centre in San Francisco has identified the following five global trends in retail. Take a look to see if you are applying these in your business.
1. Transactions are everywhere
Smartphones mean customers can pay for products anywhere, anytime – how is your business catering to this trend? Are you enabling any of the following examples?
- Can your customers pay online or via a mobile app and have the item couriered to an address?
- Can customers pay online or via a mobile app and collect the item from a store or delivery centre?
- Can customers use their smartphone to photograph an item and send it to your store to find out if you have it and at what price?
- When customers pay using their smartphones, is the receipt delivered electronically?
2. Retail space is reborn
Bricks and mortar stores are providing exciting experiences to entice customers back to retail spaces – have you or are you doing any of the following?
- Providing food and/or beverages to customers, when your core business is not food service.
- Hosting events in your retail space.
- Creating pop-up stores, possibly in collaboration with other retailers.
- Using Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality applications to provide new experiences for your customers.
3. All channels get connected
Innovative retailers are embracing online – in-store and in social media. Have you/are you doing any of the following?
- Actively engaging in online conversations with your customers through social media platforms.
- Using reward schemes and other offers to collect anonymised data on customer behaviour.
- Offering a mobile app that delivers special offers, information, and other benefits to customers.
4. Staff are empowered
Self-serve checkouts at supermarkets are over a decade old and automation is being integrated into the way retailers operate. This has the advantage of freeing staff from mundane tasks so they can spend more time with customers, and in doing so improve the customer experience.
Have you introduced some form of automation into your workflow processes in the past 12 months?
5. Distribution becomes a differentiator
The ‘last mile’ is becoming more critical in delivering a great customer experience online as consumers are expecting a lot from retailers in this area. It isn’t only about speed, it’s also about traceability.
If you sell online, are you considering reducing the timeframes in which you deliver items to your customers, and do you enable your customers to track the delivery of purchases online and/or via a mobile app?
If you answered yes to five or more of these questions, you are well on the way to understanding these global trends. If not, don’t despair, the best thing to do is to make a start. Find one trend that makes the most sense for your business and focus on making it work for you and your customers. Once that is achieved, move to the next one, always remembering that the focus isn’t on the tech, it’s on customer experience.
These tips are recommendations to improve your business and are general in nature, please be sure to carry out your own due diligence process to ensure you are meeting the needs and requirements of your business.