- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Mindshare UK has released its latest research report, ‘The Future of Retail CX (Customer Experience)’ to reveal the five key retail trends that retailers and brands should be considering to “become a real point of differentiation from competitors”.
Topping the trend list is ‘Game of Phones’, stating that if retailers and brands only did one thing in 2018 that it should be to improve their mobile offering. With 65 percent of consumers stating that they see themselves using mobiles more in the future to make the in-store experience better, Mindshare’s report states that mobile is the “glue that binds together multiple brand touchpoints for the shopper, providing a hub for data collection, payment, store and location-based experiences, convenient purchasing and much more”.
Other predictions includes the ‘conversational commerce’ highlighting the importance of interacting with consumers is shifting to include messaging apps, chatbots and voice-enabled technology to allow brands to have direct, automated conversations 24/7. This is especially linked to targeting younger consumers as the research reveals that six in ten 25-34s find it easier to chat to brands via text, online chat or messenger apps.
While e-commerce addresses the demands of time-poor shoppers, Mindshare adds that at other end of the shopping spectrum brands are increasingly using their physical spaces to slow the interaction down instead - encouraging shoppers to spend time with their brands through the creation of memorable immersive experiences.
It states that the store offering will become a point of differentiation and staff will become more important than ever, as over half (51 percent) of consumers agree they are more likely to buy from brands whose stores are interesting or different, rising to 63 percent for under 34s, while 83 percent added that they think stores are important as they allow you to see, touch and feel an item in person. A good example of this is John Lewis’ try-before-you-buy experience apartment that launched last month.
Mindshare predicts that mobile, the use of chatbots, and using data to personalise experiences as key retail trends of 2018
The fourth retail trend is ‘data reboot’, noting that data is the “lifeblood of truly great customer experiences”, as it has the ability to connect consumer touchpoints, facilitate seamless brand interactions and provide unique shopper journeys, and that it believes that 2018 will be year that retailers step up their efforts to personalise the customer experience. This comes as 65 percent of consumers say they are becoming more conscious of what brands do with their data and 68 percent say they are very selective about the brands they share their data with.
Rounding up Mindshare’s retail predictions is the concept of ‘brand almighty’ and the need for retail brands to focus on a clearly defined proposition that makes them unique and emotionally connected to their shoppers, using technology, store experiences and brand partnerships to achieve it.
David Walsh, chief business officer from Mindshare UK, added: “We believe that audiences are our number one client. By creating valuable experiences for them, greater business value will be driven for brands. This is never truer than in the continually adaptive and constantly changing world of retail.
“With the increase in technical innovations and connected devices, consumer expectations of their shopping experiences are higher than ever before. This research report aims to highlight some of these key trends as well as providing actionable insight that brands can implement.”
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