According to Pew Research, nearly 2/3 of Americans own a smartphone. And the most recent research we could find (as of 2014), and also from Pew Research, said 50% of Americans own a tablet PC or e-reader.
You know being prepared for mobile devices and users is important. But these numbers put it into perspective.
And, they’re likely higher now.
So, what types of changes is this trend bringing about for modern retailers?
Find out our observations below:
- Retailers that Change Rapidly with Technology Will Remain Market Leaders
You don’t have years to adapt to changes in the market anymore. Now you have 6 months to 1 year, if that.
Today, your operations all need to be mobile in their own right – ready to change with any unexpected shift in the market. The more you can depend on the cloud, the quicker you can change.
- You’ll Have to Focus More Time on Customer Service
Remember the pre-internet days of customer service? Customers actually talked to your supervisors, made phone calls, or told you directly what they did and didn’t like.
But that’s harder to do, speaking from a personal perspective. So today, they tell everyone they know on Facebook. And they give your products bad reviews.
Whatever damage they could do to your reputation before the internet, they can now do ten times more in just a fraction of the time.
So that means your operations need to focus on a nearly perfect customer service experience. And when you do make a mistake, you have to be quick to fix it. And you have to discuss it publicly so customers know you solved a problem they saw.
- Customers Have a Higher Expectation of a Consistent Omnichannel Experience
Count how many different ways your customers can interact with your company. Today, because you have customers who experience so many retailers who do this right, you’re held to a higher standard than two decades ago.
So you have to dedicate more internal resources to monitoring every time you interact with a customer. And that ranges from your in-store employees, to your phone support team, and to all your social media channels.
- On the Bright Side, You Can Get Marketing Information You Never Could Before!
While your customer’s identity remains protected, advances in NFC communication allow you to precisely track metrics like traffic flow, dwell time, visitation frequency, and proximity to your store’s location.
Internally, you can schedule staff, rearrange floor displays, and switch up your offers to be the most beneficial for your customers.
And That’s Just a Fraction of the Changes!
Did all that sound like a lot? Maybe not. But when you actually try to execute on it, you’ll realize how gigantic your task is.
Retail will continue to be a challenging market in 2016 and beyond. But armed with this information, you have a leg up on the competition.