Indore: Digital technology has changed the retail landscape over the past several years and there is every indication that it will continue to do so. The evidence of this can be seen in consumer surveys, which display the extent to which digital tools have become integrated into the shopping experience. From full price transparency to mobile alerts and social sharing, retail has become much more dependent on technology and social media influences. These views were expressed by Julia Cook and Dr Deviraj Gill, market and brand experts here in a workshop organised by Indore Management Association on Wednesday.
The topic of the workshop was ‘The impact of digital technology on consumer buying behavior’ for management professionals and students under the program IMA Center of Excellence. Julia Cook, after an extensive period in industry working in product, brand & marketing management roles for major blue chip companies such a Land Rover & Bostik and working Agency side for a regional communications agency.
Dr Gill is Lecturer, Strategic Management and Marketing at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. Dr Gill’s core teaching lies in the areas of branding, marketing research methods and e-marketing. Both said that Brands are well advised to follow the trend closely and implement new tools and strategies to respond to the needs of the mobile shopper. This new Omni-channel behavior is no longer limited to certain segments and technology gurus; it is becoming widespread and mainstream across the generations. Some tools and strategies include:
Responsive design: A website design that enables the experience to be optimized, no matter which device is being used. The website’s look and brand feel are similar across devices (e.g., smart phone, tablet, laptop), but the shopping experience is customized for each device.
Enhanced wish lists: It gives customers a place to retain and store their favorite items in a virtual shopping closet. This can also create opportunities to cross-sell merchandise.
Drag and drop features: It gives mobile shoppers the ability to ‘drag’ products onto a clipboard and save them as they shop. With one click, they are able to see their personal clipboard at any time to review and compare items and add matching add-ons.
Segmentation: Identify the population who prefer to receive offers via mobile and appropriately communicate using this channel.
Customer experience: Make the in-store shopping experience truly “Omni” by crossing over to the digital experience.
Strategies to consider
– Give store associates the ability to access customer wish lists or online shopping baskets
– If digital technology exists in the store (eg, tablets, kiosks), provide training to store associates and ensure they are comfortable with the tools
– Ability to ‘tag’ an item online and access it within the store, or ability to ‘tag’ the item in-store and purchase it online
– Rewards for cross-channel behavior, such as extra loyalty points or added perks
– Auto-replenishment and shipping of often-used items (eg, coffee, cosmetics)
– Social media strategy: Encourage reviews and social media postings. Posting a review ensures that customers.