Retailers in 2019 will continue to concentrate efforts around digital transformation, driven by the never-ending hunt for the loyal consumer while maintaining their current customer bases, according to DataArt.
Personalisation will reach a new level with a focus on leveraging AI and data analytics. Retailers will have the ability to accurately target consumers, analysing behaviour, preferences, needs, health and much more.
Data analysis can also play a significant role behind the scenes, especially when it comes to inventory management and distribution. This could be a win-win if this trend is designated as strategic, DataArt argues.
Facial recognition technology will be introduced to remember customers, track repeat customers and improve the customer experience. Billboards and digital signage will scan passers-by and provide a highly personalised commercial or food and drinks menu.
The biggest challenge to personalisation will be avoiding violation of privacy and pleasing customers by showing only the most relevant offers and not overloading them. Pushback over privacy concerns and overloading offers from brands on social media networks can already be observed. Those who can navigate the fine line between relevant and non-obtrusive offers for consumers will see the most success.
Automation and robotics
Investment in technology to create a frictionless experience for consumers across all channels is a priority or retailers risk disappearing into obscurity. In 2018, the omnichannel strategy significantly underperformed more often than not, DataArt believes. Those falling behind need to invest in the appropriate technology to catch up.
Changes to supply chain management strategies will be a requirement along with additional technology innovation. Companies will look to leverage robotics technology and automation of routines tasks to optimise costs while improving the customer experience overall.
For example, customer feedback will become one of the key points in enhancing the customer experience. Using the latest social media tools, self-service kiosks and other means of communication, retailers will focus on technologies that collect and respond to customer feedback faster and in a more efficient manner. These technologies will also make communication between the retailer and consumer more open and transparent which will improve consumer confidence.
The delivery battleground
Order commoditisation by companies like Deliveroo, Just Eat, and Delivery Hero are disrupting the delivery model. Therefore, more retailers will strive to optimise their strategies to keep up with consumer expectations.
Advanced delivery management technologies will replace expensive and sometimes disappointing third-party delivery services. The delivery designation will be based on customer location and en-route time of delivery. Grouped orders will ensure customers get their food and other products in a timely fashion. These new technologies will significantly reduce costs for retailers while simultaneously increasing customer loyalty.