The Future of Retail: Digital Transformation Trends to Watch in 2019

The retail industry is in the state of relentless competition to gain more customers, build customer loyalty and boost business visibility. In this day and age, customers want to experience immediate as well as a secure shopping experience that too 24/7.

Over the past decade, you will find a significant transformation in the retail industry, and it is budding quickly too. In 2018, USA has observed innovations in the retail industry due to the advancements in digital channels
The retailers have to find their feet in new shifts regarding demographics, consumer preferences and attitudes as the face of the market is quickly progressing.

In the market, there will be emerging technologies in 2019. These technologies will bring a shift in the preferences and the rise of the new battle lines for e-commerce. You will observe the change in the way the users interact with their favorite brands.

Are you eager to identify the trends of the forthcoming year that will have a lasting impact?

Let’s explore the same.

  • In stores, the brands will sell an experience –The brands will not only sell products but will focus on skills too. People do value experiences over material possessions. In our identity, the experiences are deep-rooted as we are the sum of it. The retailers put in customers into pleasant and unforgettable moments if they sell experiences that create emotional impact rather than just buying a product. The consumers will always remember these experiences as they make a compelling story and will be happy to share their experiences.
  • Have comfort with IoT –The customers have the relevant marketing messages through the Internet of Things that connects over 11 billion everyday products. It may include TVs, cars, home speakers. All these gadgets hold context about the customers’ product usage that retailers can collect via the internet. For example, the smart refrigerator can make out your need in case your milk is spoiled, or it’s finished. The message regarding best deals on milk in town will be displayed on your phone or its screen. Since 2014, Macy has made use of Internet of Things to save money of the customers. The people get alerts about the discounts on their smartphones through Bluetooth devices. It is based on the nearness to one of their stores and involving the app. Your shopping will get more comfortable, cheaper and more convenient with the Internet of Things. In 2019, the technology can move beyond hype and can enter reality. Gartner envisages that in 2020 the consumers will possess over twice as many smart devices as they enjoy today.
  • E-commerce as the famous shopping medium –Everywhere e-commerce is getting a popular shopping medium. In today’s world, the major brands hold their online presence. They all offer comparable prices. In this concern, the stores like Amazon and Walmart have become homogeneous. To deliver value to the consumers, the retailers are in search to differentiate themselves, so they have proceeded with other avenues. In 2012, the number of time people waited for free shipping was 5.5 days that has fallen to 4.5 days on an average as per the recent study. The two-day shipping has become the standard for Amazon Prime. As a result, it has become vital for any e-commerce to cut down the shipping time that will allow them to remain afloat.In 2019, this trend will remain continued so that brands can evaluate new means to distinguish themselves from a progressively drenched crowd.
  • Brands equating the internal culture with the exterior identity –Many consumers shop with their emotions in place of their wallets. Regarding corporate responsibility and social consciousness the millennia’s’ are changing preferences and attitudes. As a consequence, the trends have provided brands that equate the internal culture with the exterior identity. Outside the traditional shopping parameters, the companies are increasingly involving the consumers and moving towards cultural figures. The companies will ponder the image that their brand delivers to the world which in turn help to create cultures that meet the changing values of the consumers.
  • Robotics are held together for growth –Robotics is gaining popularity in retail. In the warehouses, Amazon was the first to use robots. Now there are near about 100,000 in use. In the United States, the Ocado has become the poster child for robotics. It happened after designing the highly automated warehouses and trading the technology to other grocery chains together with Kroger. Automated robots find their presence in Ocado facilities. It takes crates of products to the stations where robots or humans bring together the orders for shipping. In retail stores, the customers facing the robots continue to be a rarity, but their use as the tools for inventory management will help in gaining a strong position. Robots show its significance in the fast-food restaurants where they are involved in food production. Both Creator on the West Coast and Spyce on the East Coast are making use of robotics for food production to assure the proficiency and consistent quality in the food.
  • The craze of artificial intelligence –The intelligence-enabled systems deliver the customer-centric insights. Due to it, the retailers can tackle the inventory sufferings and can have data to support the ideal estimating approaches. In 2019, the new startups dealing systems will engage data from weather, promotions of the competitors, econometrics and the predictions of the future buying patterns. Jason Goldberg believes that in 2019 the machine learning will become more realized. The AI serves as the whole suite of the tactics that are used to create better customer experience and save time too.” Investments in AI and machine learning can result in increased revenue and better customer experiences, but the solutions adopted need to be based in each retailer” specific strengths, weakness and customer objectives.” – By Byran Gildenberg, the chief knowledge officer at Kantar Consulting
  • Small -format stores will emerge –The small-format stores will come to light. Because of the consumer behavior, there is a move towards the smaller shops. The retailers will be able to bring about the orders quickly and efficiently due to the advancements in the supply chain.” Retail giants will continue to open stores with smaller footprints or rotate fun pop-up shops on their sales floors to keep them current and interesting.”By retail experts Rich Kizer and Georganne BenderThe small formats that carry curated products or offer services will be more productive for the retail stores.
  • Small -format stores will emerge –In the coming year, the emerging payment options like mobile payments or “buy now, pay later” facilities will gain more popularity. The sales and growth will be enhanced by embracing the faster and more flexible payment options. The fast-growing companies will probably accept the mobile payments as compare to slow-growth ones, as per the research. The businesses that agree to customers to pay in installments when there is the scenario of “buy now, pay later” then there is an increase in basket values.According to Billy Parry, Head of Sales- SMB at Afterpay believes that
    “Giving your customers the option to pay for their purchase over time means they can buy more of what they want while being able to budget.”
  • Importance of Mobile Messaging –It is assumed that from 2.01 billion in 2018 to 2.18 billion in 2019 and up to 2.48 billion in 2021 there will be an increase in mobile phone messaging app users.The retailers can reach their customers through instant messaging and texting. To send product updates and to answer the customer’s questions, the Facebook Messenger is the useful instant messaging app.To touch base with shoppers, the retailers can make use of SMS. For example, at a number of Chanel boutiques, the clients get order updates from the personal text of the associates. In this way, the clients enjoy the personal and one-to-one experience from the associate’s direct line.
  • Involvement of Augmented Reality –The customers can engage with the brands of the retailers in an effortless way due to the augmented reality. For their dwelling place, they can pick up the right furniture. The retailers like IKEA and Wayfair have picked up the augmented reality apps. It concedes retailers to place fully rendered 3D models of their furniture in the buyer’s home. The technology of augmented reality in real estate will not only be a boon for the users to enjoy the interior designing of their house, but they can even save the particular room design for future reference.

Wrapping up

The upcoming trends of the retail industry in 2019 will grow the retail businesses. If the retailers adapt to the needs of the customers aptly, then undoubtedly the future of the retailers is bright.

The retail industry will undergo rapid change in the upcoming years due to the involvement of the technology. The predictions made in this piece of writing will give immense ideas to the retailers and buyers too.

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