Retail, a concept that has existed for thousands of years, encompasses all BtoC sales ranging from food, clothing, technology, etc.
However, with the emergence of digital shopping, the concept has evolved.
In order to adapt to the consumers’ behaviour, and in alignment with technological evolutions, now 55% of the latter aim at digital channels.
In this article, we will go through the evolution of the different digital tools and means used in the experience of combining both the physical and digital worlds together.
What are the different digital tools used in retail
With the incorporation of the IA in the whole purchasing process, retail has developed client-only stores. With the use of digital terminals and automatic payment systems, companies like Carrefour and Monoprix had given clients a better way to gain a lot of time.
Moreover, robotics has also played an important role, with camera equipment and capters that are able to scan millions of products in warehouses to count possible stock ruptures, inadequate price tickets or even wrong product placement in the store. A technology that has not yet been seen in France, but is already being used by the Americans.
Advertising investments through social shopping play an important role as well in building relationships with influencers to increase brand awareness and visibility.
As an example, some companies associated with Twitter, animated many live streams across social media in order to attract new potential clients.
We can also see the emergence of cashless stores, with Carrefour being the first to launch this concept in 2021 thanks to the adoption of SCO “Self-Check Out” or automatic checkout which allows, according to him, to “do your shopping in 10 seconds”.
Or the dematerialization of the receipt, which now will automatically be sent by mail after the purchase simply through our loyalty card
And, with the help of a mobile application, Ikea has developed a way to virtually create our desired spaces with their products.
On another hand, Casino has recently launched a crypto-currency coin to facilitate investors into joining their loyalty program
Furthermore, the metaverse will dramatically impact the retail world, by providing virtual shops where customers will be able to interact with different brands on different levels of the user experience.
This new digitalised way of shopping experience guarantees a unique customer experience, and allows e-commerce and mass-market retailers to monetize their audience, and boost their sales.
Consequences of the emergence of digital development
All those technologies have led to wider data collection and; therefore, a better analysation of customers’ needs and preferences.
While customers are able to interact with the omnichannel stores for daily purchases, shopping now can be done easily, at home, while using a screen, with home delivery or even in-store by self-scanning for example.
The implementation of efficient online stores, the marked presence on social media, wider communication with customers and a better way to collect and analyse customer data.
These new points of sale make life easier for the consumer. They eliminate time constraints and queues at the checkout. They also reward customer loyalty by giving them privileged access.
This improvement in service quality is at the heart of the digitization of retail. Providing the customer with the product they want, when they want it, in the easiest and fastest way possible.
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