The unexpected COVID19 wave has created havoc in the retail industry, leaving the retailers to bear the losses. From the regular shopping norms to the changing social distant environment, things have changed in the last year. The reality of the retail market has evolved leading to change in the whole digital landscape. According to the recent stats, retail sales dropped around 16% in the past year, which has further led to the closure of several businesses.
Customer shopping behavior has changed and this is here to stay. But, it’s not the consumers who are changing but the market scenarios that have changed post-pandemic. Several retail businesses across the globe have shifted to digital platforms. More than 48% of customers admitted that they are doing more online shopping ever since the pandemic has hit the world. The retail apps are the present and future of the world of the retail industry. And, it’s a hard time that we accept that COVID19 is not going anywhere soon. So, as a business owner, you need to be prepared as per the changing scenarios. Remember, user experience (UX) should be given the topmost priority. More are probably the most powerful for branding and reaching the target audience. If you want to make the most of the retail apps, then you should consider the benefits they can provide to the users.
Below are some of the things you should be looking into.
Unplugged Channel Of Communication
As humans, we crave great conversations, don’t we? So, they definitely like a brand that interacts on a personal level. Retail brands like - Zara, H&M are more perfect examples of these. Such brands rely on top technologies like - Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that help in offering seamless support sessions to the customers. The AI-powered chatbots help the users enjoy reliable and quick sessions. Not just that, the technology also helps in providing accurate suggestions, highlighting a personalized atmosphere, and exclusive access to the previews. It has also been predicted by Gartner that more than 80% of new enterprises will make substantial use of chatbots in the coming years.
In The Moment Experiences
People usually have several kinds of doubts when shopping online. Well, that’s for obvious reasons! So, try to provide them with a real-time experience, just like at the physical retail outlet. It is really important to make the customers feel special and cater to their needs both online and offline. Speaking of real experiences, technologies like - AR and VR shine bright to provide so. According to Statista, the spending on these technologies is expected to reach around $4.4 billion. Brands like - Sephora works in filling the gaps of physical outlets by providing users with a real-time experience using these technologies. Since COVID19 left people under lockdown restrictions, the Sephora app allowed them to try every product virtually and make better purchasing decisions. Similarly, Nykaa also provides the users a real-time experience through AR filters that allows the users to try the products and find the best-suited product, ultimately leading to an increase in the overall sales of the brand.
Fast And Contactless Payment Alternatives
Shopping from retail apps will continue to expand in the coming years as well. So, when considering the customer’s retail therapy needs, you need to provide them with a seamless online payment experience. If the payment systems feature secure integrations, then it automatically builds trust among the customers. Another thing you need to keep in mind is that ever since the advent of COVID19, nearly 25% of the customers look for contactless payment options. And, this trend is also not slowing down any time soon. It has been anticipated that in the coming years the contactless payments will increase up to 94%. A perfect example of this is Walmart, which is rightly capitalizing on this trend. This has helped the business not only with the speed up of checkout processes but also prevents the spread of coronavirus. This multinational retail corporation has incorporated touch-free payments that allow the shoppers to add money and pay directly using their Walmart shopping app. All the users simply need to scan the QR code and sync their payment details and make instant contactless purchases.
Supporting Omnichannel Experience
On a positive note, we can see that brick-and-mortar stores are reopening again, retailers need to keep looking for ways that can enhance the user experience. So, retail businesses need to interact with customers across multiple channels. A recent report stated that businesses need to invest in omnichannel experience from 20% to 80%. The customers are all set to try different levels of services from multiple channels and retailers need to brush up with ideas to provide them with the best. The main challenge for the retailers is to provide a consistent experience on both offline and online platforms. Now let’s talk about IKEA, the brand which is known to set some high standards when it comes to the UX of the app. So, whether you visit the outlet or you are shopping through the app, all you get is a seamless user experience. The company heavily invests in the omnichannel shopping experience and doesn’t fail to impress its customers. The apps are integrated in a way that users can easily create wish lists, check the stocks availability, shop directly from the devices, enjoy special offers, and more. It is definitely one app that should definitely be considered by the retailers who are planning to invest in retail apps.
Ever since COVID19 has started there has been a new wave of marketing trends. In the ough pandemic times, several retailers are looking for ways on how to take apps to greater heights. All it comes down to is the user experience through the apps. From grocery outlets to online food delivery, retail shopping, there is a lot that apps can do.
So, are you geared up to tackle the covid wave? If yes, then get in touch with our experts to build a retail app.