The last two years have changed the retail and eCommerce industry forever. Retail and eCommerce platforms are trying to react to meet the new demands of the market. Customers have always shopped locally in stores, but many more are turning to online shopping out of convenience and personal preference. Businesses that are able to keep up with the latest trends will find themselves ahead of the competition – climbing towards eCommerce success. Let’s explore how retail and eCommerce will continue to change in the coming year and how businesses can keep up!
Integrating AR With Online Shopping
The advancement of augmented reality in online shopping is changing the eCommerce landscape as we know it. It’s not uncommon anymore to see people using their phones in stores to compare prices or find product information.
Augmented reality allows customers to try on clothes without having to visit a store or allow people to put furniture into their homes without buying a piece. It gives the customer the in-person experience they desire while still being able to shop from the comfort of their homes.
This technology is still in its early stages, but we will see a continued increase in the use of AR in online shopping as 2022 progresses.
Syncing Point-of-Sale and eCommerce
The pandemic caused hundreds of brick and mortar stores to turn to eCommerce in order to stay afloat. This created a challenge for many businesses that were not prepared to make the switch.
Aside from the unforeseen global pandemic, challenges due to efficiency, success rates and time spent on repetitive data entry—we will see more businesses investing in syncing their point-of-sale systems with their eCommerce platforms now that retail has opened back up. Leveraging technology to sync inventory, orders and catalog information frees up time and allows owners to focus on running their business operations more efficiently. Not only will syncing POS and eCommerce enable businesses to manage both their online and offline sales from one central system, it also permits businesses to track customer behavior across both platforms to make better business decisions.
This is a necessary investment for any business that wants to stay competitive in the coming year. Luckily, there are products out there like SKU IQ with a low entry point for the price to help make the process as simple as possible.
More Options for Personalization
The increase in online stores in the past two years has led to an increase in the amount of competition in all markets. As more businesses compete for the same number of shoppers, personalization becomes a pivotal marketing investment.
Think about your own target market. What resonates with your customers? Is there a way that you could better relate to their niches, hobbies and lifestyles? Personalization and building your brand around common interests can help to set your business apart from your competitor down the street or next in line on the Google search.
Soon we will see more businesses invest in personalization options for their retail and eCommerce platforms and products. This may include anything from customizing the look of a product to offering monogramming services. Personalization allows businesses to set themselves apart from their competitors and create a unique customer experience.
Social Media Offers New Opportunities
In the past, social media didn’t offer much for eCommerce except more visitors to online stores. Nowadays, companies are able to sell directly on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and even TikTok. As trends take off in 2022, we will see more businesses take advantage of this opportunity. Social media offers a unique way to reach potential customers and create a connection with them by telling the brand story.
It’s a more streamlined way to sell your products using the social media eCommerce model. Customer service is also available using social media direct messaging or commenting publicly. Using a platform like Facebook and Instagram to sell products can help businesses reach a wider audience and create more sales.
Retail Turns Experiential
The big move to eCommerce for many companies has caused spaces in retail to decrease in price. The lack of demand has forced property owners to lower the cost of rent for retail stores.
In coming years, it’s predicted that we will see more businesses take advantage of this by turning their retail stores into experiential spaces. These changes may include anything from adding in-store events to offering classes and workshops. The goal is to create a space where people can come to learn, interact, and be entertained by the brand. Digital brands that have been successful due to increased online shopping will have the resources to extend their brand into the retail space.
Staff Retention Key to Customer Retention
One of the major problems plaguing the retail industry is employee turnover rate. As retail businesses struggle to retain a consistent employee staff, customer satisfaction continues to decline.
The key to customer retention is a happy and knowledgeable employee staff but The Great Resignation has caused many individuals to focus on lifestyle over loyalty. We will see more businesses invest in their employee staff by offering competitive wages and benefits to better retain employees. There will also be an emphasis on training employees to ensure they are knowledgeable about the products and services offered by the business.
Jump on the Trend and Join Forces with SKU IQ
eCommerce will continue going through significant changes and it is pivotal for businesses to stay on top of the ever-changing trends and landscape of retail. With better data, you can make better business decisions.
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SKU IQ has helped thousands of small to medium businesses like yours get ahead and sync inventory and reporting between their Point-of-Sale and eCommerce platforms. Give it a test drive risk free. It all starts with your free trial!