Developments in technology are making retail a complicated business to be in – no longer can you stock your shelves and wait for people to come in. With the internet, social media and now smartphones, the way we shop has changed dramatically.
Today, modern retailers have to sell goods online and via mobile apps, running efficient e-commerce operations as well as physical stores, being prepared to deal with any backlash online if and when things don’t go to plan.
The customer journey has changed too. Before, you might just head to the most convenient place to buy your goods, and you might have even trailed around a few shops to look at different prices. Now, however, the typical consumer journey involves looking online to find out which make or model might be best through online reviews and forums, and finding out where you can get it cheapest, before you even look in a physical shop – which you might never do.
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Because of this, consumers are more demanding, and brands are trying to find more and more ways to satisfy them.
However, as a brand, technology can be challenging, daunting and rewarding. One of the hardest challenges is that consumers want websites to be as fast and as efficient as possible. Consumers are very impatient and will quickly become frustrated with slow load times or confusing navigation, and this will put them off returning to your site.
Another issue is that with so many touch points, including websites, mobile sites and apps, social media and in store, the brand can become inconsistent. Ensure that you understand your brand values, and that they filter through the entire organisation via training and internal communications.
If you’re struggling to see how you can implement an app in your industry, then take a look at the ones in both lower end and higher end spending. For example, the ASOS app enables you to buy by adding a credit card via the phone’s camera, and then gives you access to a range of different brands, collections and categories of clothes all on one app. On the other end of the scale, the BullionVault app allows people to trade in gold and silver from their mobile phones. Available 24 hours a day, buying and selling is limitless on this app.
Perfect for building brand loyalty, consumers know that if they use your app, they can get their goods, or trade commodities, quickly and with ease.