Omnichannel, intelligent shopping, engagement and activism – new trends in retail market digitalization

  • For 70% of Millennials (18-37 years old) it is important that the store offers virtual reality or digital visualization services;
  • 57% of Millennials have expressed an interest in buying food directly through a smart refrigerator that will alert them when groceries are running out;
  • For about half of consumers, it is important that retailers and brands personalize emails and other marketing information based on their previous choices and purchases;
  • 81% of consumers surveyed considered it important that retailers and brands engage in social responsibility initiatives.
TotalSoft, one of the most important providers of enterprise software solutions in Central and South-Eastern Europe, together with Architected Business Solutions (ABS), part of Logo Group and member of Ebeltoft Group, present the main trends in retail market digitalization. Thereby, according to the international study "Global Consumer Report, 2019" *, trends that are noted in this segment are omni-channel, intelligent shopping, engagement and activism.
Today, consumers do not distinguish between shopping in store, online or on their smartphone. For this reason, the channel is no longer relevant to the retail industry and has thus been replaced by the notion of omni-channel. The omni-channel strategy provides consumers a unitary experience with the brand, on all channels preferred by him, in all points of sale.
For example, the sales process can be accelerated through an IT infrastructure that encompasses digital devices with touchscreen interfaces, electronic labels or scales seamlessly integrated with software solutions used in warehouses and physical or online stores. To benefit from these technologies, retailers are using optimized software solutions, such as Charisma Retail.
In order to meet the brands' needs, TotalSoft is constantly investing in developing its retail applications and helping companies in this industry align with global trends, respectively, to include end-consumers' vision of the purchasing process. Charisma Retail solutions increase the efficiency of all the processes involved: sales, marketing, procurement, logistics, customer relations, financial management, human resources, manufacturing, etc., for which digital transformation improves the performance of the teams every day”, said  Gorkem Tursucu, CEO TotalSoft.
According to the mentioned study:
  • For 68% of consumers it is important that online stores offer the possibility to pick up orders from the physical store or from another convenient location;
  • For 70% of Millennials (18-37 years old) it is important that stores offer virtual reality or digital visualization services.
Intelligent Shopping
The consumer wants the retailer to provide an easy, fast and convenient purchasing process, along with a pleasant experience. Therefore:
  • 72% of Millennials ask for a time-saving experience from the stores they visit;
  • More than half of consumers are interested in self check-out services in stores;
  • 31% of consumers seem interested in shopping with the help of a voice-controlled device (43% of Millennials).
As recent years have been marked by the revolution of subscription services (food, clothing, and health&beauty), retailers are increasingly turning to this method in order to form loyal customers. The mentioned study shows that 40% of consumers have purchased a subscription in the last 12 months.
In this regard, dedicated software solutions, such as Charisma Retail, allow companies to offer a fast and personalized experience to their customers, with the possibility of giving them quick answers regarding the availability of the products and the location where they are stored. Moreover, the management of sales documents and financial instruments that appear in the direct relationship between the store and the end consumer (invoices, offers of packages and promotional products, bonus points cards, promotions, discounts, and others) is done very quickly and contributes to customer loyalty.
One factor that significantly influences the degree of customer loyalty is to provide relevant products and content. Thus:
  • For about half of consumers it is important that retailers and brands personalize  emails and other marketing information based on their previous choices and purchases;
  • More than half of consumers and over 2 thirds of Millennials have expressed interest in customizing the products they buy (color, design);
  • Two-thirds of Millennials indicated that they are interested in events and activities organized by retailers in stores for them.
In this case, also, the software solutions dedicated to the retail industry allow retailers to analyze large volumes of data so they can suggest new products and offers to consumers, taking into account the purchase history and their preferences. Also, the software solutions can help retailers foresee sales, necessary stocks, but also hidden scenarios or problems, having the possibility to automate the supply process and the rapid inventory.
A very clear picture of the situation of sales by products, regions or any other criterion, doubled by "what-if" analyzes and reports on stocks rotation and the evolution of performance indicators for stores or sellers, again brings an extra of value to retailers and allows the sales process to be customized to best meet customer requirements.
In the last few years, there has been an incredible increase in consumer consciousness and sustainable consumption has become a major theme that influences consumer attitudes and behavior. In this case, the report shows that:
  • 81% of consumers surveyed considered it important for retailers and brands to engage in social responsibility initiatives;
  • 84% consider that sustainability is important and retailers should offer recycling and reuse services in stores;
  • 40% of the interviewees chose, in the last 12 months, to buy a certain brand due to the effort that that company has put in sustainability actions.
Thus, a software solution allows for the improvement of efficiency and reduction of waste in the retail process (save paper, energy and other natural resources), helping to achieve the objectives of economic and environmental sustainability.
Architected Business Solutions (ABS) is a member of the retail consultancy global alliance that includes 19 retail consultancy companies working closely with clients from around the world, to transform their businesses and develop innovative and strategic retail solutions to help face complex challenges today and explore tomorrow's opportunities. With more than 25 years of experience and a vast global network of retail consultancies, Ebeltoft Group conducts annual global research and trend studies in retail.