We have been hearing about the impending disruption that many experts pointed out, will be transforming the way we all shop. While there is no disputing the disruption prediction, the only point of debate here is, whether that much awaited (and feared) disruption is already here or still some time away. By all counts, we are already disrupted and there is solid evidence of this.
The new retail world that we have been waiting for is already here. It is up to the shoppers and retailers to adapt to the changes by making use of the various digital tools and technologies that are already available in this new world.
Retail shopping experts are of the opinion that the traditional shops will soon be history. Some predict that they won’t completely disappear but the ones that survive the digital onslaught will be holding on only because of their pride and probably will be a symbol – the missing link in the retail variety of the ‘Darwinian’ theory for the future generations.
Digitization has swept through almost every retail niche including books, music, fashion, travel, and others. It is blowing like an incessant wind through all retail categories.Malls are shuttering down faster than predicted and ecommerce businesses are creating new records with every passing retail event. Click To Tweet
Statistics point out that the next generation is now moving sinuously with times. They do not think that there is a need for experiencing products in stores physically. Ordering online is the norm for them now. It is seen that virtual agents now have a constant presence in the lives of today’s shoppers, offering them customized assistance through their smartphones and other wearable digital devices.
Surviving retailers are fast embracing digital technology and looking for new ways to serve their customers. Physical stores that have not exactly gone online have come to terms with the fact that unless they adapt to the new ways of shopping, they are doomed. The smart ones are offering lively, immersive environments to their customers in a bid to blur the fine line between offline and online shopping. It is not uncommon to find retail shops using sensors and other electronics to capture data and analyze them in real time.
Digitization is also rewriting the core rules of competition in almost every retail function. The supply chain is now managed with an incredible degree of efficiency because of various high-tech automated elements. They are engineered to handle inventory, logistics, and fleet management systems. The last-mile gap is being rapidly reduced by introducing more technology such as the airborne, drone-launching delivery trucks.
Now coming to the other side of the fence – Retail Marketing. Here too, there has been a seismic change in the way online retailers market their brands. There is a convergence of technology and street smartness in today’s retail environment.Consumer experience is the driving force behind every marketing action and at the core of the consumer experience is content. Click To Tweet
While smartly designed websites, whitepapers, and other tools have proven to be excellent assets for marketers, they are now experimenting with other, newer forms of content that includes online videos and content that is user-generated.
What is working with established forms of marketing in the analogue world can also be used for digital strategies. Neuromarketing is a field that offers various psychological principals to generate the customer’s attention and increase sales. It gets more and more in focus for promotional strategies in conjunction with innovative digital technologies.
It appears that in the digital environment, the real retail winners will be those who make use of content in an innovative manner to influence the customer journey. Not surprisingly, content marketing is expected to be a $300 billion plus industry by 2019. More and more retailers are expected to use content as a powerful marketing medium that can influence buyers to explore brand content in an extended manner.Content is developed to drive traffic, achieve conversions, make a sale and earn revenue Click To Tweet
In the rapidly changing retail marketplace, content is no longer developed with the sole purpose of establishing an online presence or to boost search ranking. Now, content is created for a specific purpose. They are used to drive traffic, achieve conversions, make a sale and earn revenue. It is becoming imperative for brands to take a strategic approach to content. A large number of popular brands are now using content for establishing key performance indicators to continue their optimization strategies to ensure accountability.
It is nobody’s secret that profit margins are abysmally low in the retail industry. Companies are forced to explore all cost-saving avenues to ensure that they stay afloat in a highly competitive environment. Allocation of the content marketing budget is easily the most hated job in the industry now. Thankfully, content marketing is not as costly as other forms of digital marketing, making it one of the best marketing tools for retail brands and any budget level. You can easily reduce your investment in paid traffic strategies by using tactics such as blogging to create fresh attraction resources for your targeted audience.