As customers become technologically savvy and start expecting more from brands and retailers, these need to step up in order to meet their needs. This involves embracing shifting consumer trends and keeping up with the latest tech. Whether in-store, online or omnichannel, visual shopping can help retailers make shopping experiences smooth, personal and engaging.
Our new whitepaper ‘Visual Shopping Solutions for Retailers’ goes through the main challenges the retail industry is facing in 2017, providing solutions that employ Image Recognition and Fashion-specific Artificial Intelligence.
Fighting in-store sales loss
As eCommerce keeps rising, brick-and-mortars are facing problems such as declining footfall, shopper trends like showrooming, and storage issues due to the limitations of space that result in out-of-stocks and, consequently, sales losses.
An Econsultancy survey revealed that consumers are turning to online stores to complete their purchases because:
- They find cheaper prices at online retailers (69%)
- They have developed a preference for online shopping (27%)
- The product they wanted to purchase is out-of-stock in-store (21%)
Retailers have to reconsider store valuations as their role changes from providers of products and services, to providers of experiences and interactions. Thus, they are finding new ways to survive by integrating new technologies and offering experiences that are exclusive to stores.
The tricky rise of eCommerce
Not embracing digital commerce can be critical to any business. In the US, 51% of consumers prefer to shop online than offline, as they are increasingly seeing the benefits of browsing, comparing and buying on the internet. And as this number continues to grow, brick-and-mortars without online presences will eventually disappear.
However, 90% of all retail revenue in 2016 was attributed to physical stores. Plus, a shopping cart abandonment rate of almost 70%, shows that efficiency level of the e-commerce experience is still far from being perfect.
There are two things retailers should consider, which are further addressed in our whitepaper, that can be the decisive to online success:
- 48% of shopping cart abandonment happens because consumers want to see and ‘feel’ the product before purchasing.
- Customers will not wait more than 5 minutes before abandoning a purchase if they do not find the item or information they are looking for.
Challenges of going ‘omnichannel’
According to a Boston Retail Partners benchmark survey, 78% of retailers agree that a unified commerce platform is the answer to modern retail. Digital and physical touchpoints must be converged in order to meet the growing demand for customized, seamless, cross-channel experiences.
It does not come as a surprise that mobile is the point of connection from offline to online. 83% of consumers use their phone to help them shop, which means that lacking a mobile strategy can be a source of sales losses.
Connecting offline and online platforms can be challenging, and so can be monetizing the impact of offline assets. However, they are crucial steps, since shoppers are less likely to complete all the stages of the path to purchase through a single channel. Scan-to-shop experiences can be an easy solution to connect offline to online, unlocking plenty of features to create engaging and successful consumer experiences.