It’s a fabulous place, this online retail marketplace. You can be anyone, wishing for anything and the chances are you’ll find it – and other variations of it – and reviews too – oh and recommendations on other things that might go well with it. Over here it’s all about you and your virtual shopping cart and whatever you put in or take out of it – is your prerogative. Your prerogative is determined unconditionally by your time, your convenience and your Internet connection.
But with more people now turning their backs on brick and mortar stores for online retail shopping (every three in four Britons), it is influencing this prerogative that is costing marketers billions of pounds in technology designed to manoeuvre their way into consumer mindsets.
Behavioural, targeted and contextual advertising using technology to track and understand user patterns online have and will continue to play an important role in identifying and pursuing potential customers – but it is doesn’t stop there. It is by setting up data centres, R&D divisions and specialised team units that successful retailers are able to provide real solutions in the real-time environment their customers now operate in.
Your wallet mistakenly went deep sea diving with you? Look out for a drone bringing you the essentials in 30 minutes or less; because that’s how the E-commerce behemoth, Amazon, with its Prime Air system plans to deliver packages in the very near future.
Or, left your smartphone or heck even smart watch at home? Google is working on creating an ecosystem of apps and services that lets users interact with their gadgets with a swipe or tap of their clothes.
Interestingly, it’s not just IT companies that are exploring the science of retail. Fashion, food and furniture brands too are investing in tools that help marry their online and offline brand presence to create a 360 degree customer experience. From click and collect options moving into the more advanced settings using Beacon’s Technology, retailers are banking on innovation to woo, win and maintain customer loyalty.
So you, dear consumer, can be anyone, wishing for anything and the chances are you’ll find it – just know that you are not in it alone.
Blog Contributor: Priyanka Dayal
Priyanka is a journalist with experience in some of the world’s best newsrooms including The Wall Street Journal, Hindustan Times, Haymarket Group’s PR Week and Campaign magazines, Longitude Research, amongst others.