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Retail is all about consumers. Consequently, the trends that effect consumers will affect the retail business. Customers never had such high expectations in shopping as like they do have now. Whether it is the search for a product on the web, exploring a mobile app, seeking assistance via social media or shopping in a retail store, customers now demand a consistent and seamless experience across multiple channels. As technology advances, there’s no clue on how people would shop for goods and services in future and what devices would be employed for this.

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Technology innovations such as cloud, mobile, social, big data are disrupting consumer behavior and changing how we work and communicate with each other. These innovations and disruptions are also changing the way how business sells – especially when consumers are always-on and socially connected.

To cope with the trend retailers need a clear future strategy that will allow them to remain flexible enough to address the changing business needs both in technology and consumer behavior. An effective omni-channel strategy combined with the right back-end information system can make business better for sure. The key elements to this are:

  • Multi-dimensional analysis on sales trends
  • Leveraging actionable customer centric data
  • Driving customer engagement, and
  • Ensuring a real-time response to customer needs

From there, retailers can boost brand awareness, enhance customer experience and drive sales for a long-term success.

Retailers today need to be quick and must stay ahead of the curve in creating an integrated customer experience while delivering a consistent brand message across multiple channels because consumers expect the same level of service whether they are speaking with a sales associate in-store, browsing an e-Commerce site or swiping their credit card through a mobile POS device.

Even the best data requires fast action for a successful omni-channel deployment. Creating an integrated experience across multiple channels require the right set of data. By analyzing the consumer data such as buying behavior and preferred method of payment, retailers can gain a 360-degree view of their customers – a critical component in any omni-channel deployment. However, more data does not necessarily mean better insights. The goal for retailers is to gather and act quickly on data to make a significant impact on customer service.

The retail industry is in a continuous overhaul to get itself in terms with the ever changing consumer behavior and technology. To address this challenge, a robust information system that’s flexible enough to handle the demands of the future is required.

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Email me at chris.varghese@applexus.com

-Chris.

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