Chatbots, messaging apps and voice enabled devices will also start to become a key element of brand communication, according to a new report looking into the future of retail.
The Future of Retail CX (Customer Experience) from Mindshare Futures predicts that the store offering will become a real point of differentiation from competitors in an increasingly saturated retail market.
Other predictions include 2018 finally being the year that mobile will begin to act as a hub for the entire brand experience.
The Future of Retail CX five trends are:
1. Game of phones
The role of mobile will develop to act as the glue that binds together multiple brand touchpoints for the shopper.
65% of consumers will see themselves using mobiles more in the future to make the in-store experience better.
On the high street, the store offering will become a point of differentiation and staff will become more important than ever. This is in total contrast to other convenience-based store models, such as Amazon Go.
Over half (51%) of consumers agree they are more likely to buy from brands whose stores are interesting or different, rising to 63% for under 34s.
3. Brand almighty
Retail brands need to focus on a clearly defined proposition that makes them unique and emotionally connected to their shoppers. They will continue to use technology, store experiences and brand partnerships to achieve it.
60% of consumers say that retail brands will have to keep up with new technology in order to improve their customer experience (up from 53% in 2015).
4. Data reboot
With GDPR looming and the number of data sources ever increasing, 2018 will be the year that retailers rethink their approaches to using data and step up their efforts to personalise the customer experience.
65% of consumers say they are becoming more conscious of what brands do with their data and 68% say they are very selective about the brands they share their data with
5. Conversational commerce
The opportunity to interact with consumers is shifting dramatically as messaging apps, chatbots and voice enabled tech allow brands to have direct, automated conversations 24/7.
6 in 10 25-34s find it easier to chat to brands via text, online chat or messenger apps.
David Walsh, chief business officer from Mindshare UK, commented: “We believe that audiences are our number one client. By creating valuable experiences for them, greater business value will be driven for brands. This is never truer than in the continually adaptive and constantly changing world of retail. With the increase in technical innovations and connected devices, consumer expectations of their shopping experiences are higher than ever before. This research report aims to highlight some of these key trends as well as providing actionable insight that brands can implement.”
In response, Dean Withey CEO of AI-driven chatbot building company, at ubisend, said: “We now live in an age where convenience always wins out. Brands need to solve problems quickly and efficiently and that’s where chatbots prove their worth – they get the job done. What’s more, AI and messaging services allow brands to improve the consistency of the service they offer. For example, chatbots have the ability to answer questions 24/7, they will never lose their temper with a customer and provide the quick and efficient communication that people demand.”
“Being able to automate the answers to similar, simple questions is massively time efficient and has a significant impact on cost savings. It means the customer service team can provide a much better service for the same or a lower cost. They can then handle the queries that require additional support and this enables the brand to improve its customer relationship.”