Connected Commerce is present and future of retail
Customers want uniform, informative purchasing and continuous service across all channels. In three answers, software provider ROQQIO explains how this works.
Mr. Wandscher, how has our purchasing behavior changed in recent years through the use of new technologies?
This starts with the inspiration for purchasing, which is increasingly being done online. Instagram or Pinterest arouse buying impulses with picture worlds and emotional stories, perfected for our smartphones. Researching products online, reading product reviews and getting online advice has become a standard part of our everyday life. This applies to the fashion sector as well as to electronics, for example. The fact is that we like to get an overview of prices and availability before we visit a local store. Whether the purchase is then made in a local store also depends on how well technology guides us from one retail world to the other.
What would the optimal customer journey look like for you?
As a customer, I would like to be informed online at an early stage where I can buy the required item in my local area. Manufacturers should also recommend the local retailers who currently offer the product I am looking for on their websites. The basic technological requirement is that brick and mortar retailers work with an inventory management system that displays article availability in real time. Only if real-time data is available I can also reserve my desired item online and have it stored. And I want to be prepared on my way to the store. Optimally, I can arrange a consultation online or, alternatively, book a quick pick-up directly in the store.
What can retailers do to improve their customers’ shopping experience effectively?
Retailers can create the conditions that enable customers to switch smoothly between their online and offline channels. As a software provider for fully integrated omni-channel commerce, we support retailers in this process. “Connected commerce” also means that the same prices and discounts apply online and offline. Everything, right down to the product information, should be uniform.
Digitization brings customers to the retailer directly. This contact should be used to attract them as well as to get them on the sales floor. There, the circle closes with the offer of a self-checkout, for example via a customer app, and digital advisory tools. This is the shopping experience that consumers are expecting now.
Interview: Natascha Mörs
EuroShop editorial team