We’re already burning through the new year. Keeping last year’s investing in retail technology post, I’d like to offer a monthly report that observes how these trends rise and decline as the year goes on. A Year in Trendservation, if you will. This month, there has been some footwork regarding physical stores and BOPIS, AR/VR applications in retail, and automated shopping bots.
Order management and BOPIS
According to a recent study, over 85% of shoppers want to be able to return to a physical store rather than through an online interface. This is driven by the fact that over 75% of customers simply want a smooth process for returning items, and that solution often tends to be taking it back to the store these days.
Although it’s objectively not a lot of work, customers get discouraged by having to repackage and resend their unwanted products back to the stores themselves. This suggests that investing more in Buy Online, Pick-up In-Store (BOPIS) solutions is still a great e-commerce move in 2019. Not only is this trending to be the preferred method of return for customers, but it’s also giving them the fluidity to return, regardless of their preference.
In general, BOPIS continues to revolutionize the way customers engage with their favorite retail channels. If you’re interested in implementing a BOPIS solution into your retail process, here’s a helpful guide on what steps to take next. You should also remember that OrderDynamics is a great order management solution that has fantastic BOPIS capabilities.
AR and VR for new store experiences
In terms of AR/VR news, Amazon has made some impressive developments on the front. Similar to Target’s Christmas Tree viewer, they’ve released a new showroom feature that allows customers to view the furniture they want beforehand. This feature also allows the customers to see how the furniture will look in a variety of different room designs, colors, etc. You can also see how the product you want matches with other pieces of furniture. And if you’re really into it, you can add the whole room to cart.
Similarly, when it comes to AR, something big is in the works at Walmart. Further developing it’s furnishing site Hayneedle, they will soon release a feature that allows you to take a picture of a given piece of furniture, and then the store will recommend and item in stock that closely fits the appearance of that piece.
It will be interesting to see how this will affect Walmart’s sales and particular its average order value through Hayneedle. Since customers are given the ability to find comparable products of anything they see on the street, it’s quite likely they’ll buy more than one piece.
This month there aren’t many staggering numbers to report regarding this technology development. However, we will continue to follow this trend in the following months. Bottom line, you can’t ignore the fact that huge companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Target all seem to be investing heavily in the careful development of these features.
Bots for seamless 24/7 shopping
Unsurprisingly, personal assistant devices continue to rise. Just recently, Piktorlabs announced its launch of VERA, a new digital assistant that focuses specifically on shopping. VERA pulls from several different shopping experiences – from e-commerce to in-store to mobile – and creates a non-stop shopping experience from home, just for you.
The assistant uses personalized shopping algorithms so that it can continue to learn about your shopping preferences, habits, and necessities. For example, over time, VERA will be able to figure out what kind of garments you usually purchase, and recommend you new outfits based on these styles. This applies to things like furniture and decor too and can help create a truly personalized shopping experience throughout your home life.
Last but not least, it will also be able to check store availability and order online for you. News like this makes me believe we’re getting closer to the Smart Home revolution every day. Above all, it’s another testament to how important it is to enable your customers with personalization in their shopping experiences.
Follow this year’s Trendservation with Luminos Labs
Is your business gearing up for a big shift in e-commerce strategy? Looking to stay on top of e-commerce industry trends to find out how to improve your future strategy? Luminos Labs is here to help. Our team of experts works 24/7 to provide you with the smoothest implementation and most reliable maintenance when it comes to your e-commerce platform and experience.
We’re always interested in doing the best for our clients, and we’ve helped many achieve increases in AOV, some by as much as 22%! If you’re looking for help with e-commerce implementation, Azure cloud services, or general digital strategy, please don’t hesitate to reach out.