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8 Retail Innovations Reshaping Your Shopping Experience

SmarterCX Team
August 19, 2020

3 minute read

From shoppable Instagram posts to personalized discounts based on past purchases, it’s no doubt that the shopping experience is constantly evolving. According to PwC, when customers have a great experience, they’re willing to pay up to a 16% price premium. What recent retail innovations have you seen that allow for a great shopping experience?

We asked CX professionals that question, and they let us in on the most notable retail innovations they’ve recently experienced. Here’s what we discovered.

Retail Innovation #1: IoT enhancements

“The very obvious innovation that I’ve seen is the use of IoT. Some retailers have added automated checkout counters, robot employees, and smart shelves which all help customers shop more efficiently. Automated counters usually mean a shorter queue, robot employees save time for human employees, and a smart shelf helps with automated inventory and on-time product refills.”

Retail Innovation #2: Video review functionality

“One retail innovation I’ve seen is the ability of some review platforms to add videos to their reviews. This is a newer review feature that allows for even more visibility into how well something has worked for a reviewer and for others to see exactly what products look like or what results were achieved. Video review functionality is a great online retail innovation, and I expect to see a lot more of it.”

Retail Innovation #3: Using AI to reduce returns

“A great innovation is when AI-powered virtual agents take cues from a shopper’s behavior to anticipate when a person is not 100% sure of a decision. For instance, if a person has clicked on the size guide a few times, the company could presume that the buyer is curious about which size to purchase. A virtual agent would preemptively reach out offering advice to help the shopper make the right decision. Retailers can leverage AI to recoup lost profits, prevent returns, and keep customer satisfaction high.”

  • Dylan Max, Head of Growth Marketing, Netomi

Retail Innovation #4: AI-powered chatbots

“AI-powered chatbots are bringing even more innovation to retail. These chatbots automate the customer service experience and allow brands to create more personalized and seamless interactions with their customers. Chatbots empower customers to take action on their own terms and in their preferred support channels, without the need for a live agent. With the
added layer of personalization that AI provides retailers, customers’ needs are anticipated and their goals can be accomplished in a quicker fashion.”

  • Ruth Zive, Head of Marketing, Ada

Retail Innovation #5: Ecommerce improvements

“I’ve seen a lot of brands innovating their ecommerce functionality so it’s simpler
and as friction-free as possible. This helps encourage more online ordering rather than relying on brick-and-mortar locations with more overhead. Ecommerce has become a necessity now more than ever. More brands are simplifying online ordering, providing more payment options, and offering simple shipping options to improve the shopping experience.”

Retail Innovation #6: Expansion in automation

“Automation is expanding into all facets of retail. According to a recent article interview published on Thrive Global, almost 26% of retailers are currently providing some level of robotic assistance with 29% looking to incorporate the technology within the near future. Workforce analytics and assistance are increasingly necessary to more efficiently run a retail store as the collected data can provide real-time recommendations to store managers, help check inventory, find pricing errors, and even identify misplaced items resulting in a better customer experience.”

Retail Innovation #7: Multi-channel shopping options

I love seeing new apps developed by my favorite brands that allow me to make purchases directly from their apps. I’ve also seen great innovations with brands offering the ability to purchase straight from their Instagram accounts. These newer shopping options provide a convenient, seamless experience and further my brand loyalty.”

Retail Innovation #8: Loyalty programs

I’ve observed a boost in the promotion and technology of loyalty programs among many retailers as a new trend to retain customers and to foster long term relationships. It’s nice to see loyalty programs making digital improvements with personalized discounts and promos to loyal customers to advance the user experience.”

Don’t stop there! See more articles like this:

SmarterCX Team
The SmarterCX team is comprised of subject matter experts, writers, artists, designers, and CX professionals who are dedicated to building a smarter customer experience.
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