Because of the development of technology and our entry into the information age, retailers now have to innovate and undergo changes to meet consumer expectations. The commerce and retail industries have shifted from traditional practices to heavily relying on technology to raise the bar and achieve their corporate goals. This change is evident today in the emergence of online shopping sites and digital marketing platforms, which have greatly affected the behaviour, habits and expectations of customers. Statistics show that the revenues of e-commerce shops are expected to grow 6.5 trillion US dollars in 2022.
We are undergoing a tremendous and rapid change in the way we shop, owing to the game-changing innovations we have today. There’s a technology of all kinds to serve different needs now, such as aids for the visually impaired, lasers and even cloning. Plus, retail stores are beginning to utilise tech in their operational and marketing needs. Shoppers prefer these advancements because of improved customer service, convenience and better avenues to help them make good and informed decisions when it comes to making purchases.
Improved Customer Service
With the emergence of online shopping sites and services, customer service has significantly improved. Not only has it become more convenient because we can buy something at the click of a button, but digital shopping has enabled customers and retailers to interact and communicate more effectively through social media and other communication channels.
Convenience and Time-Saving
Probably the number one reason why we, as consumers, are so attracted to innovations like online shopping and in-store technological advancements is because of convenience. The primary contribution of technology in the retail industry is that it makes our lives easier as it saves time and energy, compared to the traditional way of shopping.
Nowadays, we can choose products with one swipe, check out and make payments with a push of a button. Further contributing to the speed and convenience is the availability of different products in various portals and the flexibility of choosing modes of payment. Afterwards, all we have to do is wait and soon receive our package in a matter of days—sometimes even overnight or in a few hours. This entire shopping process can be done in the comfort of our homes, or anywhere we may be at any time.
With the emergence of technology, there is now an enhanced ability on the part of the consumer to make well-informed decisions on whether to make a purchase. Customers are running to the internet for ideas, product descriptions, and reviews.
All we have to do is look up the particular item we plan on purchasing and information is readily available at once. There are several articles and product reviews online by purchasers who have tried the product. These reviews can give valuable insight on whether or not the product works well, how they liked it, how their transaction with the seller went, and so on. People read and look into these reviews, which ultimately help them decide if they will buy or not.
According to statistics, 81% of customers now research products online before they make a purchase. People are becoming more careful about what they buy. And with the availability of relevant and valuable information online, consumers can make free, well-informed decisions.
Indeed, the development of technology and innovative ideas greatly changed the way we shop. The retail industry has seen a drastic change in the way they operate, owing to the influence of technology on the way consumers think, behave, and decide.