Emma Bolger, Brand Communications Manager, Choices Flooring
After years of market fore casts, there is no denying that Australian consumers have long lagged behind their European and US counter parts when it comes to embracing innovations with in technology, until now. As connected retail technology links consumers, devices and data for smarter shopping experiences, from the high street to online, in - store to mobile applications, it has never been more imminent for Australian retailers to adapt, change and evolve.
As consumers are now always connected, enabling them to research products and fulfill their needs is a challenge many retailers face, especially within Australia. In 2016 it is predicted that connected retail in Australia will influence 88 percent of retail sales.
"Successful retailers in connected retail will take advantage and integrate technological innovations that are only relevant to and intuitive for their customers"
Within three years, it has the potential to revolutionise most Australian industries and transform how retailers operate and how they connect with consumers.
However, it goes without saying that connected retail also has its challenges, which area amplified by the ever growing, fast-paced environment at which digital platforms and tools continue to evolve and the impact these evolutions on consumer behaviour.
When one direction may be right one month, as evolutions in both technology and consumer behaviour develops, that same direction may not be right in six months.
Flexibility and adaptability are both key to navigating a successful connected retail strategy, but at the end of the day, like all business decisions, it’s about continuously keeping the target market at the heart of all actions.
Introducing (or Re-Introducing) the Concept of ‘Me-Tailing’
As Walmart Founder, Sam Walton once famously said “There is only one boss ‘the customer’ and they can fire everybody from the Chairman down, simply by spending their money somewhere else!”
To adapt and evolve in this ever-changing connected retail landscape,it comes down to centring, integrating and aligning your strategy with your target market. This alignment brings forth the concept of‘me-tailing’, which positions consumers at the heart of the retail experience, of which products and interactions are personalised around their changing behaviours and needs.
As Australian retailers start to adopt a ‘me-tailing’ approach, joining many retailers across the globe in striving to deliver creative and personalised shopping experiences, it’s important that they don’t get caught up with the latest technological ‘fads’ or competitor innovations.
As such, successful retailers in connected retail will take advantage and integrate technological innovations that are only relevant to and intuitive for their customers.
Making shopping easier and more convenient, embracing the ‘me-tailing’ philosophy and continuously investing in developing a clear picture of how consumers use digital in their daily lives, will no doubt prove to provide a successful foundation for Australian retailers.