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As physical restrictions due to the pandemic brought significant changes in shopping behaviours, travel retailers ought to follow new trends to improve business and customer satisfaction
FREMONT, CA: Lockdown restrictions due to the pandemic caused a huge rise in e-commerce, leading to a permanent behavioural change for a considerable number of new online shoppers. This indicates that physical retailers have to be more creative and innovative to attract and retain customers.
A recent survey finds that the pandemic has drastically accelerated the digital transition by about five years. This radical growth in e-commerce is likely to continue to drive new purchasing behaviour like home delivery, as shoppers avoid crowded stores. Fast delivery has become an increasing demand in current days, regardless of the significant increase in expenses. Although this concept poses logistical challenges for many retailers, it also provides crucial opportunities to fulfil augmented customer demands. Similarly, the ongoing trends and issues will have the most impact on consumers’ behaviour in the future.
Click and Collect
The click-and-collect system has observed a wider growth in recent months as more buyers find it an important function among delivery options. This new trend is having an impact on the travel retail sector where curbside pickup would be comparable to out-of-store collection points between security and the boarding gate or even delivery to a seat on board an aircraft.
Given that airlines have direct access to passenger data, including non-declarative but extremely valuable information like a class of travel, frequency, or family travel, the greater emphasis on digital should even bring the in-flight retail offering on par with airport retailers. Data from this source can be highly beneficial if utilised and managed appropriately.
While browsing the e-store online or in pre and post-shopping marketing communications, customers are highly responsive and demand greater personalisation in the way retailers address them. Travel retailers are required to embrace their e-commerce services to match the established and proven techniques of the e-commerce giants and ensure that they provide similar levels of offerings.
There is an emerging trend of contactless delivery and stores that will become standard in the future. This enables operators to display their samples in the store, which can be ordered through a mobile device or directly from workers, and the packaged product is highly secured as it is intact by other buyers and delivered to the customer at the store exit.
Visual search is gaining more popularity in recent times as it enables shoppers to find and buy any product just by snapping a picture. This is carried out with the help of AI technology, and the camera helps customers via various apps to search for visually similar items. Therefore, snap it, search it and buy it technology is extremely beneficial to purchasing new products as well as reordering them, making it an important customer loyalty application.
QR codes are extensively used to provide product information, enabling buyers to learn more about a product without communicating with sales staff. It also allows retailers to connect with customers in new, highly interactive and personalised methods.QR codes can be used to tell a story, take a virtual tour, provide information about a product, or convey specific messages to a wide range of audiences.
Augmented Reality (AR)
AR in retail is likely to become an inevitable part of the shopping experience where retailers are leveraging AR technology to reduce the gap between digital and physical shopping. This technology will enhance the customer experience by facilitating customers to virtually try products in 3D settings. Due to the pandemic, shoppers preferred avoiding crowded stores, and travel retailers are now demanding this feature more than ever. With these enormous advantages, customers are highly demanding that travel retailers imbibe AR as part of the shopping experience.