One of the most common complaints from small business owners is that they can’t keep up with and stay current with all the changes in business, market sectors, and the latest technologies impacting their businesses, particularly those facing the challenge of staying afloat. With all of these changes, the small business owners feel overwhelmed and become more and more convinced that staying in business is not fun anymore.

Most business trends apply to retail, but some have a direct impact on the world of retail. To name a few:

1. Social media is changing how retailers communicate with their customers and how they shop.

Social media channels and sites offer a way for retailers to connect with their customers and offer value to them. Social media sites and channels provide a great way to communicate with your customers. Social media is a great way to reach and interact with your customers.

Chances are you’ve been using social media for a while now. It started with the likes of Facebook and Twitter, and then the big players like Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Pinterest came along and everyone and their mother wanted a piece of the action. Retailers have been getting more and more involved in social media.

2. Technology is impacting how consumers shop, as well as how retailers operate their businesses.

If you have been following the mobile technology space for a while now, you have likely noticed a trend: smartphones are everywhere. With the rise of the iPhone, Android, Pixel, and Windows phone, consumers now expect the same level of functionality, performance, and usability that they are accustomed to from their desktop and laptop computers. This is great news for the smartphone industry, but it also means that retailers are under greater pressure than ever to keep up with the competition.

Have you ever thought about what processes go behind once you place an order with a particular retailer? A flurry of events happens simultaneously: the app shows you the search list based on the specific instruction you have given on the search bar, lists out offers, shows estimated delivery time, collects the details after you place the order, sends the order details to their warehouse, packs your products, arranges delivery service with the courier partner, sends regular updates to your registered number, and finally ensures that you receive the product on the given time. You need to keep in mind that all these actions happen in real-time. Yes, there are humans actively working, but the majority of the work is done by an event-driven application that enables human-machine collaboration. To learn more about such real-time applications, you might want to check out event driven architecture with Vantiq. It might give you more insight into how businesses use technology to get their work done in this fast-moving world.

The digital world seems to be getting smaller and smaller every day. With internet-based shopping, we can buy anything from anywhere in the world, and part of that convenience is our ability to pick out exactly what we want, when we want it, and have it delivered to our door.

3. The retail industry is beginning to see the effects of sustainability, a topic that has become more acutely important with each passing year.

The digital world seems to be getting smaller and smaller every day. With internet-based shopping, we can buy anything from anywhere in the world, and part of that convenience is our ability to pick out exactly what we want, when we want it, and have it delivered to our door. However, there is a dark side to this convenience, and it has a lot to do with technology. As you probably know, technology is changing the way we interact with our world, and commerce is no exception. Since the emergence of the internet, shoppers have had the ability to research products before buying. While this has positively impacted the shopping experience, it has also made it possible for consumers to make snap decisions on items they have not fully researched.

4. Retailers are beginning to recognize that adding value to their customers is the single most important element in successful retail, in addition to being competitive.

When you buy something, you have every right to expect it to be right. If a product is defective, you expect the seller to acknowledge it and fix it. If you buy a pair of shoes that are too small, you expect a new one. When the seller fails to do this, it’s a breach of contract. That’s why businesses and retailers have a responsibility to make sure their products are right before they sell them. If they’re not, you can take the seller to court.

When you think of the most successful business leaders of today, many are the ones that are not just innovative and creative but also know how to add value to their customers. Amazon Prime customers, in fact, see their value more than double through the service. In the same vein, retailers have started to realize that they cannot afford to take customers for granted. Retailers are beginning to recognize that adding value to their customers is the single most important element in successful retail, in addition to being competitive.

 

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