In the ever-evolving landscape of retail, staying ahead of the curve is essential for success. Read along as we explore key commerce trends that are revolutionizing the way businesses operate and connect with their customers. From the growing influence of social selling to the integration of advanced technologies like generative AI, these trends are not only shaping the present, but also paving the way for the future of retail.
- Utilize social media for potential buyers to encounter your brand outside of your website or store
- Identity-driven shopping can help meet personalization and privacy expectations
- Having artificial intelligence (AI) in a commerce platform allows retailers to quickly craft product descriptions, create workflows, and pull reports
Buyers Are More Valuable Than Ever
In today’s uncertain economy, shoppers are spending their money differently. They are thinking hard about where to allocate their hard-earned dollars, thinking less about brand loyalty. In this highly competitive landscape, that’s making buyers more valuable than ever.
“The lack of loyalty can be stress-inducing, but it presents an opportunity to win even more market share and then delight them,” said Ali Orr, Head of Consumer Goods at Shopify Plus. At Shopify’s recent digital showcase, hosted by GDS Group, Orr shared how retailers can make this trend work for them, not against them. “Make it easy to shop from you anywhere and everywhere, to keep them, and increase that loyalty.”
With over three million customers and 10% of US e-commerce flowing through their platform, the e-commerce giant certainly has a pulse on shopping trends and offered our audience of retail executives some suggestions to increase loyalty. First on the list? Social selling.
According to Orr, 60% of the globe is on social media today. That makes it a 100% good idea to be there, too. She says letting potential buyers encounter your brand outside of your website or store can help you bring in new buyers. Equally important, making it easy to hit that ‘buy’ button, for which Orr says one-click checkout on social channels is imperative.
Personalization vs Privacy
Another area Orr encouraged retailers to pay attention to, the friction between personalization and privacy requirements. While privacy is becoming increasingly dear to shoppers, they also demand personalized shopping experiences. So, how do you satisfy both expectations? One method Orr discussed is identity-driven shopping to find out who you’re dealing with sooner.
“With accelerated payment options you often wait until the end, the checkout, to figure out who’s signing in. But the thing is, you can actually have this much earlier in the journey to identify who you’re working with,” said Orr. This way, she adds, “you can give them personalized recommendations, you can give personalized promotions, and a whole journey based off of who that user is, with that first-party data you have.”
GenAI is Changing the Game
It wouldn’t be a trends list if we didn’t zero in on Generative AI. As Orr discussed with attendees at the event, baking AI into the commerce platform allows retailers to quickly craft product descriptions, create workflows, and pull reports – at the touch of a button. “I can’t understate the operational improvements,” she gushed.
Of course, AI is also enhancing the customer experience. Orr showed the audience how consumers are using a ChatGPT-powered shopping app, the Shop app, to revolutionize the buying experience. The app uses AI to respond to consumer queries for product recommendations, allows them to purchase, and then tracks deliveries for them.
There’s no denying the retail industry is undergoing a transformation, driven in part by these pivotal trends. The brands that keep evolving will find new avenues for growth and customer engagement. The integration of advanced technologies, like artificial intelligence, will continue to enhance the shopping experience and streamline operations. By staying attuned to these developments and adapting proactively, businesses can position themselves to not only meet, but exceed the expectations of their customers, while shaping a more dynamic and innovative future for the industry.
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