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How technology supports the era of "value" and "value"

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Faced with countless brands, product options and shopping channels, consumers are looking for the perfect combination of value and value.

As such, Leslie Hand, group vice president of IDC Retail and Financial Insights, believes that as consumers, we ask a series of questions when making a purchase decision: Does this company have the product I want? Is it a price I am willing to pay? Do you have a relationship with this company? Is it a company I love and does something I admire?

Especially in times of social, environmental, political and economic uncertainty, “consumers want to get what matters more,” Hand said in an interview. retail touchpoints“For one product, the lowest price may be more important, but for another, it may not be my driving force.”

But consumers don’t just buy products online and have them delivered to their homes. A true blend of digital and physical channels that allow them to touch and feel products in store, add them to their shopping list, and delve further into how the product was sourced and developed for later delivery. We are hiring .

As a result, retailers are investing in the next era of experience. As Hand explains in a recent report: )—enhance customer shopping while driving personalized experiences to optimize retailer operations. “

However, these digital experiences are not necessarily look Digital to shoppers, according to the report. Some features are subtle, others invisible, supporting unique shopping missions that span the physical and virtual worlds. Hand provides additional context to the report, outlining the impact of:

  • Robust and modernized infrastructure It helps connect customers, products, stores and employees.
  • Cloud-ready data and AI platform Collect and aggregate data across channels.
  • employee technology Support efficiency, performance and overall engagement.
  • smart shelfDeliver rich media content to consumers and scan QR codes to access more information.When
  • NFTs and Virtual Experiences in the Metaverse.

Retail Touchpoints (RTPs): How have changes in consumer behavior and expectations impacted how retailers invest in technology?

Leslie Hand: flip has switched [even before] Retailers know they need to invest. actually, 36% Percentage of retailers planning to spend more [on technology] in 2022 than in 2021 15% I said I was going to cut my spending. This is a good sign that we are turning the dials towards a converged omnichannel experience.

Even in this recession, we see a different story about the polarization of retailers. The haves and the have-nots. leader and laggard.

RTP: The recession has not impacted tech retail budgets. This is great. But have their priorities changed at all?

hand: Thus, when retail stocks are shrinking market size and inflation is squeezing profits, retailers are spending money on technology they don’t necessarily need to replace (like cell phones, PCs, and other high-cost hardware). delay the purchase.not necessarily No You’re working on a project, but you may have decided that you don’t need to replace the device, or you may have pushed the timeline of a lower priority project.

RTP: In a 2021 survey across market segments, IDC found that 36% of employers plan to invest in employee experience to drive growth and innovation. Do you see employee empowerment as a top priority for retailers, especially now that they’re navigating the “great retirement”?

hand: Employee empowerment is definitely emerging as a great value driver today. Retailers want to remove menial tasks from store employees so they can better serve their customers. It’s part of the value equation. Can you be there for the consumer if they make the effort to go to the store? Are your employees properly trained to use tools to assist customers when needed? is it being done?

For a long time, in-store talent and manpower budgets were very tight. The store employees run around the store doing as many things as possible, but they don’t always have the tools to do those jobs efficiently. For example, even a simple distraction from a customer asking for a product in the back room, not on the shelf, can throw an employee off course. They have to stop working and run to the back room to get the product back to the customer. This can be circumvented with a mobile device or earphones that support two-way communication. Or maybe there’s a digital sign on the shelf that indicates if it’s in stock. There are many ways to solve that problem.

Bringing digital and mobility into the store improves the overall experience at work. Instead of exhausting themselves and running to finish tasks A, B, and C, employees can actually be customer friendly.

RTP: Do you have examples of retailers that you think have done a good job in this area?

hand: one of the things walmart Last year, we invested in Samsung mobile phones for our employees. I’m surprised more and more retailers don’t do that. If I’m making a little more than minimum wage by the hour, that’s pretty appealing in my mind, because the cost of a cell phone is pretty exorbitant each month. It also ensures that all employees have the tools to help customers, manage time, manage schedules, and interact with management and operating procedures.This will help retailers ensure everyone has the same level of communication.

RTP: Spotlighting smart shelves as a way for retailers to connect digital and physical experiences. What value does it bring to retailers as well as brands?

hand: A digital shelf label with a QR code instantly connects you to the online ordering experience. I personally chose to have things shipped to my home in the middle of a shopping trip instead of taking them home from the store. .

If a retailer sells advertising space on its media network and takes an omnichannel approach to those products, consumers scan the QR code in front of the product or You can check if you have scanned the barcode. That’s definitely something brands care about and they might be willing to pay for that data. , you’re definitely interested in getting more accurate data on where and how much you’re buying.

RTP: The report said that personalized promotions, environments, and experiences are powered by data streams analyzed in real time at the edge and cloud. Is it too much to say that data is the foundation of these experiences?

hand: Yes it’s about data and connections To that data. For example, within stores, retailers invest in mobile her solutions, shelf solutions, and inventory tracking solutions. The complexity is trying to manage and simplify it. It’s all about bringing it all together and applying this common foundation of AI and data management to orchestrate the best experience for your employees and customers.

RTP: The technologies highlighted in the report are practical and outline the basic needs of today’s retailers. Where does that leave the metaverse as executives evaluate and prioritize investments?

hand: In my opinion, the metaverse is not a flip of a switch.We are already on the continuum to the metaverse when we add something like Virtual chat, chat with in-store employees or even AR functionThese are what people classify as things they do in the metaverse. It’s a new world, but we’re already on our way there.

We hear that projects are already underway, whether it’s building blocks or something like NFTs. There are many brands such as luxury bag sellers, makeup brands, and sneaker sellers. Nike Jumped on the NFT bandwagon. This is because if my avatar could wear the item and the retailer can add a few dollars’ worth of sales to the transaction, it’s just bonus money. Depending on the value added, those investments still exist if the returns can be justified and verified in the short term.