The nitty-gritties of retail tech

Years ago, street shopping had become the most reliable get away! These days, with the advancement in technology, online shopping has caught up really well. You need to meet a deadline and have no time to pick up the anniversary gift? Or want to send a mother’s day gift but cannot travel to your mom who stays at the other end of the country? Retail has the answers to all your questions by adopting technology.

Electronic retailing has changed the business world in India and has helped to serve just what the customers want i.e., more flexibility in shopping. Retailers are creating electronic stores where they are showcasing enormous lists of products. Customers can have look at their desired product and even discuss about the product they want to choose. People also use their palmtops on shopping floors to compare prices and get more information about new products, sales and discounts. Digitised shopping is becoming a more central idea in sales and marketing for every retailer.

The varied interest of consumers and the need for simple online shopping have directed retailers in India to adopt new store formats while putting their brand forward. Let’s take a look at a few customer-specific essentials for online stores:

Customer-Friendly

The online store should be clutter free and easy to navigate. It should have simple options to browse and pick up items. Payment & EMI calculation should be instant. The webpage should load quickly and have easy checkout options. The site navigation should not confuse the customer and at the same time he should have access to all points. User experience plays a very important role in any retail website.

Design

Great deal of effort also needs to go into the design of the online store for it to be on par with traditional store. It should have all the features along with the appeal and the feel of a traditional store. There should be images of all the products and customer should have a clear view of the desired product, so as to avoid any kind of ambiguity.

Information Security

The retail website should ensure that customer-specific information such as credit card details, addresses and phone numbers are kept safe and there is no infringement to those details. Indian customers took a while to adapt to paying for things online, but the trend looks promising now.

Multiple payment options

The customers should be able to buy the desired products and make payments as they wish. It should encourage payment using all globally accepted cards and also there should be an option to pay when the product is delivered at the door step (Cash On Delivery). This makes life very convinient for the customer and he is likely to be a repeat customer, if the delivery is done well without any glitches.

Social Collaboration

The online store should integrate with social networking sites to enable selling on those sites. We live in a world where 90% of people have a Facebook account, in the urban areas. So that’s a market that no online retailer can afford to neglect.

A virtual store needs no physical space or labour to manage and hence saves a ton of money for a retail brand. With technology, new retailers are able to create visibility in the market and already existing retailers are growing ther customer base. With the shift to the Internet, the traditional brick and mortar stores are becoming superfluous. Retail tech is here to stay. There is no doubt about that. The only question is will the traditional brands catchup or miss the bus?

Shilpa Rao is a Marketing Consultant at Compassites Software Solutions. She handles content development & curation for the firm. She has completed M.Tech in Computer Science and engineering. She started her career as a content developer for an SEO company. She also has experience working as a content analyst for managerial and technical content in e-learning companies. Shilpa likes reading various technical books and watching television is her favorite pastime.

Leave a comment