In store shopping has long been the predominant way to shop, however, online shopping has quickly grown to become the preferred channel for many. Consumer preferences have shifted in response to the pandemic, as many have faced changes in their jobs, income and leisure time. And, online shopping has quickly proven to be go-to alternative, providing promises of safety and convenience. Even among new and low-frequency customers we are witnessing an unprecedented shift toward eCommerce and contactless sales channels. As a result, retail digitalisation has quickly become a must.
Digital retail technologies hold the potential to create game-changing innovations. For consumers, this means high-digital touch shopping experiences, from AI to mobile-enabled shopping and options. For retailers, this means technology that keeps shoppers engaged, employees safe, stores open, brands thriving, and builds a competitive edge for the future.
Digital strategies also hold the potential to accelerate the omnichannel retail model, which has become indispensable to a retailer’s ability to deliver exceptional brand experiences on all sales channels. Bringing more digital touchpoints into the shopping experience enables brands to serve to customers on a more personalised level by collating even more data that retailers can leverage from a central database to draw meaningful conclusion about their customers, including broad product recommendations, special promotions, and purchase history.
The Benefits of the Omnichannel Model
There are countless benefits of moving to an omnichannel business model, first, it works, second, it gives the retailers who fully invest in technology that helps them achieve this reality a competitive edge. A future-looking retail strategy, characterised by omnichannel capabilities and digital technology enables businesses to increase customer loyalty and retention. According to Gartner, businesses with an omnichannel customer engagement strategy retains 89% of their customers. And, at the foundation of a strong omnichannel operations model are digital solutions. Those retailers who are embracing new technology, i.e., the ‘digital disruptors,’ are the brands who will lead the way in effortlessly giving customers what they most want in today’s shopping experiences.
The New Customer Journey
To serve the modern consumer retailers need to better understand their customer’s approach to shopping and uncover what is of utmost importance to them. These customer insights are crucial to offering not only the right products and promotions at the right time, but more importantly to understand which channel customers prefer – online, in person, via local delivery or pickup, etc.
Understanding this customer journey is one of the key driving forces in engaging the modern shopper. The way consumers and shops interact and engage has changed, and while the technology has empowered the consumer in numerous ways, it has also opened new avenues for the retailers to modernise and grow.
Digital Tools to Address the Modern Consumer
iVend Cloud is a cloud-based managed service offering that encompasses the full omnichannel capabilities of iVend Retail 6.6, an enterprise-class retail business management application delivered via a hosted infrastructure.
iVend Cloud is hosted in partnership with Microsoft Azure, the largest and most secure cloud provider in the world with over 90 compliance offerings and data centres in more regions than any other cloud provider.
With iVend Cloud retailers gain a complete view of operations across the retail ecosystem from any Internet browser, enabling them to remain more competitive and responsive to market fluctuations.
Customers of iVend Cloud do not need to make an investment in hardware and infrastructure to support the back-office operations of their retail business, as this is all included in iVend Cloud. iVend Cloud customers run iVend Point of Sale on local hardware and with a Wi-Fi connection easily communicate with their back office on iVend Cloud.
iVend Cloud licensing includes:
Accelerate the Delivery of Business Results
Greater Flexibility – With retail on Cloud, management can remotely access company performance data anywhere and at any time, allowing for increased productivity and better customer service.
Improved Performance – Retail on Cloud provides increased speed and agility, often resulting in higher computer utilisation rates overall.
Enhanced Security – Easily implement multiple levels of security so that employees can safely and efficiently move data throughout your enterprise with end-to-end encryption that preserves integrity and reduces the potential risk of exposure.
Experience Retail on Cloud
How can iVend Cloud help deliver business results? iVend Cloud leverages a new SaaS model to accelerate a retailers’ ability to offer new capabilities to their consumers and employees in a nimble, scalable, and cost-effective manner.
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