How should your retail store prepare for 2016? If 2015 is being touted as the year of mobile payment devices and online shopping, 2016 customers will expect much more. As the new year begins, keep the following three predictions in mind.
For starters, rethink your current customer loyalty program. According to a recent study conducted by MasterCard, only 18 percent of respondents consider promotions important while shopping. Although sales and other promotions are beneficial, factors such as value, track record and convenience are more heavily weighed when deciding to visit a store again.
A loyalty program is more than general sales deals, as customers now expect personalized rewards, as well as better product choice and seamless shopping experiences.
“With today’s shopper and their new shopping journeys, it’s becoming more important than ever to optimize a shopper’s visit to store or site. This can be through an understanding of what they’re shopping for and ensuring there’s available inventory on site, or at least a very convenient option – to the shopper – to deliver products to them,” said head of customer success at RetailNext Bridget Johns.
Ease of omnichannel shopping is also essential. As more customers choose to use mobile payments, online purchases and subscription services, stores must create an environment where shoppers can use whichever method they prefer. The more channels that are available for use though, the most security is needed. Stores must be aware of the latest fraud schemes and data hacks to ensure all information is kept secure, no matter the payment channel.
Finally, inventory will change, in an adaptation from essential stocking to a targeted, curated amount of materials. By using inventory tracking in a current POS system to ensure the latest and most preferred products are available for purchase and customer satisfaction can be better than ever before.
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