When does Hyper Reality Shopping become a Reality?
Watch Keiichi Matsuda Hyper Reality experience.
All the tech building blocks to make that experience come true already exist.
We might not have yet the full immersive experience yet but between multi shaped social Likes and Rewards, Amazon ever increasing customers knowledge (think ‘Anticipatory Shipping’ and Amazon Go) Google (Tango and VLS) Microsoft Hololens, (we will discuss all these tech in later blogs) the technology is here and retailers face an ever increasing pressure to compete.
Retailers have a completely different DNA than Amazon or Alibaba.
Beyond the immersive tech depicted in that video, hyper reality is all about customer data and how to use it: The need to capture customer data to intelligently act on it has never been more critical.
What comes naturally to an Amazon doesn’t to many retailers. After all, not many retailers, if any, also operate the largest cloud system in the world capable of crunching billions of data while simultaneously conducting another billion of e-com transactions.
The Human Touch
But retailers do have something Amazon doesn’t have yet.
Stores with real person who can engage with customers. The problem?
The strength is the problem. Great salespeople are rare and no matter what: Nobody remembers everything about every encounters ever. A very first step to applying e-commerce strength to retail is to know your customers. Easier said than done.
We are not talking about knowing about your customers. Something which has been done forever with marketing segmentation but knowing each and every customer individually. At retail scale.
That truly, is the only way to provide every single shopper with information to enable up selling. That truly is the only way to treat individual shoppers with the VIP treatment everybody enjoy .
Most agree, that is the reason Clienteling (buzzword alerts!) is getting so big. Its intent is to transform the in store customer experience into a fruitful discussion. The sales take the role of and advisor. That is the five star hotel treatment, the first class experience on international airlines: Asking how her or his latest purchase works before suggesting a best match.
There is no question that augmented knowledge is key to large scale consultative sales. While stores are undergoing a transformative process to bring their physical environments closer to business class lounges feel, interaction with that individual customer must also change to become more personal, some would say more social. Likes are at stake. Social currency will impact sales, Uber drivers and restaurant aren’t the only one being rated.
Technology might not have the personal touch (although let’s not jump to that conclusion that fast … later on this in a later blog) but technology can help sales become better sales people.
Technology can augment a sales person’s ability to connect with customers.
And this is one key reason Amazon is so successful: It remembers everything, shows you what similar buyers also bought and have your payment done in one click.
It knows you, it has useful actionable suggestions and the cashier line doesn’t exist.
Tech cost are systematically decreasing meaning that today’s standard mobile devices are fully capable of providing timely help to sales people. Add a bit of AI to positively influence the chat and the solution grows even stronger.
In these Blogs we want to visit the notion of Customers 2 Business (C2B) where Customers tell the business what they expect, as opposed to the more classic B2C model. We didn’t come up with that concept, if anybody, Jack Ma did. When a customers tells the business what he wants, it’s important to know who that customer is and remember what he said.
It is very clear that without a multilevel transformation retail will not be in a position to even compete with the like of Alibaba, Amazon or Google.
Knowing each client individually is the very first step of that transformative process. Retailers will have to known with high accuracy, who walks in.
That knowledge is the basis to embrace consultative sales at the individual level. It starts with capturing customer information at every opportunity. Not just name, email and address but full knowledge: From purchase history to in store behavior all the way to recommendation power (Is that client a social influencer?).
In our quest to help enable C2B we continuously assess the impact of technology on retail. We review all these new tech disrupting the retail experience.
We are always on the hunt for the most interesting, useful and actionable information to shape the retail experience of tomorrow. Share with us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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