Technologies have been evolving and influencing various industries at a tremendous pace. The retail industry is no different, and, in fact, is one of the most heavily impacted ones. The ways consumers shop and purchase products have changed dramatically in recent years, all thanks to the proliferation of technology and innovation. In this article, we will take a look at some of the major trends that are currently shaping the future of retail.
It’s not a secret that thanks to the advancement of the internet and smartphones in recent years, we've seen a major shift from traditional brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping. People see it as a more convenient, available 24/7, and often a more cost-effective option. In addition to this, the rise of social media has further changed consumer behavior as people are now able to read reviews and see what others think before they purchase a product.
Another major trend that is currently shaping the retail industry is the emergence of artificial intelligence. AI is being used for various purposes, from customer support and product recommendations to powering chatbots. AI is also influencing the way we shop, helping retailers provide a more tailor-made experience and offer a more personalized approach. This evolution was one of the things that prompted the development of CDPs, customer data platforms, helping the retail industry use big data to better understand trends and customer preferences.
All in all, technologies are having a big impact on the industry, making it easier for customers to shop, and helping businesses to operate more efficiently. And now, with the further development of technologies, we are seeing even more transformations.
The transformation of the retail industry has had a major impact on the way all businesses operate. It has made it more important than ever for companies to have a strong online presence and to be able to reach their audience through multiple channels and be available at any touchpoint where a customer might be ready to make a purchase.
What’s more, e-commerce is now diversifying into additional ways of shopping: mobile commerce, conversational commerce, and social commerce.
By using modern tools, companies can provide a more convenient and personalized shopping experience for customers, and not only increase sales but help build a close relationship with the audience, too.
The official definition of mobile commerce, also known as m-commerce, is “the buying and selling of goods and services through a mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet”.
M-commerce has been growing rapidly in recent years, as more and more consumers shop online. In addition to the most common m-commerce example – purchasing a product or a service through a mobile website or an app – there are many creative ways how m-commerce can be used.
For example, Rakuten Viber Business solutions allow brands and retailers to use transactional and promotional messages with rich media content including images, videos, and even CTA buttons. They can be very useful when you want to provide more information or highlight specific features of a product.
Here are some recommendations that we usually share with brands that are looking to take their m-commerce to the next level using Rakuten Viber for Business:
These are just some of the ways you can use Rakuten Viber for Business to improve your m-commerce.
Conversational commerce is a type of e-commerce that allows customers to make purchases through natural conversations with the brand. Orders can be placed through chatbots, voice assistants, or live support. In other words, through a conversation that is taking place online.
The core benefit of this emerging type of commerce is, of course, the ability for businesses to provide a more personalized shopping experience. The customer can discuss the order, choose the size and color of the product, and pay for it, all through one conversation. This format is especially convenient for those customers who aren’t sure which product to choose and want to receive advice from the brand.
Good examples of conversational commerce include conversational search to find specific products and brands, messages to facilitate the buying process on the go, like booking a taxi or ordering food, chatbots to answer queries and provide support and services like managing account settings.
C-commerce is still relatively new, but more and more brands start using it to increase their sales and it is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. It is a new way of shopping that's emerging thanks to the rise of messaging apps like Rakuten Viber. Conversational commerce allows customers to message businesses directly to ask questions, get recommendations, and make purchases without ever having to leave the app. This new way of shopping is convenient, personal, and fast, and it's changing the way we think about e-commerce in general.
In the past, shopping, even online, was a one-way street — you find what you were looking for and then make a purchase. But now, brands can have two-way conversations with their clients, making the shopping experience more individual and interactive. If you're a business owner, you should start thinking about how you can use conversational commerce to your advantage. It's a great way to connect with your audience, build strong relationships, and increase sales and conversions. To get started, all you need is a messaging app and a customer service strategy. Once you have those in place, you can start offering your clients a new, convenient way to shop.
We encourage all our business customers at Rakuten Viber to pay more attention to personalization as brands will be able to reach new clients, convert more sales, and save money on marketing.
A messaging app that on top of dozens features for users also lets businesses connect with their audiences in a very efficient way. It is a fantastic tool for customer service, public announcements, sales, and marketing. The app is available in more than 190 countries and in major stores, including Apple Store, Google Play, Huawei Store, and Xiaomi Store. So regardless of what kind of device your customers are using, they'll be able to receive your messages and stay connected. With over one billion downloads on Android, users around the world have chosen Rakuten Viber as their go-to communication tool.
Rakuten Viber just made it even easier and more convenient for its users to enjoy the benefits of a super-app. With payments on Rakuten Viber (launched first in Germany and Greece in July 2022), people can now set up a digital wallet to store money directly within the app – no more need to switch between programs. So whether people are making personal or business transactions, payments on Rakuten Viber make it quick, easy, and convenient.
You can always reach out to us for more information on Rakuten Viber for Business products and how your brand can benefit from them.