With the advent of the Internet, retailers nowadays enjoy new sales opportunities outside the four walls through the creation of an online store.
But with this development, customer demands and expectations are rising significantly, since in just minutes on the Internet, consumers can have it all – the quality product they want at the lowest price possibly, delivered right to their doors, a new research conducted into cross-channel shopping demands by the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (CIBSG) has revealed.
Cisco, by virtue of its innovative solutions is proffering a new approach to winning customers by understanding the behavioral patterns of consumers and how they prefer to shop when it comes to online shopping.
Lisa Fretwell, Director, Retail/Consumer Packaged Goods Practice, CIBSG, gave insight into the finding of the study during a Telepresence session with journalist in the Middle-East and Africa, focusing on some of the on-line shopping trends and practices emerging worldwide and how these trends would soon become prevalent in developing countries.
She said to succeed in this challenging market, retailers must address three critical new challenges that have emerged as a result of trends such as the need to ‘catch’ consumers as they search for products, prices, and shopping ideas; ‘keep’ shoppers connected to your brand as they use various devices (PCs, smartphones, tablets, in-store screens) to bounce between channels (store, online); and entice customers with experiences that trigger them to buy – and buy more.
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According to Fretwell, “As the internet becomes an integral part of our daily lives throughout the globe, consumers are increasingly choosing to opt for the internet as a shopping tool to gain competitive prices.
Everything is becoming available to purchase at our finger tips and be delivered to our doorsteps with just click of a bottom with sites like Amazon, EBay and lastminute.com now competing with leading retail outlets. All of the most popular and well known retailers now have an on-line presence.” She explained that Internet ubiquity, personal technology adoption and e-commerce growth have produced a new consumer behavior that is today referred to as ‘cross-channel shopping’.
“In this environment, consumers hop from one channel to another throughout the shopping journey looking for the best deal. For retailers, cross-channel shopping demands a new approach to win customers and capture wallet share. Today, we will learn more about the “Catch ‘Em and Keep ‘Em” concept and get insights into how retailers can revitalise their stores in this new cross-channel world.”
She said the retail industry exemplifies the maxim, ‘change is constant’, adding that with the advent of the Internet, retailers today enjoy new sales opportunities outside the four walls through the creation of an online store, which is a virtual extension of the storefront where customers can shop round the clock.
“As a result, customers can now literally search the world for any item anywhere and at any time. And in addition, customer demands and expectations rise significantly, since in just minutes on the Internet, consumers can have it all – the quality product they want at the lowest price possible, delivered right to their door.
“Fretwell added that all-time availability of the Internet on smart technology devices was also paving the way for an unprecedented change in retailing. ” She said, “Traditionally retailers have defined customer shopping paths. But now, customers are defining their own shopping processes – and each customer can create a shopping pathway to best suit his or her needs.”
For example, one customer may choose to research products and pricing online at home before visiting the store, while another might utilize the cell phone while inside your store to check pricing or obtain product information.”
—Original Reading at businessdayonline.com