Consumers today expect a technologically advanced experience when they want to get into contact with your store before, during and after their purchase. This is all due to the explosion of the Nexus of Forces, which is a term coined by Gartner and is easily adapted by company’s everywhere. The Nexus defines four basic categories, including mobile, social, cloud and information. Each of these forces play a major role in the retail environment and any retailer that ignores even one category could be missing out on many opportunities.
Reach Beyond the Boundaries
What sets retail shopping today apart from what it was several years ago is the lack of boundaries consumers now have regarding the contact they can have with a retailer. This means consumers can shop your store or obtain desired information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If this capability is not available for your store, you could be missing out on a large portion of new customer leads and sales.
Let’s Go Mobile
Consumers use mobile technology in a variety of ways, helping them to become more informed than sales associates in many instances. Before a consumer even purchases a product, they use their mobile device to obtain information about the product. This could be information about how it works, what others think of it, if there are any available coupons and in which physical stores the product can be found. Once in your Store, consumers still make use of their mobile phone by using it to navigate your store, price compare with other stores, use coupons and possibly take advantage of Augmented Reality Applications. Even after the purchase is complete, retailers can use the captured information to send consumers new recommendations, send electronic receipts or to provide real-time shipping information.
Social Shopping Is the Wave of the Future
It’s no secret social media is popular for consumers of all ages. As a retailer, you can take advantage of this popularity by allowing customers to “like” a product or share purchases through their social media accounts. Just like with mobile devices, the social category allows the ability to gain information about products, except it is through the use of peers. The more buzz a product has, the more excited consumers get. In addition, you can provide social media exclusive coupons and money saving opportunities for your customers. Once a customer enters your store, they can still utilize social shopping through the use of check-ins and using your social shopping applications, as well as the hope of receiving personalized coupons based on the location of their check-in. Social media offers a completely different method for consumers to interact with retailers before, during and after a purchase. They can comment or post questions or concerns directly on the social media site of the retailer and expect a response rather quickly, giving consumer contact an entirely new aspect.
Look to the Cloud
Moving your data to the cloud eliminates a large number of unproductive tasks that are necessary when you deal with paper invoicing, manual ordering and updates. When you move to the cloud, you provide your customers with real-time information that is accurate. There is no need for back-and-forth phone calls or inaccurate information. Everything is updated in real-time on all systems, enabling everyone, including the sales associates and consumers, to be on the same page. In addition, anyone can access their information wherever they are, including managers, associates and consumers. The use of the cloud is beneficial before, during and after the purchase and enables you to decrease downtime, increase security and enhance your store’s performance.
The Importance of Information
Without the right information, your retail operation could be in trouble. When you implement integrated retail operations, you have access to all vital information in real-time, as well as ensure accuracy, timeliness and increased sales. The sheer amount of data a retail operation creates through the use of a physical store, eCommerce store, mobile applications and social media is astounding. Without the proper method to handle all this data, your retail store could become inefficient and unproductive. With real-time updates, you can offer enhanced customer service and proper sales quotes, as well as provide a fluid experience for customers all over the world.
Retailers today need to find a way to maximize their efforts in each of the four categories in the Nexus of Forces. Choosing to eliminate or ignore even one category can prove to be catastrophic for your business. The benefits of mobile and social shopping integrated with cloud computing and accurate processing of data can mean the difference between a retail operation that succeeds in today’s changing world and one that does not.
How i95Dev Can Help
If you are ready to take the next step towards implementing the four Nexus of Forces, turn to i95Dev for our expertise and knowledge in every area. Our experts use the best practices for each situation in order to provide you with the capability to take advantage of the mobile, social, cloud computing and information management that consumers today require. Contact us today at info@i95Dev.comto discuss your exact needs and see just how i95Dev can help you.