As we settle into the fourth quarter of the retail season — inarguably the most lucrative of the lot — the time is ripe to look forward and consider the lurking change on the horizon.
To wit: four emerging technology trends poised for imminent retail takeover:
Social network shopping
The much-ballyhooed phenomenon of social media users being able to buy stuff without having to leave their Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest pages is gathering serious steam. Fence sitters take note: Don’t discount the power of this new retail channel, which facilitates shoppers’ impatience to engage in digital-based impulse purchasing.
Ecommerce players get enhanced security with the exploding use of technological features like fingerprint recognition, iris scanning and voice identification. Technology consulting firm Frost & Sullivan forecasts that almost 500 million people will have biometric technology on their smartphones by 2017. That means digital retailers can hawk their wares, and digital shoppers can snap them up, with increasingly less anxiety than ever.
That 68 percent of Canadians are carting smartphones around on their person is a promise too big not to capitalize on. So don’t. Climb aboard the sweep of location-based technology taking shape out there, with real-time promotional offers that reach shoppers at precisely the moment they might take advantage of them.
While mobile phones are as ubiquitous these days as, well, mobile phones, their potential in the retail world has only been realized fairly recently. But the tide has turned. By the end of next year, predicts eMarketer, a full quarter of all retail ecommerce sales in the States will unfold via cellphone. Clever retailers can take advantage of the trend by perfecting their retail strategies with a strong emphasis on mobile-first consumer experiences.