If you flash a glance on a study from 2015, you can see that most of the innovations mentioned in the study are becoming the part of the daily practice of retail trade. (Unfortunately, currently there are no newer published studies which are such detailed and exact like the one from 2015.)
Digitization is remaking the traditional models in every branch of industry. Automation is occurring in several processes related to branches of industry, and new processes which are based on the technology are being developed in order to make sales more effective and/or to reach cost reductions.
EFFECTS ON THE SHOPS
Possibilities which are provided by digitalization make the relationships between online and offline forms of retail trade closer.
The role of the real network of shops is being transformed; new distributional forms and new participants are occurring in the process of purchase. Each new form and participant deals with only one phase of the process of purchase (such as searching for information, ordering, or delivery).
The relationship between participants of retail trade and consumers is also changing. Participants of retail trade are handing over more and more tasks to consumers by self-service methods or by the usage of digital solutions based on artificial intelligence (e.g. chatbot, robot, smart mirror, interactive shopping cart etc.). The solutions mentioned above are replacing some elements of the staff’s tasks.
Previously, sales have dealt with the range of products. Despite this former practice, services which support the sales are coming into view nowadays. They can be available even online, and give emphasis on the problem solving and counselling.
Participants of retail trade cannot consider each digital solution as an isolated device, but they should integrate the new technologies into the purchase decision making as a solution which is able to support the whole retail trade.
Participants of retail trade should recognize that the sales environment has become wider (due to the digitalism), so it has exceeded the boundaries of real and online sales. Consequently, not only the channels operated by the companies but also non-commercial sites of the purchase process must be considered when sales are planned.
Participants of retail trade should provide offers which are related to the important events and lifestyle of the customers. This method can enhance the experience of purchase more significantly than a sales policy which gives emphasis on only the types of the products and special offers.
When we talk about digital solutions, it is also recommended to consider how customers can be enrolled in the sales, and how solutions based on artificial intelligence can make any value in this relationship.