Retail 2.0 means customers dictating change: they want to shop with smartphones

You get up in the morning and your smartphone lets you know that the shop on the corner has just got hold of the watch you were looking for online last night. It also tells you it’s high time to buy your contact lenses and stock up the fridge. In a couple of years, thanks to the new digital trends in retail - collectively referred to as Retail 2.0, all of our mornings will look something like this. Also included under this umbrella term is the use of mobile apps to make shopping easier, or for retailers to analyse big data, or make it as easy as possible for customers to pay for goods. And what do such changes mean for the entrepreneur? The necessity to adapt.

Customer dictates

As Shelley E. Kohan explains, if entrepreneurs want to continue to be successful, they had better start adapting right away to the changes that customers are dictating. This is also confirmed by Oracle. They think that customers in retail are playing a vital role like never before. The information asymmetry between the trader and customer, where the trader was once privy to more information about a product or service than the buyer, has long ceased to apply. Thanks to technologies like mobile apps or social networks, today’s consumers are exposed to masses of information which enables them to make a planned and thoroughly thought-through decision. As Frost&Sullivan make clear, for entrepreneurs it is essential that their customers enjoy maximum satisfaction. Customers can be attracted through big data analysis, by identifying the hidden laws influencing their behaviour, or businesses might offer them the opportunity to use augmented reality apps, or so-called “indoor GPS”, to make it easier to find their way round department stores.

Smartphone trend

Although indoor GPS and BDA can help businesses improve customer satisfaction, these two tools might not be the main draw.  Some experts believe that the main star of trends in Retail 2.0 will be the smartphone. A study produced by KPMG, for example, showed that use of mobile phones in shopping is becoming increasingly important for customers, especially when it comes to searching out specific product information. Grieder and Buck certainly agree. According to them, up to 80% of US smartphone users use their mobiles when making a purchase. Even when they are visiting the shop in person, they are comparing prices with other shops, looking up reviews, etc.

Startups already making a name in the field

The trends in Retail 2.0 present a fantastic opportunity for all startups developing ideas about how traders can keep customers satisfied through the introduction of new trends. For example the Japanese startup teamLab are offering virtual mannequins that appear as an on-screen video as soon as the customer removes the desired garment from the hanger. When purchasing, SmartAssistant, developed by the Austrian firm of the same name, can then help out. This is an app that leads the customer to the ultimate product that perfectly satisfies their requirements. Analysis of customer behaviour is offered by the US firm Euclid Analytics, which uses Wi-Fi and location technology to help businesses better understand consumers. It will tell them, for example, which advert attracted them into the store or what factors most often drive a customer to make a purchase.

Video: The Digital Store of The Future

Retail 2.0 is one of the topics of this year’s JIC STARCUBE, the longest running Czech accelerator. Startups can hand in their applications up until 7 August 2016. Since 2010, 72 start ups have entered JIC STARCUBE. Teams work their way through three months crammed with knowledge and workshops, meeting up with mentors and forging links with global technology companies. They get a helping hand and financial support to test and prototype, to access legal and tax services, for marketing, as well as contributions to cover their travel and accommodation costs. Examples of successful companies who have gone through the accelerator include GINA, Reservio and one of today’s fastest growing startups (formerly Skypicker). Learn more about the accelerator by going to JIC STARCUBE website.