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Inside Retail, Australia: Cognizant’s Head of Products and Resources, ANZ, Says Retailers Need to Think Beyond the Product and Instead Provide Experiences and Solutions

“The next frontier of retail will have shopper demands and desires be foreseen, processed and fulfilled before they are articulated or even consciously realized,” says Gaurav Sharma. “The creation of unique experiences represents a chance for retailers to achieve true, meaningful engagement with their consumers.”

Excerpts from Inside Retail’s article:

“Between the brand and consumer, the latter now has more influence over the other. The growth of online shopping means the challenge for retailers to surprise and delight is getting harder, and thanks to technology, consumers are more informed and more in control at every stage of the purchase process. They are more aware of what they want and don’t want, and their attention span depends on how well you can teach, entertain or guide them at every given moment they interact with your brand.

Consumer loyalty and advocacy is won and lost through the quality of experiences that retailers can provide. Whether your consumer comes to you to be inspired, be motivated to do good, alleviate frustrations, fulfil desires or solve a problem, retailers now need to create and invest in experiences to retain their customers.

There are four main types of in-store experiences:

  • Convenient: These involve removing unwanted friction and inconvenience in the shopping journey.
  • Communal: Turn the store into a destination for loyal customers to gather, who orient themselves to particular causes, affinities or cultural distinctions.
  • Curated: The future of retail will not be about having a proliferation of choices as it has been in the past; rather, it will involve winning consumers over with thoughtful curation of products and experiences.
  • Immersive: While this type of experience is still in infancy, it’s a safe bet that more retailers are going to invest heavily in this space as the need for experience-based differentiation becomes paramount to survival and future growth.

By committing to helping consumers achieve what they want to achieve, retailers will ensure their relevance over a greater period of time.”

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