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Forbes, India: Cognizant’s Global Delivery Head for Retail and Consumer Goods Says Retail Disruption Will Continue as Customers Seek Superior Experiences Combined with Convenience and Speed

“With the ubiquity of digital technology and heightening consumer expectations, retailers are under pressure to stay relevant and maintain an edge through aggressive focus on customer experience,” writes Singaravelu Ekambaram. “Smart spaces, in-store internet of things (IoT) and digital solutions can transform customer experiences by combining the best of both the worlds—physical and digital.” Excerpts:

“It is now imperative to sell experiences and not just ‘things’, by modernizing traditional channels through intelligent interactions and data-driven innovations.

Today’s connected shopper seeks experiences from the retailers. The customer is essentially purchasing excitement and a crowd and social experience.

In-store shopping needs to surmount the limitations of location, payment modes, shopping areas and in-store shopping assistance. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payments and digital wallets intend to make in-store purchases as breezy and hassle-free as their online counterparts. Self-service flexi pick-up lockers located in public places and pop-up stores have become the most adopted strategies by retailers to be omnipresent.

Millennials do not choose their products based only on the price. They insist on buying quality products that last a lifetime, and prefer local goods that are a specialty in their regions. Millennials are patient shoppers—they don't only like deals, but also wait for the lowest price.

Personalized assistance, such as robotic artificial intelligence (AI)-powered shop assistants, magic mirrors, in-store drones or smart trolleys, is one of the pivotal ways in which brick-and-mortar stores can fight customer attrition.

Digitally remodeled stores are essential for retailers to capture and sustain their changing customer base in a maturing market. Retailers should work on reinventing their retail spaces by putting the changing requirements of customers first, curating personalized experiences, and creating unbeatable shopping experiences that even ecommerce cannot match.”

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