What is it about shopping and buying that feels so good? Is there something programmed into our minds that makes us enjoy shopping so much? It may have something to do with our hunter/gatherer days and the feeling of acquisition. Or, it could be due to the fact that humans enjoy spending money that makes us like it so much. But we have a feeling it has to do with the intertwinement of technology and retail being conducted across a variety of platforms today.
Whatever the reason may be why people love shopping so much, one thing is for certain, no one is going to stop anytime soon. Given this trend, technology companies and developers have been racing to the forefront to create new ways to advance the retail industry and make it a more efficient and prosperous marketplace.
While many companies and individuals have tempted the waters of retail tech, only a portion of them rose to the surface. While these brands and companies had different applications and existed in both the B2C and B2B realms, there were certain commonalities that they all shared.
What All Great Retail Tech Products Have in Common
A lot of retail tech products consist of apps or web-services. And most of the time, these products simplify or reduce the work-load of complicated or monotonous tasks. Given the fact that you already have a somewhat complicated task or something that requires efficient organization and structure, your UI and UX are going to have to be exquisite.
Take something like automated warehouses for stock management. If your storage and retrieval system isn’t easy to use and the user interface and experience is a nightmare, no one is going to use your product. Retailers switched to automated stock management because maintaining inventory was already a monotonous and busy task. If your app or development doesn’t make processes like this easier than it’s pointless.
When you enter the B2C realm UI and UX become even more important. An argument to the previous statement is that someone could train themselves to use a complicated warehouse management system. But a customer does not have the same amount of patience.
Do you think resale apps like Letgo got to where they are with a complicated interface design? No, they got to the top because they were easy to use and required little effort. Think of it as an actual brick and mortar store. An incredible amount of time goes into designing the layout and flow of a store to increase sales and encourage browsing. Your retail tech should be no different.
Retail has a lot to do with timing. You don’t only have to find the right customers, you have to find them at the right time of the purchase process. That, along with the fact that retail and retail technology have very specific allures and definitive appeals mean your targeting efforts are going to have to have to be razor-sharp.
At Rock Candy Media, laser-focused targetting is one of our various specialties. The fact that retail tech exists in so many realms, including B2C and B2B, means you need to be able to reach and influence the right people at the right time. Predictive analytics was an incredible innovation in retail technology. However, it reached its peak because it was directed towards companies and retailers who placed a lot of value on data and consumer trends who were then able to exemplify the many benefits of predictive analytics.
When bringing your retail technology to market you have to promote it accordingly. You have to understand the complications in the retail world and the unmet wants and needs of customers and businesses. Amazon was introduced at a time when brick and mortars were beginning to be considered a hassle and a waste of time. It fulfilled a certain need that at the time was not being achieved. An insight that required incredible research.
Education on both ends
To become a blossoming retail technology company, it’s not enough to just educate your customers. You yourself have to have an unquenchable thirst for learning new statistics and trends about retail and technology. You’re dealing with an industry that is constantly evolving so you need to keep your finger on the pulse the entire time.
The more you understand about the industry your product or service is supposed to change the more ideas you’ll think of to change it. When you say it out loud, it seems obvious. Yet so many companies still plateau when they feel that they have learned “enough”.
At Rock Candy Media, we never stop studying the industries and audiences that surround them. It’s how we come up with marketing and brand strategies that take companies from start-up to stock options. We’ve done it plenty of times before, and we wake up every day to do it again.