Consumer behavior is constantly evolving, especially over the last two years. Therefore, the big challenge for retailers is to strengthen their presence in the digital market, without abandoning the physical one. Indeed, most customers still like to visit the store to see the products in real life, try them, get information and talk to store representatives. Moreover, many "Digital Native Vertical Brands" (brands coming entirely from digital) open showrooms and pop-up stores to make the first step towards physical commerce and respect the customer's demand... The idea is to find a balance between digital and physical, keeping in the forefront the customer experience.
At Booxi, our team is made up of many retail experts who carefully study and observe the changes in the industry, both in Europe and North America. With their help, we gathered five trends that we believe represent the future of the retail industry and how to integrate appointment scheduling.
Transparency is a key factor in today's business environment and is essential to building customer loyalty.
Today, 79% of French consumers consider that companies have an important role to play in the fight against climate change, while 63% are concerned about the environmental impact of products. Brands must therefore prove to their customers the efforts and maneuvers put in place to address the issue. It is essential for brands to: highlight their eco-responsible values, demonstrate the quality and durability of their products, prove that the manufacturing and workshops are ethical, etc.
It is essential to offer them an experience to build customer loyalty. An effective solution is to offer appointments scheduling for different services like a planned visit to your workshops, showing them the production of your products, etc. You will be able to show them all the CSR actions carried out by your company in a transparent way. Customers will feel closer to your brand and their loyalty will increase.
The circular economy is a new economic model that aims to reduce the waste of resources and environmental impact by abolishing the notion of waste. The objective is to create a loop through the reuse of raw materials and non-renewable energy sources.
According to Québec Circulaire, this method is based on two mechanisms:
In 2021, the number of purchases on second-hand fashion sites increased by 51% compared to the previous year and increased by 140% from 2019 to 2020. But many other sectors are also concerned by this new trend such as sports, furniture, toys or multimedia. Famous brands such as Auchan, Carrefour, Leclerc, Pimkie, Leroy Merlin and Ikea have decided to play the game of this economy by launching themselves in the second hand.
Some of them even use the appointment booking as a tool to integrate a web-to-store strategy into their marketing: appointment booking via a call-to-action on the brand's website to encourage customers to come and drop off in the store parts they no longer use to recycle them and give them discounts or points on a loyalty card in exchange...
Debuting in China around 2016 through Alibaba's Taobao app, the practice of live shopping exploded during the year 2020, when the whole world was in lockdown. Indeed, during this difficult period, brands had to redouble their efforts and creativity to offer concepts pushing their customers to consume even remotely. Therefore, live shopping on social networks or directly via e-commerce sites appeared in mass, from the biggest brands as well as the smallest ones. Very easy to organize, it consists in presenting sales items via videoconference but still requires preparation! It is essential to offer live shopping by appointment, to be sure that your customers are well informed in advance of all the information, and are present during the event.
For a successful live shopping event, you need to create an emotion. And this can be done through entertainment, humor, spontaneity... and most importantly, the user must feel the authenticity in the process.
When it is well done, live shopping is a real success and can generate a conversion rate of 15 to 35%!
Currently, camera recognition and artificial intelligence are allowing autonomous stores to deploy around the world. The best-known example is Amazon Go in the United States or Carrefour Flash, recently launched in Paris. Designed to speed up the daily shopping process, it is a store entirely devoid of staff.
On the other hand, "quick commerce" is an evolved version of e-commerce based on an express delivery model. The goal here is to ensure that the customer receives the purchased product in just a few minutes.
These two models meet a real demand from consumers who do not want to waste time in shopping malls or to do their groceries. Schedued appointments meet their expectations by providing a specific time slot to receive their purchase or service without any waiting!
Consumers are more and more solicited by brands in an attempt to gain their loyalty, to bring them into stores, to get them to test new products, to encourage them to buy...
Concept stores and stores where the customer is in total immersion are appearing more and more regularly, as well as "instagrammable" stores to maximize sharing via social networks.
Major luxury brands are opening coffee shops (Armani, Panerai), restaurants (Ralph Lauren), or are also collaborating with pastry chefs, intending to give consumers an experience.
As for appointments, it has its place in this new trend. The customer doesn't just come to buy an item and leave but is invited to spend a moment, to live an experience, through a personalized relationship in a brand's universe. The objective is to create emotion and to create more links with the customer. And what better way to offer a personalized experience to a customer than to plan their visit?
In conclusion, in 2022, it is more than ever essential to rethink the customer journey to offer a new omnichannel experience.