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Digitalization or death: how Russian retailers fit into the new realities of trade

Venera Shaydullina talks about the digitalization trends of electronic and offline trading, cites the 5 most promising technologies that will have a strong impact on e-commerce in the near future, and gives advice to Russian entrepreneurs on how to get competitive advantages in the new conditions
New Digital Technologies in Electronic Commerce

Global retail sales in e-commerce in 2018 amounted to approximately $ 2.5 trillion, according to forecasts for 2021, their volume will grow to $ 4.5 trillion. The world of digital marketing is developing and changing very quickly due to the global spread of Internet access: both mobile and fixed. And modern information technologies are used on both sides: by both the consumer and the seller.

Custom search history and customer needs are the most unique values. Each marketplace is looking for a key to the heart of the consumer. It consists in establishing a strong trusting relationship with him on any platform and not only in the online space, but also offline, using personalization and artificial intelligence technologies.

What kind of buyer is he

This is a basic question that should be answered by any company that offers its products and expects an interested client and a high level of sales.

Modern buyer:
looking for a great product at an affordable price;
focuses on reviews in social networks;
He doesn’t like to wait long while this product is brought to him.
Therefore, the click and collect model is often used, which allows you to receive goods in one of the network stores or postamata. And if the goods received do not correspond to the one that the buyer was viewing, the seller will immediately fall into his “black list”.

People willingly share their impressions of buying on social networks with friends and subscribers and love to criticize low-quality things. The consumer journey has noticeably lengthened. The buyer constantly runs between online and offline stores, changing several more platforms along the way.

If you want to own a product, it is no longer necessary to buy it. The exchange economy is very attractive: you can take on credit or rent, just exchange goods or services, saving at the same time and without harming the environment.

The technologies in online retail adapt to the modern consumer and try to create a comfortable zone for him to make a purchase. Consider the most promising, in our opinion, innovations in this area.

Wearable devices

These are smart fitness bracelets, watches or glasses, the number of which is projected to increase to 650 million by 2020, and smartphones, by the way, will be more than 2 billion. Wearable devices transmit information not only about a person’s whereabouts, but also preserve his daily routine, and note the state of health.

Large retail chains launched an experiment on the use of web beacons with built-in sensors – Bluetooth Low Energy beacons. When approaching the store a certain distance, they transmit a signal to the smartphone, and the mobile application displays a message about a personalized discount.

This is how forward-looking analytics develops, which helps to select a product taking into account the characteristics of each client.

Digital assistants

These are Siri, Google, Alexa (from the giant retailer Amazon), which do not call for purchase, but help to navigate the offers of stores. They can find the right product, reorder it, track the status of the order and so on.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality Technology – AR is a good driver for e-commerce. It combines the benefits of virtual and real world. Invites the buyer to evaluate even before the purchase how the desired thing will look on him or in his house.

In 2017, the Swedish company IKEA launched the Place app. It allows you to “place” your favorite furniture in your interior and choose the appropriate option. Owners of small houses where every centimeter matters are especially pleased. Amazon has a similar View service, which presents not only furniture, but also thousands of other products. On the Russian site ochkarik.ru you can try on points. Loreal offers the ModiFace application, which will show how facial makeup will look with your favorite cosmetic products.

AR-fitting rooms significantly reduce the amount of return shopping. In 2018, they created a market of more than $ 1 billion. Offline stores, for example, Burberry, also chose this technology to create show rooms.

Chat bots

Communicate with the buyer while still in symbiosis of the machine and the person. Using artificial intelligence algorithms, they are constantly learning and becoming more perfect. Some of them successfully solve problems and carry out financial transactions.

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