It seems that the world is slipping further and further into our pockets. We are doing more on our phones than ever before, and the power of the small, black tablets is growing stronger every year. The latest iPhone, only 6 inches tall and 3 inches wide, rivals the flagship desktop computers of only a few short years ago while adding GPS capabilities and Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Machine Learning (ML). With billions of smartphones in use every single day, and mobile shopping becoming one of the primary forms of commerce, it is an exciting time to be in the retail and service industry.
For any store owner, your goal is always to boost sales and minimize your losses. As for consumers, they want to experience a better client service, more qualified products suggestions, a more custom approach to their queries. And, finally, they’ll appreciate a less time-consuming shopping.
In this article, we will talk about the following strategies to increase revenue streams for Retail and Services industries:
- Recurring payments
- Membership programs
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning
- Augmented and virtual reality
1. Recurring payments
Subscription services, when your account is automatically debited each month for the same product, have quickly become one of the most popular forms of commerce. Whether it’s your Netflix subscription, a monthly shaving service like Harry’s, or cooking boxes such as Blue Apron, it seems you can’t scroll through your Instagram feed without an ad for a new subscription service.
Amazon auto-delivery — your cat is always well fed
One of the online shopping giants, Amazon offers consumers a “Subscribe and Save” program. All you have to do is to choose the products you regularly purchase, schedule the delivery frequency, and receive your recurring shipments with a discount for your pre-ordered products.
As a prime member of the program, you often receive more substantial discounts on particular goods. Those could be baby products, pet food, and treats, etc. Benefits abound for both consumer and shopkeeper. Customers enjoy receiving their monthly groceries without any hassle, and the retailer has a regular, recurring income from their loyal client base.
2. Membership programs
Membership models are an age-old tactic for businesses, non-profits, sports clubs, and more. While a membership program works for some reasons, they often stem from a financial incentive. For many customers, they sign up for membership to a store or business because they’ve been promised a reward, for instance, 20% off their purchase. Once someone has become a member of a store, it’s important to reinforce their decision with emails designed to evoke emotion – ‘Welcome to the family.’ Building on an emotional connection can turn a customer, into a club member, into a brand ambassador, and beyond.
The Beauty Insider by Sephora
Loyal brand users make up as much as 80% of Sephora’s annual sales. The membership program allows users to collect points after each purchase. Accumulating enough points enable you to exchange them for gift cards or discounts. Thus, the brand of pretty expensive cosmetics allows their most loyal users access to special sales, or even limited products collections or exclusive beauty tutorials. Thanks to their points program, brands value stays high. And customer satisfaction is through the roof.
Starbucks reward program for regulars
Cafes are well-known for handing out loyalty cards at the cash register — buy ten coffees and get you 11th free. However, it was the creator of the triple, venti, half sweet, non-fat, caramel macchiato that made it into an artform. The My Starbucks Rewards mobile app is one of the most popular apps globally and is a massive hit with their caffeine-addicted customer base. The app allows customers to order their drink ahead of time quickly and pay using the device. And after gaining enough points shoppers are entitled to free food or beverage of their choice.
A great customer loyalty program can generate the emotional bond between a customer and their store while also giving retailers critical data about their users. Smartphone loyalty apps gather exclusive information about visitors. That includes their favorite orders, the most popular locations, forecasts of trends, and average spend per customer.
3. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence has become a dominant technology over the last few years. While once relegated to the world of science fiction, AI is quickly becoming a favorite, and crucial, business tool. Developers are utilizing data science, machine learning, and deep learning to help businesses understand more about their customers as well as optimizing and automating their decisions. For instance, on particularly hot days, a drive-thru fast food restaurant might decide to highlight ice creams over hot pies for dessert. The algorithms that coders create allow businesses big and small to understand the powerful data at their fingertips.
In terms of the Services and Retail industries, business owners will have endless opportunities to increase their revenue thanks to AI. Firstly, we’ll have a more effective and less irritating ad placing. The ads will be tailored based on the previous experience of each shopper. Thus, you’ll be able to easily optimize ads for your buyer. Secondly, as your algorithms begin to suggest genuinely personalized adverts, you’re going to be able to ensure that the shopping experience is as seamless as possible.
Amazon Go — a perfect example of a smart shopping experience
Amazon Go serves as an ideal example of the convergence AI, Deep Learning, and Computer vision into a revolutionary shopping experience. Thanks to “Just walk out technology,” Amazon Go shoppers pick what they want off of the shelves and walk out the door. No need to wait in queues, slide cards, and experience all the inconvenience of losing time at a cash register anymore. You install the mobile app and identify yourself by scanning a QR code when entering the store. Numerous sensors around the store track your shopping activity, including when you take an item off the shelf or when you put it back. The tracking sensors automatically add the product to your virtual cart as you continue to traverse the store. As a result, when finish shopping, you exit the store and are emailed an electronic receipt after paying automatically through your Amazon account.
The following video shows how easy the process is:
4. Augmented and Virtual reality
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are beginning to influence the Retail and Services worlds. As the technology becomes more mainstream, shoppers are enjoying a much safer and more tailored shopping experience. While going through online store pages, you’ll be able to try on your potential new outfit. With the help of your mobile cameras, you’ll see the way clothes look in real life. You rotate it, check if it fits your eyes, and compare it to the clothes you already have in your wardrobe.
As for groceries, the experience will be quite similar. More brands are beginning to introduce Augmented Reality features into their physical stores. Hold your phone up to, say, a box of cereal and the camera will automatically scan it. You’ll get a picture of the nutritional information, country of origin, even recipes suggestions. For those who are on a diet, your phone will tell you if your weight loss is going well.
As a result, shoppers have a better experience during their trip to the supermarket. And alongside retailers have fewer returns from accidental purchases.
AR shopping experience by IKEA
Furniture and home decorations are the fields where you can get the most out of your AR shopping. Now you can easily imagine how your apartment will look with that new IKEA couch. All you need is the combination of the IKEA mobile app and your phone’s camera. Just point your camera, and you’ll be able to see sofas, kitchen tables, and beds in your different rooms. The app lets you place the object exactly where you want it to be. After you rotate it and get the final picture of your bedroom. No hassle of buying the coach, building it, and discovering it just doesn’t fit. Once you’ve created your dream kitchen, you can share it with your family member.
An application like this has two advantages. The obvious one is to attract customers to their site with an engaging experience that encourages a sale. The less obvious one is that customers are less likely to return the item after taking it home. So, more sales and fewer returns equal greater profits!
Take care of both the trends and the clients
If you want to build truly unique experiences for your customers and increase your revenue, keep an eye on the latest tech trends. AR/VR-based mobile solutions in combination with Artificial Intelligence will create breathtaking retail moments and gain more fans in 2020. By the way, you need to update your mobile applications to meet the requirements from Apple and Google in 2020.
Consider the ways you can improve the shopping experience for your customers, and give you greater insight into your audience. Remember, when you care about your audience’s convenience, your customer rewards you by lining up around the block.
At DB Best we widely apply Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, as well as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality elements for our clients’ solutions. We’ll be your partner in bringing your business to the next revenue level. Let’s have a chat, and start working on your project today!