Sunday 25 October 2020

Chieh Huang

Shoppers are scrolling, not strolling, says expert

DUBAI, January 9, 2019

Today’s shoppers are scrolling, not strolling, said the CEO of Boxed, the American online and mobile membership-free wholesale retailer and one of 60 speakers at the upcoming The Retail Summit in Dubai, UAE.

“On-the-go millennials and Gen Z consumers are all about convenient shopping experiences. To meet the needs of younger, tech-savvy shoppers, retailers are investing in channels that make shopping feel less like a chore,” Chieh Huang added.

Taking place at Atlantis, The Palm from 13-14 February, and held in partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce &Industry and Meydan One, the event will gather 600 international retailers from every business sector.

It is being launched in response to the digital disruption and change in consumer expectations that are transforming retail.

While major organisations may dominate the retail revolution, Huang said small operators will not be far behind. “As large retailers work on improving their digital experiences for shoppers, we're going to see a heavy investment in developing proprietary technology,” he said.

“The biggest impact to retail business will be the shift in the perception of retailers as technology companies,” he explained.

“As retailers create new software to accelerate and innovate their services, they'll branch out to license their technology to other companies— similar to what we've seen with the Amazon Web Service (AWS) model.

“Many regional and smaller grocers will license software and fulfilment technology from digital-first companies to support their burgeoning e-commerce capabilities.

“From one-click ordering on mobile apps, to subscription services and predictive reordering, to shoppable Instagram posts, retailers are making it easier to capture consumer attention. The challenge lies in striking a balance between maintaining your identity as a retailer and establishing a profitable technology business,” Huang added.

With millennials and Gen Z set to make up the majority of purchasing power, another top speaker at The Retail Summit says it’s vital to recognise that the two groups have distinct characteristics.

“First, they really are different generations,” said Steve Evans, senior vice president of American fashion designer Fossil. “Millennials served as pioneer users of technology while Gen Zs were born with it.

“We see Millennials more focused on digital-only experiences and they are often looking to discover what’s ‘next’. Gen Zs are clear and comfortable with their personal suite of technology. Both expect to be communicated with in a customized and personal way.”

Evans said technology has enhanced the science of data collection and predictive analytics, creating a real opportunity to develop the art of both data collection and insights.

He added: “In the end, it all comes down to understanding the consumer’s journey in order to best serve their needs and this is happening in real time, which is a major shift in how we have historically worked.

“Here’s what hasn’t changed – consumers care about getting a great product that is right for them. They also expect a great experience, whether it’s through the right digital ads, in-store experiences or the selection of products offered to them.” – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Online | Ai | Retail summit |

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