The world of retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) continues to evolve, and brands must reprioritize their focus to keep up with—and surpass—not only the competition but customer expectations.
Jan. 10, 2024 | By Ryan Hopkins
The pandemic changed customer expectations drastically, especially in retail and CPG. While many brands have shifted to meet their customers’ needs and desires, there’s still room for growth.
Here’s a look into the not-so-distant future and the retail trends that brands should embrace moving forward in order to maximize the value from their technology investments.
Personalize the Shopping Experience With Data Analytics
Retail trends are increasingly pointing toward the importance of data insights and analytics in providing retailers with the power to truly personalize each customer’s shopping experience.
In fact, personalization is no longer a plus but a must for brands, key to boosting customer satisfaction and creating a long-lasting connection.
Consumers want their voices to be heard, which means putting to productive use the data gathered from surveys, social media and other channels.
If brands want their customers to return, they need to focus on getting personalization right. Retailers can use computer vision and edge technology to help match customers with the exact product they’re seeking—and the specific location they can find it in a physical store—as well as recommend similar products along the way.
Retail media networks (RMNs) allow retailers to use data to advertise the right product brands to the right consumers, all while generating additional revenue.
Create a Seamless Customer Experience Across Channels
“Omnichannel” has become a bit of a buzzword in the retail space—and for good reason. Gone are the days of customers shopping only in store or online.
Instead, these different channels are now viewed as one seamless experience or unified commerce, marking a significant shift in retail technology trends, so it’s critical that retailers enable consumers to move easily from online to in-store shopping.
During the pandemic, many brands had to quickly implement things like buying online and picking up at curbside, and now it’s time to streamline those processes. The right technology partner can help brands improve the shopping experience, regardless of location.
Shift Focus to Transparency and Sustainability
In line with current retail industry trends, customers have grown more socially and environmentally conscious, especially among younger generations, and they want to purchase from brands that align with their values.
Retailers should prioritize transparency in their organizations, being open about how and where their products are manufactured and the diversity of their C-suite.
Transparency can also include clarity on how a brand uses the latest technology, such as AI. And if a retailer makes a commitment to change to more sustainable business practices—another emerging retail trend—they have to back up their words with visible actions.
Ease Employee Burdens With Automation
Employee satisfaction drives customer satisfaction, so brands should focus on using AI / machine learning automation to ease their associates’ daily tasks, which will in turn result in an improved customer experience.
Technology trends in retail like modern self-checkout and fulfillment robots can free up employee time for more customer-facing tasks, improve logistics and streamline processes like inventory management.
With the right data strategy, generative AI can help extract insights, eliminate redundancies and even simplify tasks like writing product descriptions. The right automation technology can enable a brand’s workforce to be more productive and efficient, resulting in more satisfied employees and customers.
Provide Flexibility and Security
Today’s customers want options, not just in products but in how they pay for their purchases.
Retail industry trends allow retailers to make the shopping experience easier for their customers, such as through more flexible payment options like buy now, pay later programs or the use of Apple Pay, PayPal or Venmo.
But with that flexibility and multiple payment portals, security and privacy are just as—if not more—essential than ever.
Customers want to purchase from brands that they trust with their information and data. Added security measures not only benefit individual consumers but can help prevent retail shrink and take the burden of theft prevention off of employees.
Embrace the Power of Data and Analytics
The latest CPG and retail trends can all be effective strategies to improve customer satisfaction, but they only work effectively with the power of consumer data.
The right data strategy can transform a brand, helping personalize shopping, automate tasks and create a more seamless omnichannel experience.
Of course, this is much easier said than done, especially for large retailers with abundant data stored across platforms.
TEKsystems has identified hundreds of use cases in the retail industry to improve customer experiences and associate experiences. A technology consulting partner like TEKsystems can help you develop a data strategy to generate meaningful insights and improve customer experiences—and grow your revenue.
Retail and CPG Solutions With TEKsystems
From creating flawless, omnichannel customer experiences to harnessing data for real-time visibility for demand planning and supply chain management, we’re there every step of the way. Dive in to learn how TEKsystems can help you harness the power of technology to deliver delight to your customers.