Ecommerce.co.za

Adopt Retail AI or die... "I’ll be back" never happens

by Ajay Lalu: Co- founder & director of Q-HOP.
Key trends that will shape the ecommerce industry in 2024 are all centred around customer experience and the use of Retail AI to drive better customer engagement with hyper personalisation. 

Retailers are reporting an increase in in-store visits driven by ecommerce retailers that are charging for delivery and now returns too. This trend is driving customers to expect a unified omnichannel retail experience. Key to unlocking this is enablement of flexible fulfilment from online to in-store pickup and returns. 
It's essential for ecommerce platforms to have a social commerce strategy on Facebook to TikTok, especially for Gen Z shoppers. Lastly, hyper personalisation is the golden thread that brings a unified omnichannel experience to shoppers. Knowing the data from both online and offline shopping - and developing a unified view of the shopper - is paramount.

Retail Artificial Intelligence is here to stay. Adopt or die is the bottom line. Ecommerce retailers who do not use or plan to use Retail AI will not survive. Retail AI will enable hyper personalisation, streamline inventory management and improve efficiencies, especially for on-demand delivery.

According to Forbes, social commerce will reach $2.9t by 2026, and therefore is set to be a massive trend in 2024. This needs to be well managed, in line with your omnichannel experience, as Gen Z shoppers are particularly discerning when it comes to which platforms they visit frequently. Retailers looking to have a social commerce strategy need to focus on authenticity, so greenwashing etc. will turn this market away. 

Mobile is the key engagement platform, so develop your UX for mobile and not desktop. According to PewResearch, 91% of online purchases are done on mobile phones.

This year it’s time to step up and create smart ecosystems for the rapid adoption of Retail AI and focus on social commerce for success.

Useful resources:
Q-HOP
Q-HOP creates a uniquely convenient digital experience for retail customers by allowing them to use a mobile application to scan the barcodes of items they wish to purchase, and then pay automatically using a variety of digital payment platforms including PayPal; BitCoin; Masterpass; Zapper; SnapScan, and mobile wallets.
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