Lets have a look at some new developments in retailing
Rise in mobile shopping
There has been a huge growth in shopping on mobiles and tablets in recent years, and this is accelerating.
It has a number if implications for retailers. First they need to have their websites optimised for use on mobiles, and secondly they need to be able to take payments on mobile devices to take advantage of the opportunity.
Barclays forecast that UK consumer spending on mobile will hit £53.6 billion in 2024. Only 3% of retailers currently claim to be mobile ready, and 70% of retailers do not have a mobile enabled website, or app. Barclays also estimate that by 2024, 42% of retail sales will involve a mobile at some point in the process, whether it is checking prices or actually making the purchase.
What is a mobile enabled website?
A mobile enabled website or app uses responsive design to fit the screen of smartphones and tablets. The pages adapt themselves to fit the size of the screen available.
This ensures the user does not have to navigate through a desktop website on their hand held mobile or tablet.
In the near future it is likely that search engines will factor in responsive design to their SEO algorithms, making this a crucial feature, as well as enhancing the user’s experience.
Location based marketing
As the technology develops, we can expect to see a rise in the use of location based marketing. This allows the retailer to pinpoint the shopper’s location and send them personalised offers relevant to their geographical location, such as offers from other retailers in the vicinity, or from the store they are in. Some tools offer the retailer the opportunity to see the shopper’s history and personal profile, if they have opted in. This would allow the retailer to offer tailored products or offers to that shopper.
There have been a number of well publicised data breaches in 2015, and plenty written about the success of hackers. Security of payments will become a hot topic for retailers in the short term.
They will need to proactively communicate with consumers to assure them they are taking all the right precautions to protect their data. One of the most important things for retailers to come to terms with is that they do not actually need to store clients details, and can take them fresh each time.
New payment technologies
It used to be enough for retailers to offer a credit card terminal to accept shopper’s payments. Now they have to contend with people wanting to pay with PayPal , or apps, or make contactless payments.
Two technologies we will hear more about in the future are tokenization and point to point encryption
Here part of the payment data is replaced by an alphanumeric code when the payment is being processed. This reduces information about the client’s card, and their personal detail, to a string of letters and numbers, rendering it useless to anyone who hacks the data.
Point to Point encryption
Here the card data is scrambled and locked away to ensure its security.
Google now offers a seal of approval called Google Certified Shop, designed to reassure potential customers of the security of their payments and card details.
We have already discussed contactless payments, their convenience, and the security issues they present.
Apple Pay will launch in late 2015 and incorporates a contactless payments system to the owners of certain Apple devices.
Contactless systems should allow for faster transactions, reducing time spent in queues and benefiting both shopper and retailer.