Long before, customer engagement is only limited to traditional ways of advertising and interaction such as flyers and promotions. Nowadays, the definition of customer engagement is constantly changing due to new technologies. With these advancements, businesses would be able to expand their service offerings and enhance their customer experience.
In today’s article, we will highlight the top 4 technologies to increase customer engagement for retailers in 2021.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that lets people place digital content like images, text, or sounds over real-life scenes. Through any mobile devices that have cameras, AR acts as a window which viewers could see the holograms or 3D models of captured content.
AR encourages a deeper and more extensive customer engagement by in-store shopping experiences into rewarding digital experiences.
Many brands have initiated this top technology. For example, fashion brands like ASOS, Gucci and Adidas help customers visualise the products with their virtual try-on tools, allowing them to ‘try’ on products as if they were at the physical store. Rather than relying on simple images, customers could now see how they look wearing that product.
Not only fashion, other industries like beauty – Sephora, furniture – IKEA or paint – Dulux also provide virtual tools for customers so they could explore and shop the same way they would at brick-and-mortar stores.
AR technology removes the barrier between digital and physical, allows for meaningful interactions between customers and products. It offers customers the convenience and personalized experience of products and services regardless of device, time, and location.
In a way, a chatbot is a form of AI, where businesses could connect with customers via online chat so that both parties could communicate how they want to.
Customers simply get tired from reading endless product descriptions or having to browse pages looking for an answer. They just want to be able to ask and receive a quick response that is short and informative.
Chatbot offers various benefits for businesses such as time-saving, user-friendly, and 24/7 available. It could be used to improve customer service and enhance the user experience.
By using clear language and natural way of communication, chatbot replicates the one-on-one feeling of a dedicated seller. Chatbot interacts with customers and helps them make a purchase through support and personalized recommendations. Brands are able to deliver fast and efficient service to customers while keeping it professional through the chatbot.
For example, when a customer visits a website, the chatbot would immediately connect and offer assistance. The customer could then ask for either suggestions or answers without having to browse through the website. After purchasing, the chatbot could provide information like order confirmation or shipping updates. It could also assist with return orders and customer surveys.
Many brands have implemented chatbots into their websites such as food and drink industry – Domino’s or Wholefood, beauty – Estée Lauder or L’Oréal. Even other industries like Bank of America and the World Health Organization (WHO) have begun to launch this top customer service technology.
Chatbot has the ability to provide excellent service to the unlimited number of customers or type of business. Therefore, chatbot technology is becoming more and more popular with businesses.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI helps businesses deliver more engaging user experience by treating customers as individuals rather than parts of the demographic. It would gather, sort, and analyze information on customer behaviour such as actions on websites, their searches and interests to better understand customers. Moreover, AI could streamline back-end functions like inventory management, automated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, and customer service.
When a brand offers customers a natural and personal interaction, customers would be more likely to engage with that call-of-action.
AI functionalities are increasingly being used by various brands. One of the most famous brands that take advantage of AI is Netflix, where users would receive recommendations based on movies that they liked. Amazon is also a great example that applied AI, where customers would receive suggestions to shop for products similar to their purchase history or their wish list.
Every business is trying to adopt AI to differentiate themselves and to enhance their customer experience. Businesses could spend more time nurturing relationships with customers thanks to the top technology of AI. With it being said, AI is becoming a staple across the eCommerce industry.
Application Programming Interfaces (API)
Our last but not least top technology in 2021 to help increase customer engagement is API or Application Programming Interfaces. API are interfaces that connect hardware and software, business platforms and customers, in order to enable seamless data sharing.
For every business that integrates API, customers would have complete freedom for their shopping journey to continue wherever and whenever they desire.
For examples, a customer could make an online purchase, talk to customer service through social media, and then exchange the order in-store. All of these could take place without a single hassle since API is capable of sharing customer data across all available platforms.
With API, retailers could intelligently engage with customers anywhere, from social media and websites, devices and apps, to brick-and-mortar stores. The technology helps customers have a more engaging shopping experience without any difficulty, at the same time creating a seamless experience.
What do you think?
It is no doubt that technologies have made a huge impact on our lives and retail business. By using the right method and strategy, these 4 technologies could be a game-changer for your business. It is not a must-have and not every business is suitable with these advanced techs, but they are indeed something to keep in mind.
Especially in the retail industry, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest technology to make your business stand out from the rest. One of the best things that you could do is to opt for a robust, feature-rich POS system such as ConnectPOS.