Traditional retailers have been struggling to keep up with customer satisfaction now that the consumers have the option to shop online and via mobile devices.

In response to this, themes such as mobile payments, data-driven risk management and personalised customer experiences made headlines and dominated key conversations within the retail industry.

While all of these trends will continue in 2018, new trends that will further revolutionise the retail scene as we know it.

These trends are:

Unifying the consumer shopping experience


In a Hong Kong-focused survey conducted by KPMG and GS1, 40% of Hong Kong consumers polled said the convenience of shopping anywhere at any time is the most appealing aspect of eCommerce.

According to Adyen, 63% of shoppers would also shop more often if they can do things like return items in a store that they bought from online and 86% want to be able to exchange or return digitally purchased items.

Customer experience will become a key brand differentiator, over price and product.

Conversational commerce


The increasing integration of messaging apps and online shopping in 2018 will allow customers to chat with an AI robot and ask questions, receive customer commands, and purchase products all within one channel.

Asia Pacific is on the right trajectory, with over a third of shoppers already getting their fashion fix online.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)


ODG smart glasses will let users see digital representations of merchandise in the line of sight and the system will display information such as price, size, colour and more. A secure payment system will use iris scanning technology for authentication.

This is in line with the results of a recent HKTDC survey which revealed that key eCommerce players in Hong Kong perceive AI (28%) and AR (20%)
 as the 7th and 8th drivers of eCommerce in the next five years.

Using more data to fight fraud


In order to combat fraud, employing the use of data and analytics can be used to identify patterns for fraudulent activity – retailers and payment providers must step up efforts to screen transactions that warrant review.

Success will boil down to retailers being able to offer customers a unified and seamless shopping experience.



Article by Warren Hayashi for Enterprise Innovation.
    

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