"Customer is always right " never sounded closer to the truth than it is the case in today's retail industry.
As in many industries before which tended to work in the B2C model, customer experience became a necessity, and power wielded by regular customers has rapidly increased.
Each business sector experienced drastic changes during the global pandemic, but maybe none more than the earlier mentioned healthcare and also retail industry. As countries were in widespread lockdowns, many shoppers and customers were 'trapped' inside their walls, which resulted in a dramatic increase in online shopping across multiple e-commerce sites and platforms.
Businesses that implemented e-commerce sites, web-shops and other forms of online shopping in their business models prospered. Although the demise of the traditional retail industry was happening way before the global pandemic due to digitalization and change in customer shopping habits, nobody expected this multitude of changes.
Even though e-commerce was omnipresent, people were still mostly spending their shopping money in conventional retail locations (65% of shopping budget).
Chaos ensued when many SMEs tried to hop on the e-commerce train during a pandemic – many developed prototypes of little to no use, time was scarce, and unscalable designs became worthless with companies' growth.
Before and after the pandemic – the customer is always right
A survey conducted among 350 online shoppers revealed that the valued metrics and components mainly were reliability, scalability, usability, navigability, portability and performance.
The same survey revealed that only 18.4% of shoppers would be unconditionally loyal to the e-commerce site that suffered performance problems.
Nowadays, retail consumers demand a personalized approach and services. An omnichannel experience is becoming increasingly important, from online and mobile to in-store.
Even before the pandemic, many retailers faced the challenge of keeping pace with consumer demands.
Back in 2020, when cities were going into lockdowns and customers started avoiding public places, retailers needed to become more flexible to adapt to the changing needs.
In 2018, 40% of e-commerce transactions were carried out through mobile devices. Come 2021, that figure grew to 54%, according to Statista.
The COVID-19 crisis has drastically accelerated the expansion of e-commerce towards new companies, customers and types of products. Consumers began ordering products not usually purchased online – like groceries – from the safety of their homes.
To respond to the fast-paced, ever-changing market, retailers and e-commerce businesses need to develop mobile apps that would provide simple shopping processes and interactions responsive to customers' personal preferences. Like mobile banking applications, e-commerce apps must be developed, tested and evaluated quickly.
With the right rapid application development platform, developing an e-commerce application should bring together low-cost development and emerging technologies.
Retail customization offers each consumer a distinctive trip across all touchpoints and channels, supported by customer and product intelligence based on historical data and current shopper intent.
Even though nearly every store today claims to "personalize" the shopping experience for each customer, only a few do it right.
Rapid application development platforms can help you meet the demands of an ever-demanding customer base, and an incredible variety of choices is making retailers fight for every customer. During their shopping experience, people want a streamlined experience of optimized and integrated services.
Features that are valued most are the personalized shopping process through retailers' apps and software. You can track your orders in real-time, and complex AI algorithms would redesign a memorable shopping experience. That type of algorithm would be implemented to match every customer-specific need, and it will be possible to offer better service and products which end-user will most likely buy.
Shopping history, intertwined with search history within complex analytics and data management systems, would be used in applications to improve services and offer the best possible experiences. Several reports that could be analyzed appropriately would help stakeholders to successfully predict customer behavior patterns and act accordingly.
How can RAD help?
The key to rapid application development is enabling teams to create prototypes quickly. With conventional software development methodologies, the process of turning a concept into an application used to take much longer. Additionally, the business case can be evaluated more quickly, and business executives may be persuaded of the application's worth in a few days since it is feasible to see the final product while it is being developed.
The main benefit of a rapid application development platform is the speed with which you can create and distribute unique apps based on the actions and journeys of your customers. Using the same platform, you can quickly design new digital experiences that can be used on every channel, including web and mobile. Rapid application development, more crucially, moves the emphasis from "my product" to "fixing the customer's problem".
If you are looking for a rapid application development platform that can help you launch your high-quality products to market in no time, we might have a solution for you.