Thanks to globalisation and the rise of new technology, consumers are more demanding than ever before. Customers are not only after outstanding customer service, but have the option to shop when, where, and how they want. Unsurprisingly, this evolution has taken its toll on many traditional retailers. Never fear: there are ways around this to ensure retailers stay relevant to customers in 2017 and beyond.

Be where your customers want you to be

The concept dubbed “omnichannel” retailer means your business is not just accessible through your physical store, but online on a desktop, mobile, or via social media. There’s also the option to mix your physical with your online store through Click and Collect, so customers can complete their transaction online before coming in-store to collect their purchase because let’s face it no one enjoys waiting line. If your customers choose to come in-store, help them avoid queuing by equipping your staff with tablets so they can meet and greet customers with the right product information, and help them checkout there and then without having to go up to the cash register.

More ways to pay

The number of Australians using mobile payments is expected to amount to 4.6 million by 2020, according to Statisa. Customers already have a variety of mobile payment options, including Apple Pay, Android Pay, Square, and other forms of credit and debit contactless payments. This is why it’s crucial to accept all different forms of payments at point of purchase – not just cash!

The power of data

The power of customer insights has never been more valuable, particularly if you want to stay ahead of competitors. By knowing exactly what, when, and how they’re buying will let you personalise their future experiences with your brand, and encourage brand loyalty and repeat purchases. Retailers can harness technology known as customer relationship management systems to capture that information before delivering targeted promotions or offering relevant recommendations to customers.

Shop securely

According to security firm Norton, globally, small businesses are the target of one-third of online attacks. To ensure your business security, review your protocols regularly and invest in robust technology to secure customer information, much in the same way as you would if you were protecting your physical store from thieves.

These are just a handful of handy tips to get you started to ensure your retail business doesn’t get left behind in 2017. Vodafone has put together an in-depth guide to give businesses like yours insights on how to keep up with today’s customers – and how to stay ahead of them in the future.

The retail world is changing rapidly. Make sure your business is prepared with our Ready Business Retail Action Plan and Future Ready Retail report.

To find out how you can harness tomorrow’s technology, today – and deliver the best possible customer experience, find your nearest Vodafone Business Specialist.

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Aimee Chanthadavong

Content Producer

Aimee Chanthadavong,
Content Producer

As Content Producer of RedWire, Aimee is a passionate storyteller about people, technology, and anything else that requires her to use a bit of journalistic detective work.