Retail-as-a-service is a package of services that provides to brands so that they can have a presence in the market. The services are including, customer service, payment process, customer support, marketing, and event management etc. Products can also get the awareness of foot traffic throughout the space and demographics.
Retail-as-a-service can be seen as a solution for retail stores to successfully embrace the digital ecosystem. By maximising every bit of a retail store to not hold product only, but also to build experience and use technologies to present the story. In other word, create additional value.
Consumers purchasing habits have drastically changed in recent years. They are not shopping less, but shopping differently. Consumers have greater power than ever. They can now research, shop, and order online. Without stepping out of their home, they can receive products at home by delivery service. Retail stores need a change in their business model in order to secure the benefits of being offline and deal with the growth of e-commerce.
E-commerce is getting more and more convenient and user-friendly. The purpose of shopping offline have switched towards entertainment and leisure.
There are several companies have already fully applied retail-as-a-service concept onto their business, such as Backers Experience, Beta and We The People.
Some traditional retail stores have also started to adapt this concept by creating a section in the store to give the context of featuring new innovative products and provide experience in how the products might be used.
Their staffs are trained to familiarise themselves with each product so they can educate their customers.
Companies select services to improve timekeeping or payments, retail-as-a-service can be purchased to create a better experience for the customer and create a better user experience for both the front-and back-end operations that service the customer. This significantly reduces overhead costs for companies and provides a heightened sense of service.
The concept retail-as-a-service integrates everything from inventory monitoring to delivery speed, and the customer will feel the increased connected experience. The added level of experience and engagement for the customers create a better shopping experience, which is an added value for them. Also, creating lasting customer experiences will lead to enhancement of engagement and brand loyalty.
A win-win situation is expected. Both product providers and retailers are benefited. For the sake of retail-as-a-service, the mass market becomes accessible for new products. Emerging companies can have a significant amount of intelligence on who is interacting with their brands. Brands can gain access to test, iterate, and improve business strategies affordably.
A lot more improvements and developments are expected in the retail industry. We can see the reality is that the future of retail will evolve to be offered as a service. Retail-as-a-service is described as the next-gen Wild West. This huge opportunity to address the desires of their customers should not be missed.
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