26 April 2017 admin

The end of ‘Fashion-IT’ – customers will only pay for value and not technology: how the retail sector proves it true?

The end of ‘Fashion-IT’ – customers will only pay for value and not technology: how the retail sector proves it true?

Does a business use its IT strategy to define its ‘status’, show off its ‘class’, or make a ‘statement’? History proves that it does. In the context of an organization’s IT choices, fashion obviously doesn’t mean rainbow-bright stripes or color-block bodysuits and is not inspired by Paris or Milan. Fashion-IT is more about the latest ‘fad’ in the tech-industry.

Here is an example.

The past few years have seen the rise of Cloud Computing. Many businesses, big or small, rushed to embrace this new kid on the block primarily because it was a cool thing to do. Similar trend persisted in the adoption of IT solutions such as virtualization and data center optimization. However, not all those who included these advanced features in their IT approach benefitted because they did not have a need for these.

What’s the takeaway? Fashion-IT, since it has no logical base, is precariously close to an IT faux-pas.

Before chasing a fad, you should take a pause and reflect if you think your new IT investment will really benefit your customers. Remember, buyers (of any product or service) only want value. In what ways do you think your new technology investment will enhance the reliability and performance of your services? Will it make your offering more secure or add to their functionalities? If yes, opt for it. If no, you better forget it. Remember, bells and whistles on your company’s profile may be fashionable, but technical features will only matter when it will provide value to your customers.

The retail sector is a good case in point.

In the e-commence space, technology investments have long been focused on consumer needs. They always emphasized the need for utilizing solutions to customize their offerings for individual or group of customers. These planned investments have helped online merchants to significantly increase their bottom lines.

Here is how prominent e-tailers are using technology to provide added value to consumers:

Enhanced Customer Service

Think Lowe’s and Zappos when you think customer service excellence. These brands leverage a number of cutting-edge technologies and digital channels to enhance shoppers’ in-store experience. No-fuss payment system and hassle-free returns are the two areas where these two brands excel. The fact that 86 percent customers are ready to pay a higher price for a better shopping experience (source: CEI Survey) explains why all retailers today view this aspect as the key to sustain business growth.

Life-Like Shopping Experience

Companies such as RotaryView and RichRelevance are focusing on providing their customers the best possible personalized experience with the help of features like rotating product displays, interactive enhancements, and more. With Forrester predicting that the US online retail market will cross the $370 billion mark this year and websites enhancements are going to drive growth for players in this space, almost all brands are striving to make the shopping process easy as well as intuitive through an array of innovative means such as dynamic personalization of site appearance for a specific user, high-res product images, product highlights, vibrant SALE signs, and so on.

Value-Added Services

If you have visited the IKEA site lately, you must have noticed its augmented reality-based catalog. It has even created a mobile app that allows a virtual test-run for interior decor items in a customer’s home setting. This is an excellent example of how value-added services can help companies enhance their brand value.

Simplified Checkout

Brands like Amazon and Pounce have made one point very clear – if online shopping stores want to boost their sales, they have to streamline the digital purchase path. Amazon, in fact, can teach the world a thing or two when it comes to simplifying checkout. The brand has one of the highest checkout completion rates.

If these retail giants have brought one point home, it is this: customers do not want technology per se; they want convenience. If you want consultation on how to align your technology investments to your customers’ needs, get in touch with us. We can provide you the best technology roadmap for your sales success.