How Technology is changing Retail Trends in 2023
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It has now been many years since the death of brick-and-mortar retail stores was predicted. During the pandemic, there was a massive shift to eCommerce, and projections show that by 2024, more than 25% of all retail sales will be conducted online.
However, the physical stores have not given up as yet. Because they know the rest of the things have to be bought in their own country. A word of caution here for retailers is that only those who are willing to adapt to the new order are going to survive.
Decoding Retail 2023 Trends: Future-Proofing Strategies for Retailers
Is Omnichannel Retail the Future
Old-fashioned retailers continue to see the online and offline channels as separate, operationally, and logically. However, with consumers, it is different. They view the different touchpoints, such as websites, social media channels, mobile phones, and brick-and-mortar stores, as a single entity. The store owners have to adapt to this stream of thought.
It is for retailers to enrich their customers’ shopping experiences by supporting their need to see and experience the products or even interact with experts. The online channels could offer the convenience of having merchandise delivered to the clients or allowing customers to place orders from any place at any time.
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In the end, it means allowing online shopping from offline locations. Also, physical stores can offer online experiences like kiosks in the shop that offer an immersive experience for customers. Also, pushing deals and coupons via locational services can reduce the distance between the online and offline channels.
Retail Trends in 2023 – Technology Changes
The common factor that would facilitate all these changes is digital transformation. If you are a retailer wanting to jump on this bandwagon, then it is a good idea to leverage technology.
The first change should come in the existing legacy software that does not promote agility, and the second one should be a change in mindset that welcomes this change. The ways to change the mindset are outside the scope of this article, so we will talk about the changed technologies that would promote adaptation for retailers.
From the technology point of view, retailers can think of leveraging four spearheading technologies to make the most of the changing trends:
- Cloud Native SaaS
- Headless Commerce
Leveraging these technologies helps to overcome the challenges that will prevail in the retail space in 2023.
These discrete services are loosely coupled, developed, deployed, and managed separately. The system is more resilient compared to a monolithic architecture setup because each of the microservices can be updated or upgraded without much disturbance to the system as a whole. In terms of bettering business value, microservices would provide the following advantages to retailers:
- The microservices would provide acceleration for the teams to test and implement new features. This is because each service is owned and operated by separate teams. This would aid the CI/CD pipeline and bring innovations into the market faster. The organizational alignment is such that teams are encouraged to bring in more innovations quickly.
- The entire organization gets accustomed to agility with microservices in place, and thus new features roll out at a quick pace. Any problematic rollout can also be retracted just as quickly without any disturbance to the system.
- Pilots and prototypes can take off quickly and this helps to secure customers’ evolving expectations.
- Instead of fidgeting with the master codebase, the teams need to modify only the relevant service codebase. This means fewer chances for any kind of conflict and a more resilient system.
- Any service can be scaled up or down independently as required. An on-cloud microservices system perfectly suits this requirement.
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How an API-first approach can aid retailers
An API economy strategy comprised of web and business APIs is a major retail trend for 2023. These are easy-to-understand APIs for recognizable business assets such as a product catalog, an account, an order, a price, and so on. This forms a persona that a retail enterprise uses to expose itself to other parties who may access, invoke, or try to understand.
Read our blog "Is Microservices Architecture Beneficial to Business Agility".
In order to reach out to new customers and markets, these APIs can be made available to third-party enterprises, say, partners, who can help to generate additional revenue by allowing customers to interact via these shared APIs. As an example, a clothing retailer can partner with a travel company to supply specific travel gear for a destination trip or themed trip.
How does a retailer exploit cloud-native services? The reason for cloud-native adoption in retail arises from the need to:
- Transform into an agile and flexible system
- Optimize the efficiency of operations
- Adopt an API-first ecosystem
Retailers who have adopted or developed cloud-native applications in a microservices environment can have continuous upgrades and improvements. This helps them rapidly innovate and deploy the latest technology that the customers want.
With such a setup, DevOps becomes a necessary approach and improves operational efficiency. This also leads to continuous delivery and improves operational efficiency.
As discussed earlier, API ecosystems based on microservices, when combined with a cloud-native system, ease the collaborations that retailers can set up with external partners and help unlock and exploit valuable data that is currently hidden within their systems.
Any retail website has two distinct layers, the first being the presentation layer, which your customers see (dashboards, touch-points, kiosks, etc.), and what is called the front-end. The second layer is the back-end that oversees payment, order management, and other commercial features. Headless commerce refers to the architectural system in which the front is separated from the back, allowing for efficient use of resources and speedier functioning.
Headless systems allow retailers to introduce new front-end elements without disturbing the back-end elements. This improves customers’ shopping experiences and makes it more convenient as well as consistent.
Headless commerce also improves the omni-channel shopping experiences that customers demand these days. Customers can shop from different platforms: social media, websites, mobiles, and different devices such as laptops, PCs, watches, and tablets. Headless commerce systems enable users to integrate the back-end into new devices very quickly and continue with shopping.
Going headless thus provides an opportunity for retailers to satisfy customers’ growing demands, and this is likely to increase customer loyalty in the end, though it may consume more resources in the beginning.
Hybrid Shopping and Seamless Shopper Journey
Retailers want to provide a seamless purchasing experience for all platforms, including social media, live streaming, mobile devices, in-store, and online. Retailers must, however, combine the fragmented data from each business function into a synchronized format that all groups within an organization can view, including buyers, marketers, store operations, digital teams, human resources, and finance, in order to provide a comprehensive view of the shopping journey. In order for decision-makers and automated systems to behave appropriately, all consumer buying data must be consistent and correct. Unstructured data must be converted into understandable formats and combined with structured data. Various groups within an organization can work together and develop plans related to the core market by synchronizing the data in almost real-time.
To benefit from "retail trend 2023" and beyond, it is a good idea for retailers to rethink how they can use technology to rev up both online and offline shopping to keep up with customers’ evolving expectations.
How SayOne Can Help
At SayOne, we offer independent and stable services that have separate development aspects as well as maintenance advantages. We build microservices specially suited for individuals' businesses in different industry verticals. In the longer term, this would allow your organization or business to enjoy a sizeable increase in both growth and efficiency. We create microservices as APIs with security and the application built in. We provide SDKs that allow for the automatic creation of microservices.
Our comprehensive services in microservices development for start-ups, SMBs, and enterprises start with extensive microservices feasibility analysis to provide our clients with the best services. We use powerful frameworks for our custom-built microservices for different organizations. Our APIs are designed to enable fast iteration, easy deployment, and significantly less time to market. In short, our microservices are dexterous and resilient and deliver the security and reliability required for the different functions.
Shifting to Microservices? Call us today!
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