3 ways retailers must adapt to changing customer needs — Dropbox Business Blog UK

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26 July 2019 — 3 min read

3 ways retailers must adapt to changing customer needs

Authored by: Mathieu Milot, Industry Principal for Retail, Dropbox

On the Dropbox Business Blog we've explored the ways great customer experience can increase footfall, revenue and sales. But look away from Net Promoter Scores and you'll find there is an urgency for retailers to take customer service one step further: to stand out from the crowd. The question is, how do you do that?

We spoke to Andrey Golub, Founder & CEO of ELSE Corp, a forward-thinking fashion technology company, to find out. A Dropbox Business customer, ELSE Corp is transforming the retail supply chain by using the latest smart technology to push the customer experience in a totally new, immersive direction.

Use digital to become ethical

The rise of fast fashion isn't just taking a toll on the environment. The 24-hour news stream and more digitally-connected world has put power into the hands of consumers, making them aware of the damage their choices are making to the environment. The result? Increased pressure on retailers and manufacturers to produce ethical products.

This pressure is then magnified as governments are also joining the push to reduce and eradicate unethical waste. You don't have to look too far for stories of how retailers have felt this wrath. “Customers are increasingly looking for new and engaging ways to interact with brands and know that what they buy is ethical,” says Andrey.

“Our technology is tackling both these challenges by implementing direct to consumer production, minimising waste, and we expect to see widespread adoption of this kind of technology in stores around the world.''

Personalise the shopping experience

Being able to buy what you want, when you want it, is great. But constant accessibility doesn't differentiate one brand from another. In fact for retailers, it makes standing out of the crowd much harder.

In a study by PwC  94% of senior level executives stated that a tailor-made service is key to success in retail.  But how can retailers create a hyper-personalised experience to retain their customers? How can they allow for such flexibility in their production?

ELSE Corp believes it has the answer. Using a combination of 3D Modelling and Augmented Reality, ELSE Corp's clients can try on shoes, see which colours, patterns, and styles suit—without needing to change.

“They can try on a singular item and view it in technicolour,” says Andrey. “Our technology means they can instantly see what that would look like in any other colour available. They can even customise it with different materials or patterns. This is the beginning of the new breed of fashion where people co-create and design their unique style building on a brand's base. The new differentiator will be on variation and customisation.”

Speed up delivery through thoughtful transformation

The faster items are delivered, the happier the customer. And the happier the customer then the bigger the return through increased loyalty and word-of-mouth promotion. So what's the easiest way to make delivery as quick as possible? Speed up the supply chain.

By using advanced technology, you can significantly speed up the time from the order being placed to the delivery arriving on your customer's doorstep. ELSE Corp uses Artificial Intelligence to help predict what customers will order as well as making useful recommendations for future orders.

The order is then passed directly to manufacturing and ready to be delivered almost as soon as it's been purchased. ‘'You must consider what technologies you use to manufacture and ship your products,” says Andrey. “The future is looking increasingly hyper-personal, so you need to implement solutions today that are ready to handle more flexible input.”

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