Understanding the broader customer environment is crucial to managing and meeting their expectations. For example all retailers customer’s expectations have been impacted by the innovations and success of the Apple retail platform. Customers expect to be able to walk in speak to anyone in the store and buy something immediately with a receipt emailed to them instantly. This raises the bar for all retailers regardless of what you sell. This peripheral vision is a core discipline for customer focused businesses.
Likewise there are a number of major trends impacting all customers that will accelerate in 2013.
1. Mobile Computing goes Mainstream
It is predicted that more people will access the web via mobile devices than traditional PCs during 2013. This means companies need to understand the implications and opportunities this presents their businesses. It may simply mean you need to optimize your website for mobile devices. For some companies it means creating mobile versions of their products or services, new apps for the app store or new ways for customers to purchase on the go.
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2. Innovative use of QR codes
Target is leveraging its in-store consumer traffic to compete with Amazon by offering shoppers the ability to scan a QR code with their smartphone and have a product shipped for free anywhere. Where this is particularly valuable is when products may be out of stock. Shoppers still prefer to see certain products in person so this is a great way for target to display products and allow customers to make instant purchases. You may recall Amazon has its own barcode scanner application allowing users to scan products in its competitors stores and compare prices. The competition continues to heat up!
Can you imagine a supermarket with no physical stock? Tesco has been testing virtual supermarkets in Korea. Essentially product images with QR codes are displayed on a high resolution poster and busy commuters can scan what they need as they go past and have it automatically delivered anywhere.
The use of QR codes will continue to ramp up in 2013 as businesses test different ways to provide value to customers.
What do these trends mean for your business?
Happy New Year, make 2013 a great year for you and your customers!