The Path to Purchase is changing dramatically as the points of sales have multiplied from the traditional brick and mortar retail stores to include mobile commerce, automated storefronts, smart homes, on-demand services, voice commerce, e-commerce and virtual reality. While some of these are emerging channels, many are very well established.
Mobile Commerce Buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices such as cellular telephone and personal digital assistants.
On-demand Services Gives customers the option to get their purchases on the day they order, sometimes within hours or even minutes.
E-commerce Buying and selling of goods and services using the internet and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions.
Automated Storefronts Amazon launched Amazon Go, a chain of grocery stores which use several technologies, including computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion to automate purchase, checkout and payment steps thereby eliminating the need for a cashier.
Voice Commerce Purchases made over voice-based intelligent assistant devices like Amazon’s Echo Dot and Google Home smart speakers.
Virtual Reality Use of technology to enable the online user to shop without malls and shops with the goal to create a personalized virtual store where a customer could choose and buy products.
Smart Homes Walmart recently patented methods of using IoT based personalized distribution systems including a Smart Trash Can (to track Shoppers’s consumption in the home and automatically reorder depleted products).
The shopper today is also demanding an improved experience and the increased use of technology is enhancing customer experiences by offering better visualization (such as augmented or virtual reality) and improved transparency (online reviews) and service.