By Aimee Chanthadavong

The hyper connected shopper has turned retailers on their heads leaving them scrambling for ideas and ways to communicate with this new breed of consumers.

Responsible for creation hyper connected shoppers are mobile devices. According to Frost & Sullivan, nearly three-quarters of Australians now own a smartphone while almost half of Australian households. 

So as the proliferation of smartphones and technology continues to accelerate, Neil Cohen, Akamai Technology vice president of global product marketing, told RetailBiz retailers need to be ready to converge their experience offering.

“The notion of going shopping online has changed the entire shopping experience, which is what we’re seeing from the hyper-connected shopper,” he said.

“Now it doesn’t matter if your customer is shopping from their home, going in-store or on the go, the responsibility as a retailer is converging the experience into one so no matter where customers are shopping they are still getting that same experience.”

At the same time all these different touchpoints also present retailers with the opportunity to personalise the customer experience by taking advantage of analytics, data and new form factors. 

“A lot of the time retailers are trying to figure out how to increase their conversion rate, especially when it comes to online,” Cohen said.

“So I think the first phase is really about optimising your physical attributes and then moving into contextualise your message and the experience for each consumer, which could be based on information you have on them via your CRM system or on the proximity they are to your store.”

“Akamai has coined the term ‘situational performance’ which is where we help retailers deal with this convergence and render different content to help optimise their performance.”

But this issue that retailers are facing is not restricted only to Australia but is rather global.

“There are a lot of similarities between Australia and everywhere else. Retail is about providing the best customer experience and competing against competitors,” Cohen said.

“I’ve seen a huge proliferation of the mobile devices and now that broadband is becoming more readily available there’s a great push for rich content so while we’re all physical far away there’s a certain amount of similarities in what retailers are trying to achieve.”