The time for retailers to embrace technology and stay ahead of the competition is now, according to ConnectID head of product and scheme, Rick Iversen.

“In this new financial year, retailers have an opportunity to start fresh and show how they will prioritise customer privacy and elevate their security practices,” he told Retailbiz.

“Retailers of all sizes can unlock substantial rewards, including increased customer trust, loyalty and growth, by investing into the areas that improve the overall experience. By doing so, they can create a more personalised experience, safeguard the future of their businesses, and ensure success in the evolving retail landscape.

“Digital identity solutions can support businesses with this and improve the customer experience through streamlined authentication. Retailers can eliminate the manual process of identity checks and verifying age in just a few clicks and can transform their customer onboarding and checkout experiences by leveraging emerging digital identity solutions.”

Retailers should explore the benefits of just-walk-out (JWO) technology, which Cognizant country lead for Australia, Rob Marchiori describes as a “game-changer” for physical retail as an overhaul of the traditional checkout experience.

“Despite the surge of online retail, offline sales still dominate and account for a large portion of revenue. However, a major point of friction for shoppers is the frustration of queues and lengthy wait times. By eliminating physical checkouts, retailers can deliver a contactless shopping experience in response to the needs of increasingly busy and time-poor shoppers,” he told Retailbiz.

“In today’s landscape, consumers are demanding convenience and will choose where to shop based on this factor. The retailers that capitalise on the emergence of this powerful tool will reap the benefits of increased foot traffic, boosted customer satisfaction and a wealth of data insights.”

ShopFully Australia country manager, Brendan Straw believes retailers should be prioritising their digital strategy as they enter the new fiscal year and enhance their use of catalogues – which should be seen as a proven asset rather than an outdated marketing tool.

“In fact, with three in four Australian consumers reporting they have been badly impacted by inflation, close to half (46%) have now turned to digital catalogues to plan their shop,” he told Retailbiz.

“The modern catalogue goes beyond being a mere electronic version of its print counterpart. It has transformed into an immersive experience that seamlessly guides shoppers from browsing to completing in-store purchases. Many now offer curated experiences, incorporating features such as videos, GIFs, and recipe ideas that enable customers to visualise products in action.

“Digital catalogues also allow retailers to access crucial business insights. Armed with data, including reads, clicks, and in-store visits, retailers can gain valuable knowledge and delve deeper into consumer behaviour and preferences, to inform marketing efforts and customer engagement.”

Emphasising the need to deliver an outstanding e-commerce experience was Bazaarvoice managing director for APAC, Kate Musgrove, who said it’s no longer enough to simply get a consumer on your website because it doesn’t guarantee a sale.

“Thorough validation of products helps create the greatest chance of a sale. The best way to do this is to utilise user-generated content (UGC) through customer ratings and reviews, as well as photos and videos. UGC is quickly becoming one of the most important tools that retailers can add to their tech stack,” she told Retailbiz.

“Once you’re set up with a clear strategy, you’ve done the hard work because the customers who follow your brand online are the ones crafting the content via ratings and reviews, testimonials, and visual media which you can use on websites, social media and marketing channels.”

Vistar Media managing director for APAC, Ben Baker believes one of the most important tools for retailers to attract customers and stay front of mind is programmatic DOOH.

“This is because it gives retailers a unique opportunity to reach consumers at the right place and time, all while offering dynamic creative capabilities to ensure their messaging is achieving cut-through,” he told Retailbiz.

“With the increasing number of digital screens, as well as shoppers back in stores, pDOOH ads enable retailers to be there and influence the purchasing decision. pDOOH ads allow you to tailor your messaging and/or shift your ads to different locations based on things like time of day, weather conditions, sports scores, etc. in real-time.”