An architecture that is independently deployed and loosely coupled with the capability to communicate with other devices makes it much easier to bring on new innovations—without replacing existing platforms. So keeping up with all the new retail trends doesn’t have to seem like a gigantic or even an impossible task.
Here’s a look at some of the innovative trends you’ll be able to take on with API microservices:
Selling to customers in their social media channels. The phrase “social commerce” was coined in 2015 by public relations executive and professional blogger Steve Rubel. Since then, companies have been taking their products to their customers’ Facebook and Instagram feeds like gang busters, which is something their customers love. In fact, if you don’t have a presence in social media feeds your brand is at a serious disadvantage. According to a survey by Facebook for Business, respondents say “they perceive brands on Instagram as popular (78%), creative (77%), entertaining (76%) and relevant (74%).”
It’s not difficult to understand why consumers love social commerce. When they’re already happily checking their Instagram feed and a product that they want pops up so that, with just a few clicks, they can purchase it, the convenience factor is off the charts. Just think of all that they don’t have to do because of it—remembering that they need or want the item, taking the time to either visit your website or your brick and mortar, pickup the item and complete the purchase. It’s also a way to show your customers that you know and understand them, a key factor for strong customer loyalty.
Social media endorsements. Influencer marketing, having someone people know and trust make an endorsement for a product, isn’t actually new. Going back to the 18th century, praise from King George III gave Josiah Wedgwood a royal stamp of approval that made his pottery a big hit. But today people are making a living out of being social media influencers with some celebrities, like Kylie Jenner, making nearly a million dollars per post. So is it effective? If the results from a recent survey by Mediakik are accurate the answer is absolutely—89 percent of their respondents said their ROI from influencer marketing “is comparable to or better than other marketing channels.”
Trying on a product virtually. Augmented reality (AR), the try-before-you-buy virtual shopping experience, had been introduced before the pandemic, but now, according to IBM’s Retail Index, the growth of it has advanced nearly five years. With people staying home and unable to shop in person, AR is delighting shoppers who use pictures of themselves or their homes to see how something looks. The technology behind it isn’t quite as simple as it might sound. For example, Nike has an app that allows consumers to try on shoes and store them in their “locker” using the following technology:
- A combination of computer vision, machine learning, AI, data science and algorithms that “measure the full shape of a user’s feet [to] know the perfect fit for each Nike shoe style” using 13 data points all within seconds
Operate like Amazon. Again the pandemic made its’ mark on the demand for online order speedy deliveries—there is a reason why Amazon made $386 billion in 2020—a nearly 40 percent increase from 2019. This stat from a PwC study conducted before the pandemic speaks volumes: 41% of consumers will pay for same day delivery and 24 percent will pay even more to receive their orders within one to two hours. Surely, with the pandemic, those numbers are higher so having the ability to ship products as quickly as possible will be a priority for retailers.
Related: What is social commerce and what does it mean for brick-and-mortar retailers?