Business Insider’s Future of Retail In-Store Experience Report noted the following insights:
- Brick-and-mortar is still the dominant driver for retail spending the US.
- Retail’s lack of tech-adaptation is not growing fast enough to keep doors open.
- In-store product discovery is a major focal point for retailers.
- 51% of shoppers feel they are better connected technology-wise than in-store associates.
Here’s our take:
In-store spending remains the driving force in retail across the US, resulting in 88% of total sales. However, store closures have steadily increased over time. With the current pandemic, closings have been more prominent now than ever before. This is largely due to the fact that many large retailers have failed to adapt technology to enhance the customer shopping experience.
By offering an omnichannel approach or even just in-store technology, retailers can then personalize the customer’s journey and collect data from that. Offering this approach puts the power in the consumer’s hands. This has become a major focal point for many retailers, especially recently with those recovering from the temporary shutdown.
Examples of in-store technologies that collect customer data include:
- Facial recognition cameras
- Required logins at contactless payment stores or autonomous checkouts
- Voluntary WIFI logins
- In-store app experiences
In-store discovery is also essential to the customer’s journey, and needs to be incorporated in conjunction with new technologies. By creating an environment that tells a story, retailers can capture the consumer’s attention easier and they will be more likely to explore all parts of the store. Instead of pushing for selling, a store should provide visually-appealing elements that drive imagination and physical sensations.
While technology is needed in order to keep growing in the retail industry, it’s also a tool than can be overused. One of the greatest differentiators of physical stores are human associates. Technology has the potential to replace human factors instead of work in conjunction with them. Because of this, consumers feel more connected to stores than associates do. They can easily find the answers to any question with a simple search on their phones.
It’s up to those in the industry to adapt technology and create a unique in-store experience that doesn’t replace the need for human interaction. However, this begs the question — if a majority of consumers use technology, then why is it taking retailers so long to follow in pursuit?
Source: Future of Retail In-Store Experience Report – Business Insider Intelligence
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