Instore digitization and its impact on the retail ecosystem
05 Mar 2020 Instore digitization and its impact on the retail ecosystem
With the proliferation of eCommerce, it has become imperative for Brick and Mortar Retail stores to explore different ways to engage consumers in the store. The aim of this approach is to connect with the consumer at all the possible touchpoints and influence their shopping behaviour. The physical store has to now compete with eCommerce in terms of providing an elevated customer experience and provide consumers with a reason to visit their physical store.
The consumer buying behaviour is being greatly influenced by the interaction of consumers with digital platforms. Currently, consumers are increasingly looking for convenience and choice. The online features like reviews, product assortment and suggestion have empowered consumers to make their buying decisions. There are several features that a retailer can provide in its brick and mortar retail store like visual navigation which is not possible to replicate by online retailers.
When customers enter the store, they come with a lot of expectation from the brand in terms of getting a compelling experience. There are multiple ways in which the physical retailers can do this, such as providing them with customized promotional offers, helping them to navigate through the store, providing information about assortment present in the store and many more.
Today’s consumers are now searching, shopping and buying products through various devices. The focus has thus shifted to multichannel marketing wherein the challenge in the future would be to serve all-channel buyers also called Omni-consumer. They expect a consistent relationship across digital channels and brick and mortar stores. With more and more customers interacting frequently with digital channels, it is important for brick and mortar stores to engage their customers while in the store. In order to serve these omnichannel consumers, retailers must work towards developing a responsive, value and customer-driven business model. Successful brick and mortar retailers are leveraging advanced technologies to reduce the distinction between digital and physical environment.
Let’s see what some of these technologies are that can shape the future of retail stores.
Utilize self-service kiosks, social media, and in-store promotions to encourage customers to visit the store.
Whenever a sales associate is not available, kiosks and touch screens display help out by providing customers with personalized recommendations and assistance that suits the need.
Larger retailers have embraced ordering items online and picking them up at a physical location. This solution is useful for people who don’t want to pay extra for next day delivery or like the ease of ordering something and picking it up later.
Although in-store promotions are nothing new, augmenting these events with digital devices or new technology options can drive up attendance.
Build in-store employee’s tools
Technology need not only benefit customers, but it can also be useful for in-store employees.
Locating an item quickly is one of the main challenges that in-store associates face. Few tools such as mobile point of sales device that can track where an item is in the store allowing employees to quickly locate it for consumers. It also lets them know how much stock is left for an item. Some devices also allow associates to help customer checkout without standing in long queues.
The retail sector is now going through a transformation, laying the foundation and defining the structure of the stores of the future. The retailers with foresight are working towards building their digital capabilities to serve consumers better. It is critical for physical retailers to leverage the new style of business which depends on developing digital capabilities.
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