The transformation of retail
Retail and the demands of the consumers have evolved. They no longer seek the same things than they did 10 years ago. With the social medias, the change in the society they no longer shop the same way. They need to have an experience and not only shop. It’s called ‘Experiential retail’. It is creating destinations for customers that go way beyond the act of purchase and immerse customers in a 360-degree brand lifestyle. The customers want price transparency and quality. With data from online transactions, digital sensors and devices want to buy an experience engaging and personalized.
Now they need to invest in events, product demos, in-store visuals, digital integrations, and store associate clienteling for their stores. The retailers have to build around the customers. They need to give the right product to the right audience : the targeting. They need to streamline and promote moments of engagement. They need to give the tools to retail employee. They bring customers to store : local search.
The other problem that the retailers are now facing is how to convert their online habit to their offline habits.
Examples of innovative retailers
Amazon brought a few innovations. The latest is their project to delivery groceries to their customers while they are away on vacation. They also built a system that allows customers to repurchase instantly their products for no limited period of time.
Uniqlo with the ‘Magic Mirror’. This is a virtual fitting room located in their store in San Francisco. The brand gives out more power to the customers. Using the built-in touchscreen in the fitting rooms, shoppers are allowed to see what the product would like in other colors or pattern.
Topshop‘ six interactive billboards in London launched in 2015 showed hashtags of digital runaway outfits. It will appear in the Topshop cloud and would then appear on the billboards. When a customer tweets one of the trending hashtag @Topshop they will receive a shopping wishlist based on the hashtags.
What to expect in the future of retail
Robotization and the Internet of Things (IoT) should be more central to many retail processes such as inventory, shelf stocking and others. The check-out could be done remotely. No more scanning each product. Chips in the packaging of the products will be read by sensors when exciting the store. It will send a signal to applications in our cell phones to process the payment. It should be the end of long checkout lines. This technology has already started in some stores.
Gaming technology and virtual reality will profoundly transform and widen the shopping experiences in stores. Consumers will thus be able to explore products in a virtual inventory before purchasing them.
What do you think will be the next thing in the retail? Let us know in the comments below.