This post is sponsored by Worldwide Business Research/Future Stores.
The retail industry is in the midst of a significant shift brought about the advent of new digital capabilities and the ascendance of multichannel e-commerce platforms. The proliferation of desktop, mobile, and in-store shopping channels has transformed the way consumers interact with brands, creating a more diffuse shopping experience than ever before. This diffusion has changed the very nature of the brick-and-mortar store, which has become a critical cog in a complex omnichannel ecosystem, rather than an isolated revenue generator.
Although retail brands once saw e-commerce technologies as fundamentally threatening to their physical stores, they have begun to use those same capabilities to help brick-and-mortar stores evolve into centers of commerce and customer engagement. The most successful retail stores not only leverage new technologies to drive in-store conversions, but they also enhance the shopping experience, collect actionable customer data, and serve as a physical extension of the brand. Here are 3 ways retail brands can use technology to beef up in-store experiences, according to research gathered at the 2014 Future Stores Conference:
Bringing more technological innovation into the store. In terms of investment priorities, more brands are prioritizing new store technologies (42%) over sales staff training (41%) or developing alternative store formats (17%).
Building technologies to help solve current pain points, while planning innovative new ways to reach in-store customers. While most brands are putting technology investments toward point-of-sale and mobile technologies to smooth the checkout process, a smaller group (only 3% of the retailers polled) is developing cutting-edge tools like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons to better integrate digital and in-store marketing.
Improving in-store data capture. Only 14% believe they are capturing in-store data very effectively, with the majority (44%) only capturing that data somewhat effectively. Because brands can learn so much more about their consumers (and about their stores) from in-store data, they are making data capture a central focus.
To learn more about how the world’s more innovative brands are transforming their in-store experiences and to access a full suite of research, you can visit the Future Stores website. If you are looking for an overview of the biggest trends in in-store disruption, check out the 2015 Director’s Report.