With increasing digital options, tailored algorithms and geotargeted marketing trends, retail customers have heightened shopping expectations — and this extends to the brick-and-mortar experience.
As consumers return to pre-pandemic behaviors, physical shopping is making a comeback. In fact, in 2021, brick-and-mortar sales grew faster than eCommerce for the first time ever. In-person shopping offers a unique, distinct experience: It’s immediate, tactical and engaging. And, thanks to the latest technology, brick-and-mortar stores can now offer compelling opportunities that can’t be matched through a phone screen.
Modern retail spaces have taken on a new role in bridging the digital and physical divide. By upgrading your in-store experience, you’ll significantly impact customer loyalty, brand recognition and omnichannel sales.
Raydiant’s State of Consumer Behavior 2021 report found that positive offline experiences affect how a customer interacts with your brand in the future. The report noted that “90% of consumers say they are more likely to return again, 61% of consumers say they are likely to spend more at a location and 65% of consumers say they are likely to spend more online with a brand — all if they have a positive offline experience.”
How can you transform your store experience? We’ve identified three key areas of focus:
- Employee satisfaction
- Engaging technology
- Innovative experiences
By focusing on these areas, you’ll make the most of brick-and-mortar opportunities and leave a lasting customer impression.
Mobile devices improve employee and customer satisfaction.
Heightened customer expectations often fall on the shoulders of retail employees, leaving them frustrated and overworked. (By 2020, the retail industry turnover rate exceeded 57%.) In many cases, frustrations are caused by a lack of dependable tools and equipment, resulting in employees feeling ill-equipped to meet consumer demands.
Dependable devices play a powerful role in associate retention. When you provide employees with modern technology — such as cloud-based, mobile devices — they’ll have instant access to vital information at the touch of a screen, including product details, real-time inventory updates and point-of-sale tools. Better technology can enhance employee satisfaction, leading to happier associates, improved customer experiences and better business outcomes overall.
Self-service tools and digital signage create engaging experiences.
Innovative tools in your brick-and-mortar store can bridge the divide between online and offline experiences — and digital signage has become an in-store essential.
Research shows that digital displays are more effective than static signs. In fact, digital signage can boost your brand awareness by almost 48% and increase purchase amounts by 30%. It’s also an effective cost-saving strategy, giving you the ability to edit information without much time, effort or money.
Self-service tools add an additional layer of engagement. Smart carts and self-service kiosks offer speed and convenience, while QR codes and in-aisle scanners allow for easy product searches. Take it one step further with facial recognition-based payment for minimized wait times and easier check out.
Innovative technology draws customers to your space.
High-tech offerings help shoppers remember your brand, especially in a physical location. Because of this, Augmented Reality (AR) is taking retail by storm.
AR augments or changes a real-world setting (as opposed to virtual reality, which replaces the setting altogether). These immersive experiences include smart mirrors for virtual try-ons and projection-based AR for in-store product launches. AR opportunities are still novel and exciting for the average consumer and can enhance your store’s reputation.
According to the Snap Consumer AR Global Report, “by 2025, nearly 75% of the population and almost all smartphone users will be frequent AR users.” Adopt this trend early to take your brick-and-mortar offerings to the next level.
It’s time to rethink retail.
The retail industry is constantly evolving, and to keep up with the competition, your technology must remain current and compelling. A trusted partner can help.
At Insight, our team of experts will guide you in upgrading legacy hardware, maintaining accurate inventory management, managing multiple platforms, strengthening cybersecurity and more. The store of the future is within your reach. Talk with an Insight expert today to learn more.