THE ROLE OF DIGITAL RETAIL EXPERIENCES IN HELPING BRICK-AND –
MORTAR STORES STAY IN BUSINESS
Hey guys, thanks for checking back again. In my two previous posts we looked at the potential benefits of HTML and CSS and also covered career aspiration as an IT/IS professional. This third blog will focus on the role of digital retail experiences in helping brick-and-mortar stores stay in business.
To stay in business in the modern and very sophisticated day, retailers must seek and work towards a seamless physical and digital shopping platforms for their clients. This will no doubt allow shoppers to find the products they want, where and when they want it. For this reason, retailers, across all sectors and industries must be innovative and creative for them to stay relevant. One of the surest ways to meet the needs of the younger generations growing up in an environment where buy-now immediacy is the order of the day is through the use of technology. Through the use of the latest and innovative technologies, Brick and Mortar store can stay relevant, amidst the many emerging ways shoppers have at their disposal.
Gao (2016) notes that the era of smartphones, computers and revolution that has happened in communication are highly influencing what, where and when customers buy what they want. Turow (2017) observes that only 80% of the top 100 retailers that were in business in 2008 exist today. This is as a result of the decline in the foot traffic inside of retail stores. Fortunately for brick and mortar stores, people still prefer to go into retail stores, provided it’s combined with a shopping experience that matches their lives – which is all about efficiency, personalization and immediacy.
A shocking report by Lal, Alvarez and Greenberg (2014) reveals that online shopping only accounts for 7% of global retail sales, therefore, if retailers can merge the physical and the digital, they will win the hearts of many shoppers looking for both experiences. To ensure that they deliver on the shopper’s expectations, many retailers are investing heavily in technology that is aimed at driving interconnected retail experience; offering both experiences of the digital and the physical worlds. This includes; upgrading websites, overhauling supplies chain to ensure they are refilled faster and making use of the available transport networks to ensure timely and reliable deliveries.
Besides, by bringing their inventory to customers virtually, many brick and mortar store can save on space and also allow their tech-savvy clientele have the shopping experience they desire. Retailers have even gone to the extent of having computers at their brick and mortar stores to allow customers to browse, compare models and read reviews on various items (Gao, 2016).
At Boulanger’s Paris Opera store, for example, clients can check how much items can fit in the various models of refrigerators or freezers before they decide on which model to buy. In the same store, sales people have been equipped with tablets which allow them to call up every products detail and even organize delivery details as the shopper desires. Other
retail stores are using technology that allows shoppers to create 3D virtual representations of how the product will serve their needs; be it furniture or kid’s toys (Turow, 2017).
It’s no doubt that in the modern day, the role and importance of digital experiences in brick and mortar stores cannot be over emphasized. Digital experiences allow brick and mortar store match the customers’ expectations, especially the young – which mainly revolves around efficiency, personalization and immediacy while allowing them to have a virtual shopping experience. Through digital experiences, retailers are also able to drive interconnectedness by offering shopping experiences that have both the digital and the physical worlds. It’s for this reasons therefore that retailers have to keep adapting to the new changes and taking advantage of the emerging technology to enhance shopping experiences, especially in the brick and mortar stores. Thanks for reading and please comment with you thoughts!
Link to blog
GAO, Y. (2016). Web systems design and online consumer behavior. Hershey PA, Idea Group Pub.
LAL, R., ALVAREZ, J., & GREENBERG, D. (2014). Retail revolution: will your brick-and-mortar store survive?
TUROW, J. (2017). The Aisles Have Eyes: How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power. Yale University Press.