4 Innovative Retail Solutions to Digitally Transform Traditional Stores
Retailers can breathe new life into their stores with innovative retail solutions that bring the digital appeal into the physical world. An article on the MA Innovation Management website highlights four ways that traditional stores can appeal to the modern mobile consumer:
- Use technology: Retailers must bring online shopping attributes or digital technology into their physical stores. In other words, get “phygital,” the article says. To compete with their e-commerce website competitors, retailers must know their customers and use that data to get them into the store. They have to show customers the advantage of visiting the brick-and-mortar store.
Show in-store savings: “Showrooming” has been threatening sales at traditional stores for quite some time. If consumers can try on clothing at a store, but buy it for half the price online, that’s what they’re going to do. That’s why the omni-channel retail concept is so important. Retailers should offer the same pricing online and in the store. Or, if the brick-and-mortar store is purely a showroom, then it must be easy for the consumer to order from the retailer’s e-commerce site, which will offer the best price.
Retailers also must work hard to keep shoppers’ attention while they’re in the store. That might mean sending them a coupon on their smartphone that motivates them to make a purchase rather than go online or visit a competitor’s store. Or a retailer’s mobile app could highlight and recommend products under a certain budget to the customer.
Make shopping convenient: Shopping on e-commerce websites is convenient because consumers can shop from home in their pajamas. It takes effort to go to the store. If customers are making the effort to visit the store, it’s critical to make everything about the process easy. That means it should be easy for them to find products, scan coupons, check out, etc.
With smartphone ownership on the rise, traditional retailers should use mobile technology to make shopping more convenient for their in-store customers. According to a recent study cited in the MA Innovation Management article, the average British shopper will only wait up to four minutes to check out. Shortening the checkout process with mobile technology will help speed up transactions and lead to happier customers. Airline companies, for example, have enabled customers to remotely check in for their flight through their smartphones.
- Disrupt the retail process: Retailers will do best when they come up with innovative retail solutions to redirect shoppers from a competitor’s store while still catering to those customers’ preferences. If customers have a choice between two stores, they’re going to choose the one that fits their style the most.
These four tips will help traditional retailers transform their physical store into a “phygital” location and better appeal to the shopping habits of the modern mobile consumer.
Source: MA Innovation Management, July 2013