Reviving Retail: Can Technology Save Brick and Mortar?
Brick and mortar shopping may be taking a hit from the spike in online sales, but retail companies are devising plans to stay alive, and many of them could have found the cure. Unfortunately, customer service alone may not save your store, but technology is enhancing the creativity, convenience, and personalization that goes with the retail shopping experience. Many brands are adding interactive technology to their stores for their customers to engage in. This, paired with hospitable customer service, adds a human element and takes the experience to a new and exciting level that cannot be leveraged in online shopping.
Technology companies are boosting in-store retail by incorporating augmented reality to your favorite stores, thus gamifying the experience and creating a dazzling reaction from intrigued customers. This is the cool, shiny new toy that entices consumers to keep coming to the stores instead of ordering online. Augmented reality brings the digital world into the physical world, allowing you to try on clothes, shoes, and accessories without physically putting them on your body. Not only is this a feature that benefits the consumer, but also assists the operation of the store and drives revenue by reducing the number of returns.
Technological personalization is another fresh tactic retail stores are using to draw in buyers. Personalization is an interactive way for consumers to get the exact product that they want with a few clicks of a screen. Perch, a technology company that specializes in reinventing the retail experience by mixing the digital and physical worlds, has worked with Kate Spade New York to create “Make it Mine,” which gives shoppers the power to create a handbag fully tailored to their style. From color, to strap, to charms, Make it Mine is the ultimate handbag building tool. Other companies are jumping on the bandwagon and adding the same technology to their stores.
Convenience is easily the most attractive feature of ordering goods online right to your door. With this in mind, retailers had to figure a way to make the shopping experience more convenient. The motion to move towards cashierless stores is taking off. Amazon officially launched the first cashierless grocery store, AmazonGo, and its success has led to other stores like Target and 7-Eleven to follow the same path. This concept also allows associates to spend time on the floor assisting customers while they shop.
The use of technology to enhance retail has been a saving grace for some stores, proving that it’s not impossible for brick and mortar stores to stay alive. There’s plenty of folks that still want the experience of going to a mall and shopping. However, in the ever-changing world, it’s important for retail companies to be up to date on incorporating technology in their stores and implementing a standard of service that must be met, reaching a level of engagement that will keep customers coming back.
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