In-store retail is back, but with its return, there is no doubt that the way we shop, or want to shop, has changed forever. With the growth of e-commerce and the adoption of new shopping habits, retailers must act fast to create modern, in-store experiences that complement their digital presence while differentiating their offering from the saturated retail market.
Whether it’s online or in-store, revised retail strategies are crucial for brands as consumer behavior evolves. The stores of tomorrow must serve a purpose beyond that of the pure sales opportunity and transform into a destination where service, convenience, and discovery take place. In our latest ‘Retail Revised’ series we’ll be discussing key themes retailers must consider to enhance their in-store experience. This week we are exploring concepts and ideas that can enhance a brand’s service offering:
Across the retail landscape, new technology has lead the role of the physical store to shift from a static home for merchandise to a hybrid fulfillment center where shoppers can trial, order, or return items. As a result, shoppers are hungry for transparency when it comes to knowing how, when, and where to get a product as fast as possible.
Now, retailers should focus on providing tools to both shoppers and employees that provide accurate inventory tracking, seamless returns, and in-depth product information. From in-store touchpoints to handheld apps, here are a few brands that are providing enhanced services:
Walmart’s new store app allows customers to easily locate where products are and what’s in stock. After creating a shopping list, consumers open the app while in-store and receive maps that route to the exact locations of their chosen products. Given Walmart’s 180,000 sq. ft format, the app creates a seamless shopping experience that offers quick and easy navigation.
The brand has also introduced the new employee-facing app, Me@Walmart that answers sales assistants’ product and availability queries in-store.
Bloomies by Bloomingdales
Bloomingdales latest store concept, Bloomies, created in partnership with NELSON will focus on delivering superior customer experience focused on rotating trends and a curated product collection. The small-format store will offer stylists in departments to provide personalized service to customers. Each of the stylists will be equipped with digital selling tools that will enable them to find the right items for their customers, whether located near or far.
La Nouvelle Cave
Retailers are focused on acquiring resources that provide effortless and innovative experiences for both shoppers and employees.
La Nouvelle is a liquor store in Paris with a virtual sommelier. Shoppers scan a QR code with their mobile device or use in-store tablets to access advice/recommendations based on their preference. Once shoppers chose what they want, a unique color and lighting system guiding them towards the right bottle in-store.
It will be crucial for retail brands to create opportunities to better connect with their consumers – whether digital or in-store – these offerings must provide a seamless, customized experience to put shoppers on a pedestal and keep them coming back for more.