This is the first post in our Survival Kit Series, a collection of examples and advice on how to adapt your store to the rapidly changing retail landscape. We believe that technology can enhance the human element of the shopping experience, and are excited to share how retailers are using software to augment their business.
In an age where one can order a full sushi dinner, a pair of jeans, and a movie all with the tap of a finger, it comes as no surprise that the rise of online shopping poses a threat to brick-and-mortar retail stores. While traditional retail shops must compete with the convenience of the couch-potato shopping experience, they can now enhance the physical in-store experience by incorporating the smartphone and tablet technologies we have come to love.
Brick-and-mortar retailers offer unique experiences that cannot be duplicated online:
- Firstly, they offer the immediate gratification of being able to walk away with a product, thus eliminating the shipping time consumers expect from Internet shopping.
- Secondly, they allow for a tactile experience (if you have ever been duped into buying a cheap fabric garment instead of the luxurious silk as promised online, you can relate to this).
- Last but not least, brick-and-mortar stores can offer much-appreciated human interaction with a knowledgeable staff. If retailers bring the benefits of online shopping into their stores, they can effectively bridge the gap between both shopping channels.
The latest technologies are helping retailers reach customers in new ways. Incorporating tablets and smartphones into the POS system isn’t just offering a glorified sales transaction – it also empowers sales associates to monitor inventory, offer suggestions, and upsell the customer while on the sales floor. This technology can also help to reduce and even eliminate the lines and wait times at the register, as well as help with the final transaction.
Since the boom of e-commerce, the brick-and-mortar retail industry has had to adjust, but stores that are incorporating new technology and software into their mix are now thriving. This shrewd understanding of the evolving shopping landscape is setting an example for the retail industry at large.
Stay tuned for the next post in the Brick and Mortar Survival Kit series, helping you lure future customers off their couches, and keeping your current ones excited to buy more.