Retail experts agree that tomorrow’s retail store will look quite different from its counterpart today. Ecommerce and alterations in consumer behavior require new strategies for brick and mortar stores.
eCommerceTrendz Thought Corner
Most retail outlets assume a traditional three-stage consumption model. The customer experiences a need, shops to satisfy the need, and then consumes or uses the product purchased. The vocabulary of retailing reflects this model, assuming in particular that shopping is the central component of this model.
Today, let’s see some ideas written by Regina Henkel from Euroshop, the world’s largest retail trade fair. We will see how the store of the future will look and what the consumer will expect to get. Classical retail has not gone out. Its potential, its ability to attract, to create community feeling and to communicate, is promising. All these are characteristics online shopping is unlikely to offer.
Experience over Revenue
The performance of a store has traditionally been measured in turnover per square meter. “This is the wrong approach,” says Nicole Srock Stanley of retail design company, Dan Pealman.
“The future will be about experience per square metre,” she says.
Instead of packing as much merchandise as possible in a store and offering a wide selection, the store of the future will become smaller and oriented to offer more entertainment. “We must understand that shopping means we spend our leisure time in a store, where the customer invests money and time,” she points out. Retail is becoming a part of the leisure industry. The first retail parks, where shopping areas are connected with climbing halls and swimming pools, have arrived.
Similarly, in December, Amazon opened a prototype Amazon Go grocery store at its headquarters in Seattle, Washington, which uses a tracking system of sensors, algorithms, and cameras instead of cashiers or checkout lines.
You may also offer complimentary services such as a free repair of broken mobile phone screen with a fashion apparel purchase. The door is always open for creativity.
Adidas has just offered a special shopping experience. Until mid-March, Adidas offered customized sweaters in a pop-up store. Under the ‘Knit for You’ concept, customers could design their Merino sweaters individually and then have them knitted at the knitting machines installed. A few hours later, the sweater was ready.
In addition to permanently leased stores, the special shopping experience consists of several pop-up stores housed in wooden boxes, and which change over the year again and again.
Stores where You Buy Nothing
The purchase process in the store will lose relevance. The transaction can finally take place anywhere-in the store, online or through social networks. Once used as the top principle, the main focus of the store will shift towards customer engagement.
At the latest Samsung flagship store in New York, the brand and the products are staged but you cannot buy them.
Steven Weiss from the American Trade Advisory Shop! USA, puts it in a nutshell, “Retail is changing from POS (point of sale) to POE, or point of engagement.”
Present Retailing in India
Ecommerce keeps growing and this is hurting the traditional commerce. By innovating and personalising the shopping experience, brick and mortar to score a 1 – 1 in the battle against ecommerce.
While the goal is to offer customers a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels, the trick has been finding the best way to combine e-commerce with in-store shopping to create a connected retail experience. Pioneering retailers such Shoppers Stop, Croma and Reliance Retail, to name a few, have already started to answer this need by introducing digital technologies, such as virtual fitting tools and virtual product aisles, in their stores.
Physical stores are certain to become more closely synced with shoppers’ smartphones. The priorities will be to speed up the shopping process and to make the experience more exciting and engaging. There will be new and faster cashless ways to pay, and a growing number of experimental, checkout-free stores.
Winning in retailing today is less and less about control of the shopping experience because there is no longer a clearly defined shopping stage. The model is changing as new technologies allow people to bring the purchase of the product that satisfies their need closer to their first perception of it. And this makes the perception of the need — rather than the shop — the stage that marketers need to control.
When it comes to the future of retail, the stores will be centre of the stage. What is going to change drastically is the way these physical stores operate and service their customers. It’s about a seamless merge of a fantastic physical experience with powerful, yet subtle technology.