Shifts in how consumers work, shop and live combined with anywhere, anytime access to online merchandisers are posing challenges for our clients with brick-and-mortar stores. Despite the rise of eCommerce, consumers still have an affinity for visiting, browsing and experiencing product in-store. For many consumers, evolving desires to shop online and inspect or pick-up in-store is assuring that in-store experiences in the future will be very different from today.
Experience of the future is a concept that we use at Sagepath to explain the ever-evolving, digital enhancements to a consumer’s interactions inside a store. Digital innovations have made the in-store experience less focused on queues and salesperson availability and more focused on hyper-convenience, self-service, and enhanced decision making capabilities.
To meet the changing consumer expectations from online experience to in-store experience, experience of the future innovations are hitting the market at a head-spinning pace. But while it may be tempting to embrace every latest innovation, in-store experiences should not be architected without consideration of the full spectrum of digital channels that influence the in-store experience. After all, consumers don't think in siloed channel experiences with brands. Instead, they think of shopping as a single experience regardless of whether it is wholly or in part conducted online, in-store, or through social channels.
To meet consumer desires for fast, convenient transactions, self-service will likely become a key factor in stores of the future, along with a number of technologies that can meet consumer wants:
- Digital product showrooms
- Interactive mirrors and displays
- Floorplan and shelf inventory tracking
- Digital product detail displays
- Augmented / Virtual Reality
- Mobile payments
- Re-engineered drive-throughs
- Sales team devices with global inventory sets
Store of the future technologies are designed to cater specifically to two differentiators for consumers--convenience and self-service. Consumer purchasing options continue to blur the lines between physical and digital, whether shopping in-store and buying online, browsing online and buying in-store, or browsing and purchasing online. As a result, it's become essential for business-to-consumer brands to understand the consumer journeys of their key personas and build in-store experiences that match consumers' evolving purchasing needs and behaviors. Once consumer journeys are understood, it becomes possible to map in-store technologies to meet the varying needs of in-store consumers.
At Sagepath, we are uniquely positioned to leverage our consumer-first approach to map consumer needs to technologies. If your enterprise is preparing to stay on the cutting-edge of retail experiences, for consumers, now is the time to talk to us.