Digital innovations bring new magic to brick-and-mortar stores. By Rebecca Walt. By shifting the balance of power to connected consumers, digital innovation has changed retail forever. Far beyond the simple power to purchase, today’s shoppers can take advantage of the convenience of smartphones and the flexibility of online retailers to decide when, where and how they will transact, even going so far as to customize the merchandise itself.
The landscape is set to change even further as key players like Amazon develop logistics models that will allow a purchase to be delivered within a matter of hours (with or without the use of drones!). In this environment, big-box retailers face challenges from all sides as they strive to grow revenue with their own online presence, while online-retail competitors introduce pop-up stores and other new experiential formats that contrast with traditional brick-and-mortar.
In view of digital’s rise, what attracts a customer to a physical store today? This question represents a game-changing opportunity for traditional retailers. Stores still offer several advantages: Shoppers can interact with brands, discuss products with on-site associates, and walk out with goods in hand. These advantages at retail can now be leveraged to turn a shopping trip into an experience by introducing digital innovations. Digital can guide customers through detailed purchase decisions, offer interactive and engaging demonstrations, and provide memorable, theatrical moments that customers will share with others. continue …