2020 - how is the retail industry changing?

Brick and mortar retail industry is going through a high variety of changes, to keep up with the purchasing habits of consumers

While millennials have already challenged the prominence of physical stores, shifting to online shopping, Gen Xers prefer social media for their purchasing needs.

That’s where they find information, listen to the opinions of their peers and, in the end, make their decisions.

  • 44% research the best prices online
  • 83% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendation

The segment of consumers who still prefer the interaction with a cashier and walk around a store chasing the products they will buy seems to be decreasing year after year, and retail stores are integrating  technologies capable of offering their guests a customer’s experience that better satisfies their tastes, inside and outside the physical retail store.

Technologies such as geo-location, can now be employed as additional touch-points to inform people passing nearby your business of a discount on their favorite clothing brand, for example. The insights and targeting accuracy of platforms become tools for brick and mortar stores, such in a way that retailers can resonate with the more and more diverse customer base of shoppers.

What are the new generations seeking, in terms of customer’s experience in a retail store?

We might say

  • Entertainment
  • Education
  • Interaction
  • Active participation

Technologies such as Computer Vision and Augmented Reality will also be part of the digital innovation of retail stores.

People can navigate the shelves of a supermarket like they navigate an online shop​

How will the future supermarket experience look like?

It starts on a Saturday morning, on your very couch: you check the store’s app and, after going through some products and evaluate the prices, then, build your shopping list.

Time for a walk now, you leave your apartment, direction supermarket! As you step inside, you will open the app and see the products you choose bookmarked among the shelves, thanks to the app’s AR feature.

Finally, you can look at, touch, smell the items of your choice and, then, put them in your physical shopping cart.

During the walk, you will probably see a product you are interested in, let’s say an electric razor. Easily point at it with your camera and visualize all the device’s info, maybe visualize the demo video and see if that’s what something that you want to purchase. If you are not ready to buy it yet, just bookmark it on the store and find it the next time. Do you think a friend of yours might like it as well? Simply share info and position with her!

A retailer might also want to propose you customized offers, basing the message on your preferences and purchase history.

As you decide to leave the store, you can check out with a click, pay for you products you took and walk away.

Sounds comfortable, doesn’t it? The pleasure of a physical encounter with the goods you consider buying, combined with the efficiency of digital technology. In a nutshell, a true user-centric experience, where users benefit from a simple and seamless interaction with the seller.

That is an example of how such an app might work, you can see more here.

That is an example of how such an app might work, you can see more here.

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