E-commerce has changed the way consumers shop and is considered to be the driving force behind the fall of once-venerable brands such as Sears, Kmart, and Blockbuster Video. Still, brick-and-mortar stores haven’t completely gone the way of the dinosaur, and in an interesting turn of events, Amazon purchased Whole Foods in 2017 as a way of strengthening its physical presence. This acquisition demonstrates a strategic effort by the biggest name in e-commerce to expand operations in the physical space in order to better capture consumer dollars as brick-and-mortar stores are becoming relevant once more.
IT IS ALL ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE
Computer savvy millennials are known to prefer experiences, which is why TJX Companies. Inc. is adding stores, even as some once dominant brands are closing up shop. As a discount retailer with an ever-changing inventory, TJX (Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, and HomeGoods) compels shoppers to come in, find bargains, and try on clothing – an experience that can’t be duplicated while sitting behind a computer screen or swiping on a phone.
TJX isn’t the only company intent on providing consumers with an immersive shopping experience. The upcoming launch of Amazon Go, a smart brick-and-mortar shop, will give customers the ability to come into a store, physically interact with goods, and purchase products by simply putting them into a shopping cart. With sensors and intelligent technology, there’s no need to wait in line for a human cashier. This innovative method of purchasing will provide customers with an exciting and interactive way to shop.
INTEGRATING DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS
As retail brands expand their physical presence in 2018, they will look to integrate digital communications in-store to facilitate better customer experiences. Interactive video walls offer ways to boost engagement and serve as wayfinding tools to help shoppers navigate spaces. Interactivity will likely evolve from touchscreens to voice recognition, allowing customers to easily find the information they’re looking for with a natural voice command. The new year will also see more harmonious connectivity between mobile devices and in-store video displays as a part of a larger digital strategy that makes the interaction between the two technologies more seamless than ever.
From the outbreak of the digital revolution, traditional retailers and internet brands have been in competition, with the odds favoring e-commerce stores. However, online shopping has not eliminated in-store purchases, with brick-and-mortar shops positioning to stage an impressive comeback. Brands will leverage digital communication displays inside physical locations to provide customers with an immersive and hassle-free way to shop. Learn more about how digital communication technology enables a superior customer experience by visiting www.omnivex.com/solutions/industries/retail today.