Though in-store retailing still dominates, there’s a lot of research to demonstrate the rising growth of online sales. The impact of this continuing rise in online purchasing has been an increase in customer’s expectations on their in-store experience. The online conveniences of avoiding queues, being able to conduct extensive product research easily, and potentially securing a better deal are expectations that consumers take with them to the physical retail store.
So what can retailers do? Firstly, it’s important to understand that consumers are starting to expect the experience of purchasing in-store to match how they purchase in other channels. Technology can be a great tool to help bring the many conveniences of online purchasing into the physical store. Read more about our work at Mini as an example, where sales staff are able to help customers build their own custom-designed car using the technology piece Reality built.
Using technology, retailers can personalize the in-store shopping experience, and even turn stores into destinations. And there is a great upside to this – recent research shows that millenials will pay up to 20% more for a better retail experience and 49% of consumers would be willing to pay more for product and services if they had a highly personalized instore experience. In fact, the same report estimated that retailers lost $150 Billion in retail revenue in 2016 from choosing not to improve the customer experience (which can boost revenue by 5%).
Another factor that has consumers avoiding the store is the desire to avoid long queues at the cashier. Using data and analytics, retailers can better plan store traffic to avoid congestion and long queues. They can also provide create ways to build in shortcuts – such as being able to pay in the dressing room rather than lining up to pay at the front of the store.
There are many ways which technology can help meet rising customers expectations – at Reality, we enjoy the challenge of exploring this for our clients!