The “Retailpocalypse” has been on the minds of most brick-and-mortar retailers in the last few years, as sites like Amazon.com and other eCommerce retailers continue to grow at a record pace. How can retailers compete with online businesses, and make sure that they keep their customers?
That’s a great question, and it’s one we’ll answer in this article. We’ll discuss a few of the latest technological innovations that may have the potential to revitalize the brick-and-mortar retail model and allow retailers to compete more effectively with online-only eCommerce websites. Let’s get started.
Better Data Analytics and Business Insights
One of the most important things that retailers of every size can do is gather more data – and use it more effectively. Data is key for understanding consumer shopping habits and trends, so collecting more customer data is always a good thing.
Using a big data system, retailers can gather information about brick-and-mortar sales from POS systems, integrate information from online sales, and even collect information such as customer foot traffic, collected from intelligent video systems.
Using this data, retailers can quickly develop a better understanding of their performance, and how it can be improved. What are the peak shopping hours? What is the average wait time a customer has when checking out? Which items are selling the most? Which items are underperforming, and should be taken off of the sales floor?
These kinds of actionable insights can help retailers understand their customers – and with just a few custom databases and the proper Business Intelligence software, it’s easy to start collecting and analyzing this data.
Customized Promotions and Discounts
One of the most powerful ways that retailers can connect to customers and increase their loyalty is by providing them with customized promotions, deals, and discounts, based on what they’ve purchased in the past.
70% of millennials have said that they are “very interested” in customized coupons. By focusing on each individual consumer, and using an algorithm or another such system to determine what promotions would be the most effective on each customer, retailers can increase the likelihood that they will continue at a particular store.
These types of discounts and promotions are also very powerful when combined with modern smartphones, as recipients can easily save each individual coupon or promotion, or even use them to make an online order right away.
Augmented Reality (AR) for a Unique In-Store Experience
Augmented Reality (AR) is a unique way that retailers can provide a better in-store experience. For example, a customer could scan a clothing tag to learn more about where the materials came from, and how the garment was made.
Or, in a furniture store, AR could be used with a smartphone app to scan a piece of furniture, and then place it in a virtual room, so that a customer could learn more about how the piece would look in their own rooms.
The market for AR technology is forecasted to grow dramatically, with the value of the AR market hitting more than $133 billion by 2021 – so there is a lot of room for innovation in this space. And because most consumers already have powerful smartphones, AR can often be implemented without using specialized hardware.
Know What to Expect from the Future Of Retail!
Retail is a competitive industry, and this is especially true now that eCommerce retailers are growing so quickly. But with the right technology and innovations, modern retailers can weather the storm, and make sure they keep their customers loyal to their brand, and their products.