Open a newspaper on any given day and you’re sure to come across stories about stores closing, retailers going into administration or plummeting sales. Many of these problems are caused by businesses being unable to compete with the flexible online shopping experience from companies like Amazon.
But as Chris Carter, managing director at smp, the shopper marketing agency, explains in our exclusive interview, ironically, adopting new technology could save them from having to shut up shop. “Both excel for distinct reasons, for example, convenience and range availability for online and the ability to physically experience and test a product in-store.”
While these two parts of a customer’s shopping journey have so far been mainly separated, he argues that bringing them closer together could add many benefits to a business. “[Just] like brands create consistent visual identities to aid recall, shoppers are reassured by consistent messaging and pricing across online and in-store environments,” explained Carter. “So achieving this should be a priority for brands.”
If you’ve looked closely at your customer and think they are ready for some serious innovations, here are three ways that tech can boost your business.
(1) Boost in-store content
When Burberry opened its new flagship store in London in 2012, it wowed people with its innovations, providing a truly unique shopping experience. “Retailers can provide additional information at the point of purchase, helping shoppers make an informed decision,” said Carter. “The use of digital screens allows existing e-tail content, repurposed for the store environment, to be efficiently leveraged.”
(2) Bring on the big data
“AI-powered platforms like Commerce.AI use data to prioritise the information that matters most to customers” explained Carter. “Others like WeView allow customers to watch video reviews from real users before purchasing. Starbucks is reaping the rewards of AI initiatives, achieving a 150% increase in marketing engagement on its mobile app.”
(3) Don’t forget mobile
While tech can undoubtedly boost the in-store experience, it can also help bring that experience home thanks to smartphones. “Mobile storefronts are growing fast,” said Carter. “80% of Chinese shoppers value their mobile devices as their most important shopping tool and EU customers are catching up. This research, coupled with the ubiquity of mobile devices, means that retailers should do more to leverage them in and out of store.”
Full article published in Elite Business Magazine