Many people have already believed that “retail is dead” because online shopping is far more feasible than visiting the local mall, people consider brick and mortar stores as living in the past.
According to the U.S. Census Department, U.S. retail sales increased up by just 0.2 percent last year, and online sales progressed by 11.5 percent. This has happened, simply because of the comfort in buying something with the one-click from a computer mouse and the availability of an ample variety of alternatives. And, more intensely, the presence of social media and the increase of targeted ads, it becomes more comfortable to get what you did not even remember you were looking for.
Here, we bring some pieces of advice from retail industry experts to help you to find the future of retail business through their point-of-view and how to improve it.
1: Buyers will have increased control
The prospect of retail is shopper-centricity. Those days are gone long ago when a brand’s chief merchant held power in deciding what could be purchased, when, where, how, and for how much. That control now lies in the hands of buyers.
Ray Hartjen, director of marketing, RetailNext says: “To succeed in the new retail reality, retailers must respond to the demands of shoppers by delivering value-added, seamless shopping experiences across all customer touchpoints and eliminating the friction points that make shopping a chore rather than a desired elective experience that’s speedy and convene-commerce has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t have to wait in line. For anything. Ever.”
2: Brands will leverage physical locations to improve their relationship with customers
Because of the ease, few people appreciate staying in their homes all day. But with so many entertainment alternatives, there must be something appealing about your retail location that makes them visit your store. Yonah Ghermezian and his family are starting the $6 billion American Dream Mall in New Jersey, and their concept includes a water park and amusement park, aquariums, fountains, light shows, an ice rink, and an indoor wave pool. It is a move beyond the retail experience we have grown habitual to. Ghermezian has said that the key in business is understanding people’s requirements that need to be entertained and creating an experience so interesting and exciting that compels them to jump out of the house.
According to the Mark Ghermezian, founder and CEO, RAAS
“The future of retail is all about building a real, valuable two-way connection between a brand and its customers. Brands that will effectively leverage their physical locations to learn more about their customers and disrupt the customer engagement will be better positioned to grow and win in the marketplace.”
3: Retailers will have to contact customers through storytelling
Beyond platforms, brands also require to spend in strong visual storytelling and utilize physical to produce immersive experiences that explain the elements that cannot be answered online.
Melissa Gonzalez, chief pop-up architect, The Lionesque Group says: “The future of retail is about focusing on the customer as a channel. Consumers will continue to become more and more platform-agnostic (albeit physical store, digital site, mobile experience. etc.) Regardless of the touchpoint, consumers want access to options, insights to availability and seamless ways to transact.”
4: Mobile tech will empower retail staff
Mobile apps for making clients will be conventional for retail store associates. Clienteling is relationship-building with key customers and takes into consideration information about their inclinations and past purchases.
“In the future, all associates will be able to ask their customers questions about needs and wants and capture meticulous notes in their mobile apps. They’ll have access to product catalogs, key product information, inventory, product availability, customer preferences, order history, online behavior, wish lists and other content to ensure they present customers with timely offers and valuable information.”Bill Zujewski, executive vice president of marketing, Tulip Retail
Associates will proactively interact with customers through text, email, and new rising social apps. They will get their customers, be well-trained, informed, and equipped to assist each customer in an unusual, personalized way.
5: Superior service and efficient checkout
The future of retail is a two-part combination of superior service and fast checkout.
- Superior service
People understand superior service as an interaction of humans, but this may not always be the case in the future.
Superior service will be an AI chatbot for each store you enter, enabling you to get real-time discounts, ways to a particular product, notifications about free dressing rooms, and even the ability to ask help from a human store clerk on demand.
- Efficient checkout
The next biggest piece is the automated checkout. Checkout continues to be the biggest time-suck of the retail shopping experience. The shopper gets very limited value from a human-oriented checkout. Stores will ultimately see the opportunity in automating their checkout process so shoppers can save time while stores themselves cut costs on unnecessary personnel.
“The conveniences of online shopping will soon be transferred to the retail store, and it’ll be revolutionary”.Sam Sternweiler, founder, Opasite
Although the growth of technology and love of convenience enhances the trouble of retail business still there are ways where its importance can be restored. All we need to be creative in bringing customers to their stores.
We hope these bits of advice from the experts will open up channels of creativity in you and you will make most of their assistance.