In the past decade, civilization has created self-driving cars, 3D printers, and seven different iPhones. So, why are we still picking out our outfits? Why should your retail store utilize technology?
Technology has deeply impacted all areas of life, but the retail industry has been relatively late to the game. While there has been a huge boom in online shopping, especially due the pandemic, physical stores are have not really adapted to evolving technology. Although check-outs have been streamlined with items like Apple Pay, the actual shopping experience has not been updated for decades.
Going to a brick-and-mortar store, walking through the countless racks, searching for your exact size, and lugging piles into a dressing room are quintessential elements of shopping — and some brands are calling for a change.
With the limits of modern technology, companies have endless possibilities to expand opportunities and increase efficiency.
Although the pandemic has decreased in-person shopping, stores hope to return with technology in tow.
The rise of online activity
The traditional retail stores have gotten harsh competition from the technological boom. Online shopping has increased rapidly, eliminating the need for in-person shopping — and the pandemic has not helped the problem.
However, businesses should not accept this as defeat. Instead, uniting both online and in-person shopping can help your brand meld both potential audiences.
Founded thirteen years ago, Reformation has become popular among teenage shoppers for its sustainable yet stylish collections. With 21 locations across the globe, Reformation’s stores follow the modern, industrial style with bare decor and minimal steel racks.
Over the past few years, Reformation has been leveling up their in-person experience with interactive shopping screens. Mounted on one or more of the store’s walls, shoppers can find a large touch screen tablet with their wide variety of available clothing.
After scanning through the options, shoppers can add items into their cart — which workers will then bring to a specific dressing room to try on.
Each dressing room also includes a touch screen tablet, so if something doesn’t fit right, a new size will be brought to you.
Although some may criticize this addition as no different than an online shopping site, it combines the two shopping styles together into a more efficient experience. People still love to shop in person. This technology not only fosters custom care specifically for each consumer, but it also eliminates the time spent sorting through sizes, streamlining efficiency.
In the market for a soothing bath bomb? Cosmetic store Lush has become wildly popular in recent years for its shower products and beautifully smelling stores. To enhance the in-store experience, Lush created a new interactive app
After downloading the Lush Labs app, users can scan products to find out more about their ingredients and uses. This app allows Lush to monitor customer behavior and offer a better experience for shoppers.
The app is also environmentally friendly, as Lush does not have to use plastic or paper labels to show information about the product.
Users can also shop by scents, find nearby Lush locations, pay from your phone and interact with other Lush superfans. The Lush app is a perfect example of in-person stores adapting to technological innovations.
Brands are continuing to cater to the customer experience and elevate efficiency by using devices to their advantage.
Nike Speed Shop
In late 2018, Nike opened “Nike House of Innovation 000” in New York City. Created to push boundaries in the retail space, the store featured mobile checkout, custom murals, and the Nike By You experience which allows customers to choose exact styles and measurements.
Most notably, the location includes a “Speed Shop”, where consumers can pre-order shoe styles and sizes online for easy pickup in-store. Their orders are then placed in individual lockers with their names and can be unlocked via mobile phone.
Consumers prefer customization, and they will pay for the perks. By personalizing their lockers and products, customers feel like they are receiving the premium shopping experience.
By utilizing all the store’s specialties, customers can go in and out without any in-person communication. With retail technology on the rise, will workers become obsolete?
From a financial perspective, businesses pay full-time retail sales workers an average of $27,000 a year while technological adaptations like Nike’s Speed Store are practically free.
Since the majority of the population owns their own mobile cell phone, stores may not need to invest in their own interactive devices — all they need is solid software to elevate the shopping experience.
How can your retail store utilize technology?
Technological advancement could be a game-changer for your business and integrating digital technology is easier than you think. You shouldn’t be afraid too use storefront technology to bring a better experience to your audience.
First, analyze your in-store experience. Are there any inefficiencies that can be updated? Post a social media poll for customers to submit their feedback and suggestions.
Once you identify potential updates for your shop, research the technology necessary and compare prices. Do your customers want digital payment options? An interactive app? Do you want an in-house software system or just a mobile app for customer consumption?
At Elevare, our expert team will assist you in creating a future plan for your business. With over a decade of experience in the marketing industry, we know the ins and outs of both in-person and online marketing.
Contact us today for your free consultation.