Is The Brick And Mortar Model Broken?
Outside of the Apple Stores – the highest performing stores in the history of retail – the market has hit a quandary: e-commerce has seen year-over-year increases of marketshare, leaving brick-and-mortar locations wondering what to do next.
Apple leads innovation in the retail sector
Why do Apple Stores seem to be the exception to the rule? Because Apple, through innovation, rethought a centuries old business model and moved away from single source value creation: providing merchandise, to refocus on new types of value creation for consumers – customer service, interactive store environments and improved consumer engagement.
Retailers are spending too much time fixated with an archaic model instead of seeking innovation. Retailers need to look past the transaction based model – price wars – and refocus on creating personal experiences for the consumer, aided by technology.
Retailers need to change the user experience in brick-and-mortar
How does this happen? Retailers not only have to reinvision the purpose of in-store environments, but need to rethink the way they engage customers and how to leverage the digital era. The resources are there, yet the execution has been incomplete.
Retailers must see their store as more than an inventory showroom. About 5% of consumers that walk through the door of a store convert into a sale. So what’s happening with the other 95%? Create value by leveraging these getaway consumers. Retailers need to start by changing their strategy – identify more opportunities to collect consumer data other than at the POS and make their storefronts more interactive. Leverage your storefront to engage consumers and create value along every step of the sales cycle, and quit defining conversions as simply a sale.
Retailers need to identify more opportunities to collect consumer data
Both improved interaction and collecting more data can be achieved simultaneously – the future of brick and mortar is in the integration of mobile technology and the in-store experience. It’s time to innovate, and what better way than to find a startup company with a new technology that can help you leverage the consumers that got away.
For example, the Raange Interactive Sticker can be used as conduit to push information and engage consumers at the palm of their hands. Retailers can easily place this technology at highly visible areas – display windows, counter tops and other in-store locations – and incentivize consumers to text, scan or tap into their network. Setup stickers beside new displays, and let consumers scan directly to a landing page with more information on the products, or style tips and trends concerning the display. Augment the technology by incentivizing the use of the ‘Sticker’ and you can collect user data that is opt-in compliant.
It’s time for retailers to stop protecting the past and start looking to the future. Leverage mobile engagement to drive value creation and sales.
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