Spending intentions around the world are growing, the number of shopping trips are not. Global consumers shopping habits have shifted, performing fewer shopping trips and demanding more interactions (nielsen research). Retailers are going to see their customers less often and furthermore in some markets the recession phase has led consumers to become more cautious with their purchases. Consumer interactions are now more crucial then ever and we see an increasing number of examples where these are evolving form single- to multi- to omni-channel approaches.
Retailers need to engage wherever they are and at each stage of the presentation of a product, delivering the brand through various channels pre, during and post purchase in an ongoing relationship with the consumers. In order to keep thriving and deliver consumers a worthy experience, more and more retailers embrace tech evolution that is influencing shopper behavior (e. g. comparisons, reviews, availability) and merge it with in-store perks (physical presence, emotional engagement, human interaction). The retail business has evolved from a single-channel to a multi-channel approach, already and now it is time for the omni-channel shop experience. It is about delivering a shopping experience that is as engaging, as informative, as effortless, and as sharable as possible.
Here are some interesting examples around innovation in the retail space from the past months:
(AND BRAND) EXPERIENCE
Burberry – „You have to be totally connected with everyone who touches your brand, if you don‘t do it I don‘t know what you‘r business model is in five years“ says Angela Ahrendts, Burberry’s CEO.
This has lead Burberry’s ground breaking approach to pursue a more engaging, fully digitalized and continuos brand experience on all contact points available. For example in its fully technology integrated, one-of-a-kind flagship store in London, radio-frequency chips are attached to certain clothes which launches supporting content (like details about the craftsmanship of the particular piece or how it was shown on the catwalk) on the various screens in the shop whenever a customers comes close to these. Besides, store associates are armed with iPads which display customer‘s purchase history and work as portable checkout systems.
Another example is the AT&T flagship store in Chicago, whose approach is centered around choice and putting the customer experience in first place by creating an environment more similar to a museum lobby than a store (. Instead of the cash counter you will find round café-style „learning tables“ which enable the consultants to have true conversations with there customers. In addition, the store is fully equipped with digital eye candy including a 5 meter long video wall equipped with motion-sensors called „explore wall“, on which sales people and customers can visualize products and services interactively.
EASINESS OF SPENDING
Shopping List 3.0 …
Target, the american retail giant, developed an app to enrich consumers experience by enriching shopping lists, suggesting new products, displaying reviews, let online purchases being picked up offline in a store and more.
The latest innovation here is a new app called Divvy (read more here), enabling consumers to share their lists and … costs with their friends.
As you like …
A little coffee shop chain, Harris + Hoole, uses an app to recognize and offer immediate, personalized orders. Just enter the shop and pick up your usual.
Beacon is a low energy powered bluetooth device from Paypal which allows customers to automatically pay by checking in, pre-ordering goods and receive tailor-made promotions based on their purchase history.
Full control …
Casino markets using NFC technology giving them various opportunities to enrich the shopping experience for the consumers while opening up huge sales and research opportunities.
Kate Spade rented four shop-windows in Manhattan, elegantly displaying the new collection and allowing buys via touchscreen. The delivery happens while you go back to work or home free of charge and within an hour.
Similar to Kate Spade adidas engaged people via an interactive shop-window, too. People passing by were able not just to browse and buy the latest collecting, they had the chance to interact with „digitalized“ models.
A few more executions showing us, how technology can be used in the retail area. Engaging and interesting – therefore worth sharing here:
If you like to dive deeper you might want to read this research done by IBM on shopping behavior, too (omni-channel, showroomers and meaningful retail connections).