After becoming increasingly accustomed to shopping online, today’s consumers seek omnichannel, hybrid shopping experiences that offer the best of both brick-and-mortar stores and ecommerce websites.
According to a recent global survey conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) in association with the National Retail Federation (NRF), consumers now expect stores to be digitally enabled — and see digital tools as a necessary part of the shopping experience.
Given these conditions, it’s never been more important for brands and retailers to blend their physical and digital channels effectively.
Today’s Shoppers Rely on Digital Information
Today’s shoppers take advantage of new technologies and resources to learn more about your products across multiple digital, mobile, and in-person touch points.
According to Salsify’s “Consumer Research 2022” report, about a third of consumers across the U.S., Great Britain, France, and Germany use their mobile phones to look up products while shopping in a physical store.
Brands and retailers need to align their offerings and capabilities to meet consumers where they are. Here are three tactics you can adopt to provide the increasingly digital in-person shopping experiences today’s consumers are seeking:
1. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
By implementing innovative in-store technologies like AR and VR, you can give consumers a more personalized and convenient shopping experience.
With AR and VR, shoppers can see how a product fits into their space and how the color and style of the item match with other design elements in their home or office.
Think about a virtual dressing room or showroom — these are great examples of applying AR to help consumers visualize using a product in their daily life, ultimately enhancing the shopping experience.
And these augmented experiences aren’t limited to assessing products from home; many leading brands and retailers are introducing these technologies into their brick-and-mortar locations. For example, Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Mirror offering uses AR to enable shoppers to virtually try on 10 of the brand’s signature makeup looks while in-store. This offering streamlines the try-on process while also eliminating potential hygiene concerns.
By leveraging these types of technologies in your brick-and-mortar location, you can offer truly immersive experiences — ultimately empowering you to boost sales and set your organization apart from competitors.
2. Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPIS)
Modern consumers are using buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS), also called click-and-collect, to shop for everything from groceries to electronics and last-minute items.
These types of offerings — which empower shoppers to order an item online and pick it up later in person, on their own schedule — are becoming increasingly popular.
According to eMarketer, U.S. shoppers will spend $95.87 billion via BOPIS this year, a 19.4% increase compared to 2021.
Many brands and retailers have seen massive success with offering BOPIS.
For example, Walmart generated $20.38 billion in U.S. click-and-collect sales in 2021, according to estimates by eMarketer. The Home Depot came in next at $10.64 billion, followed by Target, Best Buy, and Lowe’s ($8.06 billion, $7.42 billion, and $4.92 billion, respectively).
That said, making BOPIS work can be challenging. Start by thinking about how you can connect your back-office systems with front-end systems like ecommerce platforms and point of sale (POS) systems. And consider investing in modern order management technology combined with real-time inventory visibility capabilities.
Maximize the effectiveness of your BOPIS strategy by developing a single source of truth for data, which will empower you to ensure that inventory information is always available, up-to-date, and accurate.
3. In-App Offerings
Forty-nine percent of retail app users claim they’ve used apps more often during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Think with Google. This gives brands and retailers an exciting opportunity to use in-app offerings to improve shopping experiences and acquire more loyal consumers.
For example, retailers can develop tools that allow consumers to discover new products, research product availability and price, and complete orders.
And these apps can provide a variety of immersive or streamlined experiences while a customer is in a brick-and-mortar location. For instance, you can develop in-app navigation tools or store maps to help shoppers move through your store quickly and effectively.
Need a little inspiration? Kohl’s is doing a great job of making the most of in-app offerings. The Kohl’s App empowers users to make purchases at the store using their Kohl’s Card just by taking a picture. The app also offers a “Store Tools” feature, which allows shoppers to scan the barcode of any item in any Kohl’s store and instantly find discounts to save for use in their digital wallet.
Consider how you can leverage unique in-app promotions and offerings to drive traffic to your brick-and-mortar locations.
Upgrade Shopping Experiences for Sustainable Growth
To grow and thrive in 2022 and beyond, brands and retailers have to better understand changes in consumer behavior and adapt to new expectations.
Shift with your target audiences, identify which digital and in-store touch points you should focus on, and invest in advanced technologies to create seamless omnichannel shopping experiences.
Check out Salsify’s “Breaking Down the Barriers to Winning Commerce” report to discover more strategies to excel on the digital shelf.
- Posted in: Australian eCommerce