With stores reclaiming their place as the epicenter of the brand, retailers must capitalize on lessons learnt from eCommerce. Stores must be optimized to truly track the customer journey and digitized to provide the ultimate customer experience.
In this report we cover the following topics:
- > Phygital Stores (no typo mistake here…)
- > Experiential Retail
- > Connected Merchandise
THE STATE OF BRICK AND MORTAR
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the retail scene seemingly overnight, causing eCommerce to grow at incredible rates. Zooming in on the fashion sector, we saw eCommerce rise to about 24% of the overall business structure. As a result, retailers started heavily focusing on optimizing their online channels. Customer journey optimization became a business differentiator. And, in a time when consumers had no other channel to utilize for purchasing goods, it was the right move.
But now, in the post-COVID age, physical retail is making a comeback. After two hard-hitting years, shops are open, customers are coming in and new shopping behaviors are turning physical stores into an experiential meeting point, where retailers need to meet new customer expectations.
This past year, brick-and-mortar businesses experienced nearly triple the amount of traffic in February 2022 compared to the previous year.
And the outlook remains strong with overall foot traffic expected to be significantly higher throughout 2022.
With stores once again the epicenter of the brand, retailers must capitalize on what they’ve learned throughout the eCommerce revolution. They need to optimize the store channel like they did their online channel, using customer journey analytics. This means finding methods to digitize their stores, create experiential store experiences and streamline operations to help increase sales and profit margins.
Now retailers gain insights to improve right product, right place, right price, right quantity by better understanding and taking action on:
– What displays are customers seeing in their local store?
– Are items not selling because they are not displayed?
– Are customers engaging with or trying on merchandise?
– Did they ultimately purchase the items they engaged with?
– Did a specific style see high engagement but little purchase?
Ultimately, this data can be used to rethink store experiences and customer engagement to drive brand loyalty and increase revenues.
PHYGITAL: DIGITIZE YOUR PHYSICAL STORES
Retail stores haven’t changed much in the last few decades and neither have the solutions or processes within the store. In fact, 54% of retailers have admitted that they have been slow to digitize their physical stores.
Now with the growth of omnichannel and unified commerce, digitizing stores is front and center. investing in digital tools have said that and capabilities is a priority in the next 12 months. And retailers are dedicating teams and budgets to transform their physical store channel to a more online space, in terms of data, transparency and customer experience.
A key digital transformer will be real-time customer journey and merchandise performance data. By extracting in-store customer journey insights, brands can gain greater control of retail’s age-old motto: Right product, right place, right price and right quantity.
Using long-range battery-free Nano (BT) Bluetooth tags on each piece of merchandise, retailers can digitize and connect merchandise to the cloud, turning passive objects into live communicators. This gives retailers access to real-time merchandise location, availability and performance data, something they never had before when it came to in-store shopping. This data is then aligned with customer journey behavior – interest, engagement, abandonment and conversion – to deliver actionable insights that optimize sales, margins and turnover.
These data-driven customer journey insights allow brands to better understand the path to purchase for each piece of merchandise. This helps to refine pre-season and in-season assortment, allocation, space utilization, visual displays and inventory control within each local store.
Using Nexite Nano Bluetooth technology, stores can collect in real-time, customer journey data like:
what merchandise do my customers see
what merchandise do my customers pick up, add to their carts or try on
what merchandise do my customers engage with but choose not to buy
what merchandise do my customers engage with and choose to buy
EXPERIENTIAL RETAIL: CREATE EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES
Every retailer boasts the importance of customer experience. It’s the last differentiator now that the online wars are evening out.
For many brands, customer experience is now its own branch within the company, deeply rooting itself from the supply chain through to post-purchase experiences.
In fact, 93% of retailers view experiential retail as an integral part of the physical store visit and 73% plan to invest in technology over the next year to provide new omnichannel experiences.
When customers come into the store they expect to be able to control their shopping experience. They want to touch, try and understand what they are buying. This starts with merchandise availability, letting the customer know that the item they want is in the store and available for purchase.
The in-store experience needs to be frictionless, from knowing what’s on the shelf through purchasing and beyond.
Self-checkout that requires standing in a line, is no longer acceptable. Customers want to be able to use their own mobile devices for contactless checkout.
Mobile checkout is so powerful that 91% of retailers using mobile point-of-sale have seen reduced walkouts, increased sales and improved store associate mobility.
NanoBT tags that include NFC (near-field communication) allow stores to engage customers via their mobile phones and can offer new experiences for clienteling and concierge services.
It can also allow for better shopping and click-and-collect experiences, a true grab-and-go model. Endless aisle, return and go, product content digitalization and even connected closets are also supported through Nano BT tags.
With EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) also built into the tags, customers no longer need to wait for a store associate to ring them up or bring out the packages to disable an alarm.
Security is embedded in the same tag and is turned off at purchase. In essence, NanoBT offers endless possibilities for exceptional customer experiences.
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› How to increase margins with Operational excellence
› How to reinvent your physical Stores
› Read 2 use case examples