How to boost customer involvement?
After months of uncertainty about its future, today it is finally clear that physical stores will never disappear permanently but, on the contrary, will always remain indispensable for fulfill the purchase process of a customer.
In fact, 81% of consumers consider that they cannot give up physical point of sales: it is not just a matter of the past, but a question of experience. Knowing this, retailers must use all the possible technologies to make this path unique, better and more engaging, and consequently increase the performances of their store.
This sector is evolving very fast, and many of the store-designed technologies are aimed at customizing the shopping experience and emphasizing the importance of balancing offline with online.
The merging of the physical store with online shopping platforms is essential to create a one-of-a-kind retail strategy. The continuous search for new ways to integrate online sales with those of the physical store is the only way to achieve omnichannel agreement: a 360° shop, which is able to satisfy even the wishes of the most demanding customers through a multichannel strategy with no limitations.
For example, Click & Collect allows customers to order an item online and then collect it in the store, canceling tedious bureaucracies or exaggerated waiting times. The processes of returns and exchanges have been made more fluid and less complicated, facilitating, at the same time, the life of the consumer and that of the retailer.
- Artificial Intelligence
Thanks to the introduction of new technologies for the visualization of products, Artificial Intelligence has offered retailers the opportunity to interact with customers during their store purchases. Retailers with physical point of sales have understood the importance of integrating sales with the help of an online store, with the dual objective of increasing sales and providing a better in-store experience.
Many brands encourage their customers to take pictures of the desired products as they surfing the store to then upload them to custom Apps, and view on their mobile device all similar or related items present in the store. In this way, they have the opportunity to choose a product based on variety, brand, price or any other preference.
This innovative method is ideal for directing sales on a certain item and guiding its consumers towards an intelligent purchase.
- In-store tech 3.0
The technology is introducing many unexpected and very special trends: one of these is surely represented by the interactive mirrors, which allow buyers to compare different looks without even changing their clothes. This is a type of technology that can change consumer habits: it has introduced and accentuated the tendency to webrooming, which we will discuss later.
This is just one of the results of omnichannel integration and the presence of in-store technology: open in-store Wi-Fi, direct discounts received on the smartphone and many more news has brought physical store back into vogue.
- WebRooming VS ShowRooming
According to a survey conducted in the US, 69% of people do webrooming (search for the desired products on the online platform before going to a physical store for a final evaluation and purchase), while another 46% perform showrooming (look for a product in the store and then buy it online at home).
What are the key points to understand this trend? According to a recent study by Merchant Warehouse, carried out on a sample of a thousand people:
- 47% do not want to pay for shipments
- 23% do not want to wait for delivery times
- 46% prefer to go to the store to touch/feel the product before buying it
- 36% will want to know if the price is similar to the one found online
- 37% like to be able to return the product to the store, if necessary
Each of these valuable information can be transformed by retailers into excellent sales opportunities, while also strengthening online support to provide a complete experience.