Changes in the retail industry
In the last years, the online points of sales have become the principal sales channel obtaining the best results compared to traditional physical exercises. At the same time, consumers are adapting their purchasing behaviors and therefore, their habits are changing. It does not matter anymore about the distance or the opening hours of the retail because thanks to the Internet consumers are able to effectuate the purchase whenever and everywhere.
Obviously, also brick-and-mortar stores were impacted by these changes and of course they are going to change again soon. The e-commerce had a very strong impact on them but also other marketing trends which have modified the relationship between the consumers, the point of sales and its function.
In fact, the commercial exercises are adapting themselves to the younger audiences that are always looking for something new and original. For this reason many stores are adding a “hipster” touch to their visual merchandising display, in order to follow this wants of uniqueness and novelty. For example, some big American supermarkets chains are introducing sustainable growth products and in addition, they are deploying portable devices within the points of sales from which it is possible to require e personalized service.
Therefore, it is possible to say that the future of retail is strictly linked to Millennials and their evolutions, in fact, all the innovations and changes brought to the big retail chains were undertaken due to attract the new generation in the stores.
A real question mark in the retail industry is the influencing impact of the upcoming trend of virtual reality. It has the potential of changing the way in which products are sold but also it also impacts on how brands interacts with their consumers. For example, the American house products chain Lowes has already installed a technological tool which allows to virtually seeing the result of the product bought.
In addition, it is already clear that consumers are more and more tech savvy and used to the multichannel experience. Therefore, technology within the point of sale is something they take for granted and they expect that every retailer is update with the latest innovations in order to be always interconnected with the virtual and social world and share the shopping experience they are doing. Among the latest news, stores are focusing on personalization, smart changing rooms, the possibility to bound e-commerce with physical experience , application that can be used from the smartphones in order to fastener and better the purchasing decision and at the same time that allows payments throughout mobiles wallet such as the ones introduced by Microsoft and Apple.
But how can retailers have success in such complex and competitive environment where differentiation is key?
It is just a matter of knowing their target and consumers. First of all is relevant knowing where they are located in order to strategically position the store to have the best amount of inside and outside traffic. Second, is useful knowing the level of interaction they have with the windows display and the inside promotion arrangements. Last, it is important to know the level of loyalty of the consumers, meaning how many times they come back to the store, buy, etc. in order to apply coherent personalization or promote online discount to be used only in the physical stores. All this data and information are easily collectable thanks to retail technology solutions offered by companies such as TC Group Solutions, specialized in the sector and with the aim of provide retailers with the right tools to success in a competitive and hard sector such as the retail industry.