For as long as one can think, brick and mortar have been the most admired shopping medium because of the fact that the product can be seen and inspected before shopping. But with the ever-increasing trend of click and mortar and online shopping, it is an important area to ponder over if brick and mortar retail is losing its widely held charm. Not really!
Human emotions and correspondence play a significant part in shopping and that is the reason, brick and mortar retail is essential to the success of any business. A whopping 94% retail sales are still produced in brick and mortar stores. Although, in the recent times a number of massive brick and mortar retailers have closed their businesses down and numerous have witnessed their stock prices being declined. As a matter of fact, technology is taking the consumer market by storm and everything from clocks to even the light in your room is becoming digitalized. A few years back when the idea of online retailing was gaining ground, a few brick and mortar companies suffered largely because of their lack of pro-active planning. However, few brick and mortar companies strategically focused their attention and proactively devised strategies to cope up with the issue, following the trends of the market.
Are you also in the brick and mortar retail industry and wondering what should you do to target the market smartly and alleviate the bottom-line of your organization? We have made the process easier for you.
Presented below are 7 predictions for 2018 which you can follow and formulate kick-butt and workable strategies for your business.
Customization and Personalization
This turbulent market of today is all about personalization. IT support St Louis is efficient at personalization, ATB Technologies provides the expertise, experience, ideology, and personnel to enhance your company’s productivity, efficiency, and bottom line. This trend of personalization will stay prominent even in 2018 and is here to stay. 2017 has witnessed an increased inclination of retailers towards personalization as it helps to foster a friendly and loyal relationship with the customer. This generation of today, i.e. the Millennials, have altered the shopping industry. Their consumer dynamics have changed. Today, consumers have low attention spans, research a lot before making the final purchase decision, use peer reviews, etc. Crafting a seamless and unified experience between brick and mortar and digital mediums helps foster a healthy relationship with the customer. Personalization is not just creating an email with the customer’s name or letting the customer put their name initials in the product, it is much more than that. It refers to letting their customers build the product from scratch and customize till the very end.
Brick and Mortar Retail to Experience Deployment of Robots
The idea of Artificial intelligence (AI) is the hottest trend in the industry and will prevail for a long period of time. While a number of companies have already deployed robots to assist shoppers in their physical stores, a larger role is expected to be played by robots in the supporting of their retail stores. An online store can target their market easily because of the availability of data, collected from every transaction. However, brick and mortar establishments are likely to deploy AI tools in their business operations to make the experience of the customers custom-made. Amazon is already utilizing robots to make the packing and shipping of their products easier. At present, the giant company has about 20% robots in their fulfillment centers and the number is expected to grow by 50% by 2019. Numerous companies have installed audio/video cameras to see the shopping pattern of the customers to plan and devise strategies suiting the customer requirements.
Brick and Mortar Industry to Dive Into the World of Social Media
The increasing trend and rise in the usage of social media have completely transformed the way businesses were marketed. Previously, direct marketing was one of the major sources of delivering the company’s message across. But today, Instagram stories, Facebook live, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp Messenger, etc. have altered the way retailers approached the consumers. 2018 will be welcoming strong social media games and only be posting pictures and updates won’t prove to be the winning shot. Brick and mortar retail companies, to win in this ever-changing global market, must buck up their social media game and capitalize on the social networks and tell stories to engage and attract customers in the real time.
Click and Collect to Become Widespread in 2018
As hard as it is to believe, only 29% retailers are offering click and collect or pay online and self-pick-up from store facility in the U.S. Consumers want this option and the option to return an online purchased item to a physical store. 2018 will witness more click and collect options. It is even wise to introduce the return online purchased items in-store because a person coming to return the product may end up buying something else from the store.
Memorable In-store Experience
This market of today is not short on options and the customer can switch rather easily. To make the customer stick to your brand, the key is to foster an unforgettable personalized in-store shopping experience. The customer will only open your website if the in-store experience had been fruitful and worth it. A smart tip is to design your store in such a way so as to entice the customer. For example, a skincare brick and mortar retail store called Glossier have designed their stores like a complete Instagram candy. This way visitors will not only visit but will also update their social media making it a word of mouth marketing for your brand. In 2018, it is vital to have a store stocked with excellent products, eye catching POP displays, warm welcoming atmosphere, friendly staff who are vigilant to answer all queries, fun events that not only encourage you to shop but are also entertaining, etc.
Augmented Reality (Ar) to Become More Developed
The concept of Augmented Reality (AR) is no more an idea but has been around the market for a good few years now. It is expected that this trend will become more sophisticated and developed in 2018. Apple deploying AR into their iPhone and Apple’s operating system i.e. iOS is definitely breaking barriers to making the acceptance of this technology widespread and adoption of the technology much easier. Retailers will use AR in their systems to augment their customer’s buying experiences. IKEA, a massive home supply company, came up with an app called IKEA Place that allows users to preview and gauge how different IKEA products would look in the physical location. This year, more such apps and technologies will be developed as more and more brick and mortar retail establishments will seek ways to successfully use it.
In-home Services Are Likely to Take the Market by Storm
As much as customers prefer the in-store shopping experience and the human experience, customers of today do not like to go out of their homes for shopping. So, how can retailers reach out to these customers successfully? In 2018, many retailers will connect with customers in their homes to engage them and help them tailor-make a product for themselves. A few retailers, such as Amazon and Best Buy, are also bringing the old idea of traveling salesman back who will visit customer’s homes and recommend products they could use in the house.