E–commerce has changed the way we shop forever. But the traditional shopping experience is very much alive and kicking, with 90 percent of transactions still completed in physical stores. For brick-and-mortar retailers to succeed in a market dominated by online retail giants, they must first make their customer’s shopping journey as frictionless as possible by creating digital connections that can transform their businesses and “digitally augment” their stores. These are the retailers that can connect with customers through digital and mobile channels at every step of the shopping journey.
Digital technology is an opportunity for retailers, not a threat. Instead of worrying about losing customers to your online competitors, leverage the technology to beat those digital-first rivals at their data-driven strategic game. What exactly is a digitally augmented store? It can be any physical store, restaurant or venue with a point of sale — but with the advantage of having a digital “layer” that allows the business to communicate with customers via various channels. This includes communications that can be delivered via email, text, mobile apps and social networks, as well as services such as navigation, reviews and ordering at any time throughout the shopping journey.
Three ways to build a digitally augmented store
With a digitally augmented store, it becomes possible to deliver on today’s consumer expectations — convenience, speed and real-time, relevant information. These are the things that e-commerce delivers, without the need to visit a store. But delivering these expectations, with the added advantage of try-before-you-buy, expert advice from experienced staff and immediacy, can make a store visit more than worthwhile.
For retailers ready to embrace digital technology, the question is: How do you create a digitally augmented store? Here are three suggestions for all types of retailers and customer-facing businesses.
Read the rest of Miya's article in RETHINK Retail here...