This time, I will write in English. I’m convinced this is not a problem for you… We saw in the last article, The Internet of Things, the speed of change. We have more and more devices and connected objects. This brings me to the next topic: the digitalization of the in-store experience.
But let me introduce this thematic with two notions that are linked to the act of shopping and good to know.
ROPO – “Research online, purchase offline” stands for a new trend in buying behavior. That means, customers research product information to build their buying decision, before they actually decide to buy their favourite product in the local store.
Showrooming – More or less the opposite of ROPO, showrooming is the practice of examining merchandise in a traditional (real) retail store and then buying it online, usually at a lower price.
The marrying of digital and physical is a “megatrend”. This opens a new digital experience, via mobile as well as in-store digital technology, and is reshaping the physical environment.
We will see in the coming years a significant reshaping of the shopping experience. Many retailers will reduce the physical space they take up in favour of experiential digital “layers” which allow them to showcase and sell their full product inventory with no additional floor space. We speak already about “Storytailing” where shops are becoming perhaps 80% story and 20% store.
More retailers will use iBeacons and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) in store, not only to give consumers more personal experiences, but to gather information about their customers and their preferences. We will see more often experiments using the data from the newer technology like BLE, Wearables, etc.
The retail experience is ready for digital transformation. With Wi-Fi connected, digitally enabled store, fixed cash registers will fade away. The entire floor becomes the point of sales. Armed with mobile and tablets devices, the sales associate role will change to that of brand ambassador, focused on delivering a relevant and differentiated customer experience that the online channel can’t. The benefit is double: prevent loss of in-store sales and create an endless aisle where stores can capture sales from items beyond those on the shelf (e.g. you see not only this shirt in 3 colours but in 15, and with different shapes, etc).
Sources: « Digital Marketing and Ecommerce Trends and Predictions for 2014 » by Econsultancy + « The Digitalization Of The In-Store Experience » by Forrester Research, Inc., Cambridge MA/USA.