Once the bricks ruled the retail world. Massive stores ruled America like Wal-Mart, Sears and JC Penny. In big cities, you’d find chic retailers like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales. But then they became dinosaurs as the brick slayer, Amazon, monopolized the burgeoning Internet. Stay home, click and get it delivered. Who could beat that?
Tomorrows Winners in Retail
Today, retail is changing again. Retailers, as well as retail properties, are using computer technology to build brick and mortar business. It’s easier to return items you bought online to a physical store. Consumers are finding it easier to pick up items curbside at malls and outlets. Local grocers and restaurants are thriving by offering home delivery for online orders. These initiatives are driving consumer traffic back to a physical address. McKinsey and Company report, “The retailers who thrive in the next decade will be those that reimagine and redefine their stores for the digital age. Brick and mortar retailers have an enormous opportunity to leverage the distinct benefits of old fashioned, in-person shopping in ways that digital sites can only dream about. Tomorrow’s winners will be those who are able to transport the digital world into their stores…”
Becoming a Leading Edge Retailer
There are endless possibilities for retailers to drive consumer business and digital technology holds many of the keys to this great promise. Apparel retailers for instance, can create virtual fitting rooms. By using 3D scanning technologies shoppers can see what they look like in chosen items. This technology records a customer’s dimensions and contours. Customers can do a virtual try-on of garments for quick comparison and also share the images with their social network to get instant feedback from friends. This has been tested in pilot programs; virtual dressing rooms result in more than a 50 percent increase in conversion rates for first-time buyers. Some leading-edge retailers have experimented with interactive mirrors and facial recognition technology installed in shop windows to allow virtual after-hours shopping.
Clicks complementing bricks. This may be the future of a more efficient and robust retail experience. Perhaps the Amazon octopus gets eaten by the former dinosaur. Who knows?
At the damien harvey group we look at trends and where your business can go with the right branding and advertising. Check us out dhg.world.