Retail Brick-and-Mortar Revitalization in the Digital Age
The digital disruption of retail and commerce is transforming retailers' customer interactions. It's evolving into a far more flexible, seamless omnichannel fulfillment model, which is critical for retailers' continued success, viability and relevance. Online and mobile commerce has grown significantly in size and scale, leading to the misguided perception that brick-and-mortar stores are becoming obsolete. Rather, it's simply become more important for retailers to revitalize the in-store shopping experience in a way that's compelling, interesting and personalized for an increasingly empowered, informed and socially connected consumer.
The Brick-and-Mortar Store Still Matters
There is and always will be an emotional connection between the consumer and a retailer's products, and that's no different for modern customers with the convenience of mobile shopping, diverse product availability, competitive shopping, online reviews, social media, fulfillment options, and more. Consumers overwhelmingly express the need to see and feel products before they purchase. This tendency explains why 95 percent of all retail sales are either captured or influenced by the store.
In addition, consumers in our age of instant gratification want to leave the store with the product in hand. Interestingly, 78 percent of consumers still want to have the option of shopping in-store, and when they do they spend six times more compared to online. Consumers crave an entire brand experience, and this emotional connection is very important to recognize.
As advanced mobile technology drives and enhances the overall in-store experience, retailers must ensure that it contributes to the emotional and interactive experience rather than detracting from it. Amazon.com, Wal-Mart and other leading brands have permanently changed consumers' expectations of retail companies. The future of retail is to not only take place via mobile devices, but in any channel the consumer chooses (e.g., picking up and returning products through different channels). Retailers that do this successfully empower consumers to shop and move seamlessly through both digital channels and stores.