Lest you thought bricks and mortar stores and malls were going away, think again. The best retailers are ramping up their technology infrastructure to leverage social media and the devices you carry in pocket and purse. And the US is learning many of these strategies from other countries, especially the EU and Asia where such tactics are already in the mainstream.
“1. Personal shoppers for all: Retailers will focus on transforming mobile apps into a personal concierge of sorts when shoppers enter a store. In-store beacons will automatically wake up consumers’ apps to deliver highly relevant and personal content.
2. Fewer (foot) traffic jams: In-store mapping and smart navigation will become highly accurate, thanks to real-time data generated from beacons. By tracking the whereabouts of shoppers, managers can better design layouts to streamline the flow.
3. Juicy bait hooks passersby. Retailers will target people who walk by their store through highly personalized offers or messages about things like new styles or reminders about items saved on a wish list.
4. Self-checkout 2.0. One of the most frustrating parts of in-store shopping, is waiting in a line to check out. More retailers will follow retail pioneer Apple’s lead with its EasyPay self-mobile checkout.
5. On-demand customer service. Previously a customer might have searched to no avail in a store for a sales associate for help in finding a size or answering a question. Leveraging mobile applications, retailers will maximize staff resources and enhance the customer experience by allowing shoppers to virtually request assistance.
6. Virtual fitting rooms and aisles. The rich virtual world will continue to supplement the physical world via consumers’ phones and connected wearable devices. Shoppers will access information and special offers through augmented reality while moving through a store or seeing how they would look wearing something without trying it on.
7. Out-of-store, out-of-home shopping and flexible fulfillment.
8. Power to the consumer. In the palm of their hands, consumers are carrying around their own big data tools. They can scan bar codes and compare prices, check reviews or snap a picture and ask their friends for advice.
9.The power of tribes. Powerful communities are being formed around brands and experiences — from runners and cross-fitters to foodies and gamers. More communities will be tied to brands and experiences as never before and will influence major buying decisions.”
Thanks to Entrepreneur.com