What Is Keeping Brick-and-Mortar Alive?

Oct 12, 2016 — Lana Chunn
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Brick-and-mortar retail is dead they said, e-commerce will swallow your business whole. As it turns out ‘they’ had it all wrong and physical retail is instead making a Frankenstein-like revival and disruption.That being said, mad retail scientists everywhere have been scrambling to figure out exactly which technologies will most successfully bring their locations back to life. In the lab (of the retail industry) the discussion over the last few years has largely been around digital technology and how we should invest in it. Retailers in most verticals are experimenting with and hypothesizing on which technologies will contribute to omnichannel proficiency.

“In-store technology can provide the experience customers have come to expect from their daily interactions with personal technology” – Survey respondent

More specifically, though, for the in-store aspect, the pressing question is, which in-store technologies will make omnichannel (Frankenstein) a reality?

A recent RetailWire survey of nearly 300 industry execs and managers shines a light on which technologies your peers are prioritizing and their biggest challenges to implementing them. 54% of retailer respondents agreed that the integration of online and in-store selling channels is crucial. Furthermore, eight out of 10 respondents agree that investing in the in-store experience is an integral limb to stitching together the ultimate omnichannel monster.

What will they be investing in? 

1. Integration of inventory and order management across channels


It safe to say most of us have been left disappointed shoppers when the item we want is out-of-stock. To eliminate this common pain point, retailers are investing in technology such as in-store kiosks (endless aisle solutions) to extend their inventory beyond their physical footprint.

2. Delivery of a consistent customer experience across channels


Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think of the last time your purchased something from your favorite store. Were you able to locate it online and see which colors were available before spending your precious time looking for it in-store? A priority for retailers is investing in technology that provides a blended experience between online and in-store experiences.

3. Consolidation of customer data across channels.


Developing complimentary cross-selling opportunities is high on the priority list for retailers. Many are focusing on technology that delivers a better understanding of their customer across channels so that they too can deliver a more personalized experience that can compete with e-commerce options. Retailers can provide the extensive product assortment that e-commerce offers by rolling out endless aisle solutions.

There we have it, three priorities that in-store technologies that retailers are investing in to create their ultimate in-store revival. Our tip for success? Be a smart mad retail scientist by doing thorough research and creating a clear vision before investing in your own retail Frankenstein.

Want to learn more about the biggest roadblocks retailers face to implement these technologies? Download the full report titled, 'Which In-Store Technologies Will Make Omnichannel a Reality' below. 

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Topics: Retail Operations, Customer Experience

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