We all know that evolving technology changes the game for both customers and retailers. In fact, e-commerce sales continue to grow, increasing by nearly 15% in 2015.
But the benefits of technology in retail aren't limited to online. Brick-and-mortar stores can use an endless aisle concept to integrate their physical and virtual offerings into one seamless shopping experience. With the help of visual merchandising, brick-and-mortar stores can boost their profitability in the following ways.
A consistent brand story creates customer trust
By offering unlimited product choices, you can strengthen your brand story as one of quality and reliability. If there's any doubt that a strong brand contributes to a strong bottom line, remember that one of the world's most valuable brands, Apple, is also one of the most profitable largely because of how customers perceive the company.
While customers respond to the vivid, memorable aspects of a brand, they also want consistency. A customer will view a brand positively when the appealing visuals and messaging that they see on a company website are replicated in their in-store experience (like branded start screens on store tablets). Ultimately, when a customer develops a trusting relationship with a brand, they are more likely to make a purchase.
Strong content management leads to more purchases
Endless aisle can also improve cross-market content management. According to a Deloitte study, 80% of brick-and-mortar customers prefer to find product info from their own devices or ones provided in-store before they turn to a sales associate. By giving customers clear and up-to-date info through your website and in-store kiosks, you can help them move past the research stage and onto the purchase stage. Through endless aisle, content across multiple channels is in sync, and can be easily shared in either direction.
Better order fulfillment means more sales
Another clear advantage of adding visual merchandising to your retail environment is improved order fulfillment. When orders are fulfilled without interruption, that means more sales and accordingly, higher revenue.
According to an A.T. Kearney study, 90% of U.S. retail sales take place in brick-and-mortar stores. Even though a customer may check the company website first, they'll go to a store to make the purchase in person. They'll also expect to find the same selection as what's shown in the online catalog; if an item's not in stock, they may feel frustrated with their shopping experience.
Contrast this scenario with one where the customer has endless access to inventory and selection. The same customer enters the store and finds a kiosk that features a consistent display of visuals and info as on the company website. They can easily find the product they're looking for. If the item's not in stock, no problem; the order can still be fulfilled online through a drop ship service, which means the product will be delivered straight to the customer's doorstep in no time.
Endless benefits of visual merchandising
With visual merchandising customers get better information, a wider selection, and faster service, which in turn means more sales. Overall, providing increased efficiency will help your bottom line. The easiest way to do that is with an effective visual merchandising solution—one that will help your store outpace your competitors and thrive.
With iQmetrix's Endless Aisle solution, you can blend the best parts of online and in-store shopping to deliver a retail experience your customers will love.
Feature Photo: g-stockstudio / Shutterstock.com