There was a time when every retail store was under threat from the rise of e-commerce. Amazon was taking on a centuries-old sector single-handedly. Customers can now order anything literally from the comfort of their homes and get it delivered within hours! (thanks to amazon prime). Despite this disruption in this brick and mortar sector, a good number of retail stores not only survive but in some cases are thriving! There are many reasons for that, and a lot has been researched and written on it. However, in my view, they serve two essential purposes that an online store lacks.
- Physical Traction: the idea of touching, feeling, trying products on, i.e., getting help or confidence in a purchase.
- Social Experience: the memory or social delight of going outside.
You can disagree with these reasons, but the fact is these stores exist and are refining the overall customer experience. In this article, we are going to look at the three trends that are reforming retail stores.
Walmart, a global retail giant, recently equipped its stores with revolutionary mobile point of sale devices. These powerful devices look and feel like any other smartphone, but they are full-fledged mobile POS, able to accept all sorts of payments on the go. The age-old problem of checkout lines is being targeted with innovation in this area. Employees with this device can swipe customer’s debit or credit card and give them a receipt using a portable Bluetooth printer strapped on to their waist.
Walmart partnered with Innowi to implement this cutting edge technology. Innowi was founded on a philosophy of becoming a go-to solution for all the innovative, hi-tech, mobile experience for the POS industry. Innowi, Santa-Clara based startup, is a pioneer in mobile POS solutions and with its revolutionary device, Model M, aims to solve many problems in this area. These innovative devices have allowed retailers such as Walmart to bring the POS to the customer rather than forcing the customer to go to the fixed POS system terminals. By bringing the purchasing experience to the customer, the experience becomes more engaging and personalized.
With advancements in robotics technology, the deployment cost is decreasing, and retailers have already started to invest in them. Walmart again, teamed with technology company Bossa Nova Robotics to scout its stores to find empty shelf spaces. When this robot scout finds an empty space it can inform workers to replace the exhausted items with boxes from the warehouse.
Restaurants in stores
Retailers know that the longer you keep shoppers in the house, the better it is for them. “People eat out more often than they shop for, say, a pair of shoes. So if you’re after increased traffic and increased frequency of use of your store, restaurants are the obvious solution,” restaurant consultant Michael Whiteman. Shopping in large retail stores have become part of our lifestyles, and it is more of a social destination than it used to be. Restaurants have identified this shift and are jumping on board.
Renowned motivational speaker Brian Tracy who is also the author of the famous book, ‘Eat that frog,’ said, “In a time of rapid change, standing still is the most dangerous course of action.” Things in the retail industry are rapidly changing, and these are some of the hot trends that we believe will make significant headway in 2020. If you belong to the retail sector, this is the time to jump on the bandwagon and benefit from these trends. If you are an average consumer, anticipate some exciting things in this sector that will surely enhance your shopping experience!