Companies are seeing the benefits of shifting retail sales focus to align with the online environment, and implementing technology use into their stores to make the shopping experience easier and more interactive.
Here is a list of some of the top trends seen in retail recently:
1. Scannable displays
Scannable displays and images are things like QR codes, that provide smartphone-using consumers with the ability to access company websites online.
Australian clothing chain Sportsgirl provides a good example of how you can incorporate some online elements into brick and mortar stores, with its introduction of ‘window stores’.
These shops have Sportsgirl products displayed, with a QR code underneath – the customer can scan the code with their smartphone and be taken to the Sportsgirl website where they can view product information and order it if they choose.
2. Online customisation
This is where retailers provide users with the opportunity to customise products that they are buying – such as colour selection.
Australian furniture retailer Evolvex enables users to hop online and involve themselves in the designing process of furniture that they order.
Customers can change the colour, size and configuration of furniture, and then upload a picture of their own to see what the product would look like in their home.
Currently, the term M-commerce refers to purchases being made on a mobile phone, however in the short term future, this is set to hopefully change to mean that phones will become a way of payment.
CorFire and Vodafone have teamed up to develop a way of paying for goods and services at the point of sale using mobile phones – eliminating the need for a credit or EFTPOS card. Technology will enable consumers to purchase goods at the tap of a button, making the purchase process a lot simpler.
4. In-store digital integration
This term refers to brick and mortar stores that use digital products in their shops – such as interactive display screens, or the use of iPads for customers.
Nike opened a new store in a pop-up shopping mall made of shipping containers called Boxpark in London. It’s unique because it contains many digital and interactive elements to create a memorable shopping experience.
The pop-up shop enables users to record themselves jumping or running in various Nike products, and share it online through the use of social media.
The in-store retail design is also spectacular, with digital displays placing an emphasis on movement and colour to draw customers into the Nike experience.
5. Online recommendations
This use of technology can be seen on many online retailing websites. When users are shopping online for products, they can also view similar or complementary products that relate to the things they are purchasing.
For example, when shopping for clothing on Asos.com, users can see a sidebar titled ‘Complete the look’ which contains relatable products that can be matched to the item that they are viewing.
Retailers that are recognising the potential of technology use in store can hope to increase in-store and online traffic by creating memorable and unique shopping experiences for their customers. A few small changes here and there to a website or store layout can sometimes make the biggest of differences in the long term for business.