If it’s true that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, then the success of online retailers is putting pressure on traditional bricks and mortar retail organisations to reinvent themselves to meet changing customer expectations. While many retailers are still finding the path that takes them to the perfect digital marriage of the online and offline retail experience, there are reassuring signs that customers still value traditional stores. In fact, research from KPMG states that: ‘In spite of the continued threat to bricks and mortar retailers, nearly one in four respondents (22.7%) said they visited a store before making an online purchase: 12% to try products on, 8.4% to compare products, and 2.3% to access further information from the in-store experts.’
Whether trying to target customers online or offline, it’s data that helps retailers ‘know’ their customers, to track their ‘anytime, anywhere’ shopping habits, shopping history and the devices they prefer to use. Interpreting this data enables retailers the agility they need to stay competitive, particularly when it comes to anticipating and planning for customer trends and buying patterns.
Observing patterns in the data should also give them a steer on how to successfully blend the online experience with the physical store. We’re already seeing examples of this, in the form of ordering products online and collecting them from the nearest store, or the other way around; checking out the item and ordering it instore, for it to be delivered to your home.
We’re also seeing an offline evolution of the online recommendation model, with innovation into the IOT space many fashion brands are embracing the ‘Magic Mirror’ concept; where customers can try on clothes and make up products instore virtually.
Once satisfied with the chosen items – and to optimise the customer experience even further - customers can quickly and easily self-check-out. It is experiences like these that differentiate brands and encourage customers to continue to visit traditional stores and engage with retail’s ever evolving digital landscape that merges both online and offline worlds.
With technology at the heart of the retail revolution, at Xeretec we’re able to help retail fully embrace the digital era. Our Device as a Service (DaaS) offering simplifies the procurement, installation and lifecycle management of new end user computing technology. The DaaS model’s competitive cost-per-month plan helps capital-budget stretched retailers to deploy the latest innovations faster. Xeretec will help to boost a company’s competitive advantage through regular technology refreshes, so there’s no getting left behind because your technology is out of fashion.
Furthermore, with its predictable monthly costs, DaaS enables retailers to focus on their other financial considerations or the investments they need to make to stay ahead of the game. By taking IT worries off their mind, retailers can concentrate on the more important and enjoyable aspects of running their business. While the landscape of retail is set to change dramatically over the next few years, with DaaS in place, retailers can thrive and differentiate by merging the best of the online retail experience with an invigorated, tech-lead, offline retail experience.