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3 Ways Retail is Changing the Channel

Nov 19, 2019
2 min read
By: Shanae Vander Togt

The hybrid shopper is here, and their demands are different. Retail is changing up their touch points, but will it be enough?

The future of the retail industry is moving towards a hybrid of digital and physical, or "phy-gital" as some brands have coined it. In fact, many consumers do not see brands as separate across their various channels of contact. 

They no longer distinguish between online and offline shopping, and a report from Harvard Business Review shows that 73% of shoppers used multiple channels to discover and buy products. This new type of hybrid shopper has a distinct style of purchasing habits, and a much more in-depth idea of what they want and how they want it. 

So how can retailers make the most of their investing dollars? This report from Retail Dive has a few ideas, but we would include:

Intelligently connected building solutions

  • Creating dynamic technology-enabled shopping experiences that are fully integrated throughout the purchasing process

Further investigation of pain points

  • Finding solutions to problems like price pressure, increasing customer data, and inconsistent performances across channels and stores can help brands fully realize the ROI of getting a customer in the door and keeping them there

Personalization and in-store-only offers

  • Increase the likelihood of bringing shoppers into a physical location and creating incentives for them to be there, as well as curating an experience for them that fits with the products they want to buy and the lifestyle that they are looking to emulate. 

The future of the meshing of these aspects of purchasing leave things open to get very interesting in the meantime. For instance, using investments into in-store tech to help the purchasing cycle, like using Augmented Reality to see a product and preview it before actually purchasing. 

Consumers are used to, and even expect, technology to augment the existing shopping experience. In fact, major consumer frustration seems to peak when processes aren’t as convenient or as efficient as they have come to expect, or if their experience with a brand does not match up to their perception of said brand. 

Capitalizing on this behavioural trend and investing in retail tech in order to maximize things like customer-to-employee face time and convenience for purchasing a product that includes personalized offers are the key ways forward for 2020 to fully capture customers in a brick and mortar location.