Retail Customer Experience – Physical retail is thriving. The National Retail Federation’s Consumer View report shows nearly four out of five (79 percent) consumers are shopping at brick and mortar stores. This includes millennials and Generation Z. Just 34 percent of these demographics are online-only shoppers.
But simply having a store doesn’t guarantee success. The brands and retailers who succeed will adapt and embrace the changing role of physical retail, and use the store to their advantage. In collecting and analyzing billions of data points across brick and mortar stores in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, we know a thing or two about what it takes to develop a winning in-store strategy.
Unified commerce is the process of “unifying” many selling channels to provide a cohesive shopping experience and path to purchase. Most (73 percent) of retailers plan to have a unified commerce platform by the end of 2019, according to Boston Retail Partners, retail consulting firm.
There are many components to unified commerce. The first and most important is marrying pricing and availability of online products with those in-store. Consumers are smart. They don’t want to arrive at a store with one price in their head, only to find a different one on the shelf. Unified pricing and promotions at the micro-level is vital in building and keeping consumer trust.
Products should also be available across channels. This is where brick-and-mortar retailers should consider how online and mobile commerce (m-commerce) fit into or impact the in-store experience. Shoppers should have access to store associates with tablets or free-standing kiosks where they can buy products in the event of an out-of-stock or online-only items. Add signage for buy online, pick up in store and process online returns in a profitable way with buy online, return in store. This is all part of the seamless shopping experience consumers have come to expect.
A seamless shopping experience also means cohesive branding. Match your look and feel, and customer service across all your physical and digital platforms. This includes social media profiles like Instagram, where shoppable posts are gaining global popularity.
Read Full Article: The store is still a winning strategy. Here’s why