The holiday shopping season is just around the corner, and it’s more important than ever for retailers to find ways to resonate with their target audiences. This time of year is typically the most profitable quarter for the majority of brick and mortar locations, but sales have been trending down over the last decade as eCommerce has continued to grow.
There’s a lot of truth to this Washington Post statement: “The retailers that are doing well are seeing great returns, while the weaker ones are being left behind.” It’s no surprise that many of the businesses that are currently doing well are also the ones that focus on tech innovation. Technology satisfies the modern customer.
With so much riding on this year’s final sales numbers, it’s on the shoulders of owners and store managers to do everything they can to catch the customer’s attention and win them over.
Here are five technologies that have proven to satisfy the modern customer:
1. Location-Based Entertainment
It’s no longer alright for retailers to lean on their product offerings to drive foot traffic. Location-based entertainment (LBE) is an important aspect to focus on to lure the customer to your store. The basic premise is threefold: Providing a reason for people to gather at a location, providing extra value for potential customers who show up, and creating an additional opportunity for brands to stay top of mind.
For events like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, that means working together with your partners to create dedicated holiday-themed attractions that pull people into the area. Whether it’s something as simple as a product trial or a complete in-store experiential kiosk, LBEs attract visitors and keep them there longer. Give them something e-commerce cannot give them – a truly memorable experience.
2. Flexible Infrastructure
One way that major retailers like Walmart and Target have continued to grow market share has been in the investment of flexible infrastructure. According to the Washington Post, these retailers “have spent the past decade investing in their stores and websites to keep up with consumers’ changing priorities.” Because of this, they’re able to quickly adapt to trends, economic downturns, and other changes with ease because they’ve made it a priority to create systems that are agile enough to pivot at a moment’s notice. It would be wise to follow their lead ahead of the holiday season, as it will prepare your business for the ups and downs to come.
3. BOPIS / BORIS
In a changing economy, it’s more important than ever to cater to your customer’s needs as best as possible. If you’re a retailer, there’s the added pressure of creating convenience that’s able to compete with big players like Amazon and Walmart, especially when Christmas presents are thrown into the mix. The fact is, there’s less foot traffic in stores these days as compared to five years ago. We can only expect that trend to continue if a recession arrives.
BOPIS is a great way to encourage patrons to continue visiting your stores in person, and could really make a difference to your bottom line. Stores that currently employ this tactic have seen growing success lately, and we believe it will be a useful arrow to have in your quiver as customers prepare for their holiday shopping.
Beacons are a great way to track the customer journey throughout your stores; they also have the added benefit of providing customized deals and coupons to your visitors based on what they hold most important. At the end of the day, it’s all about pushing your customers toward what matters most. Catering to each person’s needs and interests closes the sale more efficiently, and leaves them wanting to come back in the future.
5. Adopting A Single Commerce Platform
The divide between eCommerce and brick and mortar is only set to get bigger over time, and innovating the retail experience is one way to stay ahead of the game. Many experts argue that the key to this is simplifying processes by consolidating systems. What makes a single commerce platform so special is its ability to aggregate data that would normally have been fragmented across multiple systems, and provide a more efficient feedback loop for marketers and business owners to base their decisions on. This ability to pivot quickly not only creates a more agile business overall, but it also cuts down on unnecessary operating costs and gives you the ability to easily integrate with new technologies via the cloud as you decide to upgrade your IT infrastructure.
What technology do you want to learn more about? Worldlink specializes in putting together compelling IT Infrastructures, which improve your business’s bottom line. If you are interested in taking its technology initiatives to the next level, we encourage you to schedule a meeting with our team using the Calendly plug-in on the upper right corner of this page. We’ll reach out to discuss your unique business goals so that we can begin crafting a solution that best fits your needs.
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