Taking care of a simple to-do task for my home last weekend illustrated how digital technology can be woven effectively into the brick-and-mortar shopping experience. In this case, it struck me as fantastic.
It started with the need to buy a special-purpose cleaner for stone surfaces. Not being a real handy guy, I had no idea what would work best. I searched the internet for stone cleaning products and found a product I’d never heard of that had excellent reviews.
I then checked three home-improvement retailers’ websites for local availability. The first retailer didn’t carry the brand. The second store did; however, it was not in stock but available for delivery within three days. The third store’s website indicated six of the items were in stock, just a few miles from me, so I drove to the store.
When I arrived at the store, I connected to the store’s Wi-Fi on my phone, pulled up the product, and was immediately directed to the aisle and bin containing it. I purchased it through self-checkout. No waiting for anything! Digital technology helped me find the right product, at the right store, in the right aisle and bin, for a convenient and speedy purchase.
It is amazing how much digital has revolutionized our shopping experiences.
Study quantifies smart digital technology investments
A recent survey of 60 retail executives and more than 1,200 shoppers, illustrates how spot-on the store I visited is in utilizing digital shopping technologies. It also reveals the enormous execution gap many retailers still need to overcome to meet consumers’ digital expectations.
This study was conducted by industry-insights firm Incisiv, in partnership with BRP Consulting and Windstream Enterprise. I won’t summarize the full study – it’s a thorough and detailed examination of what’s going on with digital shopping technologies – but here are a few highlights:
- 75% of all store visits are influenced by digital, and nearly half of all shoppers leverage their mobile devices while in the store. Today’s retail is digital.
- Some retailers have invested in digital technologies that consumers don’t value, like sharing product details on social media. Others are making smart investments that provide a serious competitive edge – the key is understanding what your customers want.
- There is a 25% revenue upside in delivering a great digital customer experience in the store. Realizing that upside requires not only the right technologies, but also a network infrastructure that adequately supports them.
The study, “Retail’s Digital Crossroads: The Race to Meet Shopper Expectations,” is available here. It is a must-read for retail professionals seeking to make the smartest choices in digital technology – and can help put you on the right path to optimal digital technology investments.
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