By Tanya Williams
As consumers become increasingly more connected, so too will multiple shopping channels — which is why the existing store model needs to be change and why smart retailers are starting to develop their version of "Store of the Future." This "Store of the Future" concept will vary from business to business but it will involve digital technology, integration and personally relevant experiences for customers.
Many businesses hear all the marketing jargon but don't really understand what 'omnichannel' marketing is or why they need it. Still, national brands need to understand the importance of omnichannel and how it will impact their business into the future. This store should create an environment that will completely immerse the shopper and give them a seamless experience between both offline and online channels.
The "Store of the Future" will take an omnichannel approach, but the key to success will be ensuring that it is integrated around the customer. Consumers are driving demand — it is businesses that are way behind. Consumers have more technology and power at their fingertips than ever before, and they are not afraid to use it.
Every "Store of the Future" solution will be different and involve various digital technologies, based on the target customers of that brand. The solution must be focused around the customer and should take a phased approach that is scalable across different store sizes and layouts. This will allow brands to test, review and measure their concepts then roll out in full.
Retailers are faced with aligning their offline and online shopping experience into a single "brand" experience. They need to stay focused on the total customer experience across all selling environments by first designing the brand experience across all channels, determining the role of digital in the total experience, and aligning the organization to the brand. The end goal should be to create a personal, relevant experience for customers.
Williams is the business development manager for Prendi, a Brisbane, Australia-based digital signage integrator.
Learn more about retail digital signage.