Nothing seems to evolve quite as quickly as the retail industry. Retailers must embrace consumer shopping habits and trends in order to be competitive and stay in the game.
It is said the nearly 3,800 stores will close by the end of 2019, according to the recent Forbes article “5 Trends That Will Redefine Retail in 2019”. This can be a daunting figure but many retailers are tackling this head on in hopes of being one of the many that will survive another year. Retailers are looking at consumer trends, behaviors and technology to help them stay afloat.
One of the ways large retailers are combatting this is by pairing traditional shopping with technology, creating a new shopping experience for consumers. Experiences through mobile apps, virtual reality and augmented reality create a whole new shopping experience and offers consumers a way to form an emotional bond with the product or brand.
Retailers are also turning to the internet of things (IoT) and cloud based reporting, such as beacons and smart shelves, to gain insight on their consumer shopping habits. Although IoT technology is great at gathering needed data it can also pose a security risk. If the connection isn’t secured properly it can open itself up to vulnerabilities and hackers.
A secure way of collecting data based off of consumer shopping habits is with people counting systems, such as the ClearCount 3D series. This system offers data based off of consumer traffic as they travel throughout the store. Analyzing data through Vea analytics reporting platform offers management the ability to view the consumer journey throughout the store. The analyzed data shows whether or not a shopper travels to a certain rack and turns away, if they peruse the store, how long they stand in line at the check-out and high traffic areas of the store to name a few. Although this information may not speak directly to the customer while they are shopping it will give management the information they need to offer the consumer a better shopping experience the next time they’re in by offering enough staff to assist with customer questions, offering fast check-out lines and breaking up busy areas of a store.
Brick-and-mortar stores still play a key role in the retail industry and the consumer sales process. However, retailers still can’t ignore the fact that technology and consumer shopping habits are changing. More retailers find themselves turning to an omni-channel approach, focusing not only on their brick-and-mortar stores but also putting just as much energy into e-commerce and even social media.
Although consumer shopping habits are changing retailers must embrace current trends and hold an active presence while focusing on providing excellent service across all channels.
Learn how other retailers are utilizing technology to understand consumer shopping habits in these articles:
Reducing Queue Wait Times
Retails Hidden Weapon
People Counting – A Pre-Implementation Checklist