Heads Up Retailers: The Internet Needs to Have a Home in Your Physical Stores

Emma Stevens

Retailers, it’s time to say “adios” to the days of separate and silo’ed retail channels and hello to a new retail world that integrates the physical and digital stores to create a more engaging and connected in-store shopping experience for your consumer.   In other words, the Internet should have a permanent home in your physical stores.   Research still tells us that 95% of all retail purchases worldwide are still made in-store. A new Forrester report predicts that in-store purchases are projected to grow by $300 billion in the U.S alone by 2018. We also know that ecommerce is growing. Forrester also predicts that ecommerce sales will grow from $294 billion to $414 billion over the same period. Less we forgot about mobile, that little smart device that is like a security blanket for many of us. Did you know:

  • 1 in 3 searches on a smartphone occur right before a consumer visits a store (Source: Google)
  • 15% of in-store activities involve conducting smartphone searches about a product or for a price comparison (Source: Google)
  • More than 2 billion mobile users will make a mobile commerce transaction by the end of 2017. (Source: Juniper Research)

Retail consumers today have clearly taken advantage of the convenience of online shopping, either via the desktop or mobile, but they also still enjoy walking through the doors of a brick-and-mortar store to actually see and touch the merchandise they plan on purchasing. The savviest of retailers and brands have figured out they can generate more foot traffic and convert more sales by offering more “connected” shopping experiences in the store through the convergence of the physical and digital retail worlds. Just take a look at what men’s retailer Bonobos and menswear brand Indochino are doing with their showroom stores. (More on the product showroom model and why the store is not dead in our next blog, but here’s a sneak peak - reports a 5% website visitor conversion rate, compared to an 83% store shopping conversion rate via their Guideshop physical stores!)  

At Displaydata, we love hearing stories about how retailers are innovating the store shopping experience for their customers. After all, our best-in-class electronic shelf labels (ESLs) are designed not only to eliminate in-store issues that all retailers face, including out-of-stocks and inconsistent pricing across channels, but to also breathe new life into the concept of better in-store engagement.   Take for example consumer-generated content such as ratings and reviews, photos, videos and social posts – in a recent survey from Bazaarvoice, 54% of consumers aged 25-34 and nearly half of consumers aged 35-44 and 34-54 state that online (consumer-generated) content has an influence on their in-store purchases. That is a huge marketing opportunity for retailers! By integrating this content into a fully graphic ESL, and making it accessible to the consumer via a retailer or branded mobile app, retailers can ensure they are providing as much pertinent product information to the shopper while they are actually in the store.  

Welcoming the Internet into the store has so many advantages, and every day we are seeing more and more successful use cases of organizations that are leading the charge to make retail more than just a shopping errand. The future of retail is all about creating physical and digital experiences that keep shoppers excited and their wallets open.

About Displaydata

Our Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) bring the shelf-edge into the Internet of Things era, helping to create shopping experiences that are more engaging, rewarding and personalised – and profitable. We help retailers optimise sales and margin at the shelf-edge, where 90% of purchases are still made.

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