How relevant is the store in the digital retail era?

Paul Milner

“We believe that the global store is dead,” claimed retail business strategists BCG this year. While the global versus local approach is something we won’t touch on, their comment does raise an interesting point. With more consumers engaging digitally with retailers, how relevant is the traditional store?   Most retailers view their channels in terms of sales results, but to understand the store’s role in modern retail, you must be aware of the complex customer journey. Gone are the days of simple, across the counter transactions – consumers are subjected to brand messages, and carry out proactive research, across digital channels, IP-enabled devices, traditional media and store networks before they reach the point of purchase.   For some, online touchpoints will be sufficient and therefore the store has no use to them. For others, it provides the ultimate ‘moment of truth’ in their buying journey; no matter how good a photo may be on-screen, it is no substitute for being able to see and feel the product first-hand.   So in some ways, the store plays a unique and crucial role. Even if the customer doesn’t buy anything during their visit, the shop floor is now a showroom and a social hub. Make the experience compelling and you may even prompt a digital customer to purchase there and then.   Success lies in understanding and optimising the relationship between online and offline shopper activities. Just as consumers hop between channels, devices and locations, retailers and brands must create a cross-channel environment, utilising the advantages of each platform to create the best possible retail experience.   Dynamic in-store technology is the uniting force between the benefits of digital engagement with the unique advantages of the store environment. Electronic Shelf Labels are just one of the retail technologies helping retailers to deliver better content, competitive prices and personalised offers at the shelf edge, in a previously unseen way, to enhance sales conversions within the store.   Ultimately, the relevance of stores will depend on how retailers use them to connect with customers. Bringing digital capabilities to bricks-and-mortar outlets is a powerful way to support the unique product contact only available on the shop floor.   David Hilton Director of Marketing & Product Management Displaydata

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.

Get in touch

Want to know more? We’d love to hear from you.