Traditionally, the convenience store has primarily served as quick stop for gas on the way to work or on a road trip. In recent years, however, a number of convenience stores, from the small mom-and-pop shop to the mega travel centers, have added a number of merchandise offerings, including grab-and-go food, adult beverages, toiletries and even yard-art. Today’s consumers are taking advantage of these offerings as they’re stretched for time as they run between work, children’s activities, networking commitments and home.
As we head into the official start of the holiday season, shoppers are not the only ones with wish lists of the gifts they’d like to see under the tree on December 25. Retailers have their wish lists too, but not in the form of big packages tied with red ribbon. This year, a large majority of retailers want (and need) to take the first step on their digital store journey by filling up their stockings with “must have” digital solutions that will give their customers the unique, personalized experiences they crave. RIS News recently published the report “Complete Your Omnichannel Transformation: Digitize the Store,” sponsored by Displaydata, detailing how retailers can truly create a true omni-channel experience by blurring the lines between online and physical shopping channels. As with any new initiative, retailers need to follow an actionable plan. According to RIS News, “Digitizing the store for technology-sake is not going to support an omni-channel approach. Instead, brands need to use a digital strategy as a means of personalizing the customer experience and creating store-level engagement that can truly define the brand.” We couldn’t agree more!
One of the main components to digitizing the store is the use of electronic shelf labels (ESLs). As our very own Andrew Dark said in the report, “
Electronic shelf labels can serve as the critical link between the physical and digital retail store.” Through the use of Bluetooth enabled ESLs and a retailer’s mobile app, having a true one-to-one “conversation” while in the store can be a reality. See below for other highlights from the report:
The concept of the physical retail store is certainly changing and evolving, in some cases, it may not even be a traditional “store” with four walls and a POS. (Hello, pop-up stores and fashion/apparel trucks!) But I think we can all agree that the store is (in the immortal words of pop singer Taylor Swift) never, ever, ever going to go away. Need some proof? Let’s first take a look at the stats from this year’s back to school shopping. According to a June 2015 poll by FatWallet.com, 91% of parents planned to shop for back-to-school items in-store this year, vs. 37% who cited retailer sites, 16% cash-back sites and 7% mobile shopping apps. What’s more, a July 2015 study by Deloitte asked U.S. parent Internet users about the back-to-school items they planned to purchase in-store vs. digitally - almost all the categories were largely labeled as in-store-only purchases. The Deloitte study also reported that approximately two-thirds of parents intended to make other fashion purchases such as accessories and clothes solely in stores. (The first day of school outfit is very important for so many kiddos!) Clearly, in-store shopping is a priority for shopper’s today.
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:
Eileen Keehan, Displaydata’s new SVP of Sales Americas, provides her thoughts on the growth of ESLs in North America and why Displaydata will lead the market. Things have been quite busy for the global team here at Displaydata, and I couldn't be any happier about it! Since joining this brilliant team a few months ago, I've been earning my frequent flier miles meeting new and prospective customers, and seeing first hand how our innovative and best-in-class ESLs are being utilized on retailer shelves around the world.
This month's guest post comes from Localz. Crowned winner of the John Lewis business incubator JLAB in 2014, Localz specialises in micro-location technology, enabling retailers to access more detailed insight into customer behaviour.
Topics: beacons, ble, electronic shelf label, ESL, in-store, loyalty, loyalty app, loyalty card, retail, shelf display, shopper experience, shopping, showrooming, special offer, Blog, micro-location, mobile phone, personalised, price comparison, promotions
As humans, it is in our DNA to constantly evolve and create the next “big thing” that will change how we live and work. From the invention of the wheel to the creation of the Internet, our technological advances have always come with reason – a better way to harvest food, more efficient ways to travel or more enhanced platforms for communication – and they’ve always developed at a time when they are most needed.