Despite digital seemingly leading a retail revolution we sometimes overlook that 61% of sales still occur in the physical store.

Ambiguity remains about who the shopper is and how many shoppers having made the journey to a store simply walk out without making a purchase – various sources estimate this to be around 20% of all store visits. Crucially, we’re still particularly unclear about what people consider buying online without ever completing the transaction.

A seamless omni-channel shopper journey is key, and the Holy Grail for most retailers, but how do you connect in-store with everywhere else?

In a world where mobile has been adopted more quickly than any other technology in recent years marketers are looking for opportunities to digitise the in-store experience and enable accurate measurement so often found in digital marketing.

In order to increase the footfall in-store, and also encourage customers to participate, traditional bricks and mortar retailers need to provide mobile experiences that are similar to those that consumers already expect through their experience of online shopping.

There’s no doubting the influence that digital can have before, during, and after a shopping experience. A recent Deloitte report shows that digital technology is influencing 33% of in-store retail sales in the UK, equivalent to almost £100bn in 2014.

Evolving the experience

  • Don’t force customers to sign up or sign in
    Asking customers to opt-in is better than trying force a desired action. Allowing customers to interact digitally with physical products in new and exciting ways without having to download, register or sign up is surely better than providing a barrier to any interaction. Enabling exploration, curation and research is a sure fire way to increase engagement in the brand and eventual sign ups.
  • Be consistent and personal
    A shopper’s journey often starts with research online away from the store environment. Mobile is massively complimentary to this and enables research to continue throughout the shopper journey. Retailers can undoubtedly make more of this. Understanding what people are viewing outside of stores enables personalisation in stores; tips, reviews and additional product information could all be delivered in-store.
  • Bridge the gap
    One of the biggest differences between digital and physical stores is the ease of data collection, finding ways to do this simply, and without interrupting the shopper journey is a key challenge for retailers. Another difference is the ability to use content effectively across multiple channels e.g. social feeds, so often do you see a strong content in the digital and little encouraging a shopper to follow, share or like in a physical space and vice versa.

To find out how we can help you start your own retail revolution please visit http://dev.themarketcreative.com/expertise/retail

Shaun Watson
Account Manager