The key benefit of utilizing these types of emerging technologies is that they allow consumers to be self-served, which reduces operational overhead, and thereby, the associates at the stores can become expert advisors. Also, these solutions help consumers “create the look.” So, instead of picking one item, they can buy a basketful.
Emerging technologies are changing human behavior, especially how we live and shop. AR and VR provide consumers with an opportunity unlike anything that has happened before by providing a real or simulated world around them.
Switch it up
Although shopping online first can sometimes be easier and preferred by most, a number of younger consumers do see the advantage of having a physical store to try out products in real time. Moreover, 98 percent of the Generation Z population still shop in-store, despite being the first “digital native” generation, a National Retail Federation/IBM study found.
However, it is no longer necessary to have all the merchandise on the floor. Instead, stores can be used for samples/trials, and products can then be shipped out. Take, for instance, Bonobos, Warby Parker and Everlane. These stores started online, however, they now have brick-and-mortar stores that offer superb customer assistance that’s driving customer loyalty.
The business benefit of moving toward a showroom style is that retailers can do a lot more with a lot less square footage. The tech gadget retail store, b8ta is a first-rate example of how retail brick-and-mortar showcasing is done. In fact, the company claims it can reduce retail setup cost by 50 percent, and they are partnering with established chains like Lowe’s and Macy’s to help increase their sales.