As we have reached a digital age, companies and retail stores have had to continuously come up with new ways to satisfy their tech savvy customers. From more and more retail stores adopting a “pick-up in store” option, to stores like Frederick’s of Hollywood slowly shifting to a web-only based outlet model, it is clear that today’s shoppers are on the look out for convenient, digital ways to shop.
Furthermore, as Millennials, who are on track to becoming the largest generation in U.S. history and who’ve grown up alongside digital, start to get older and gain more purchasing power, it will become critical for businesses to adapt their businesses to a more digital approach. According to Deloitte’s recent retail study, “Navigating the New Digital Divide,” 64% of all in-store retail sales will be influenced by digital by the end of 2015. Accordingly, as reported by Pew Research Center, 64% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind. With these statistics in mind, it is relevant to note the significant of smartphone and mobile usage in modern society, and thus, the importance of retail stores paying attention and shifting towards a digital approach in one way or another.
Although we are clearly steering towards a more digital approach in retail, the brick and mortar store will continue to survive, as the in-store experience is an experience unable to be simulated digitally. Fortunately for brick and mortar stores, consumers still like to try things on and browse the real thing. I’ve mentioned beacons in my previous blog posts, and it’s important to note how digital assistance using devices like these, can be helpful to retailers. Beacons, however, certainly aren’t the only way to digitalize a brick and mortar store, and there are many alternative methods. It’s up to retailers to figure out how they will meet the growing current and future demand of the digitalized retail experience.