Being a manufacturer of custom retail displays and store fixtures for many years, we have developed a profound loyalty to the art of in-store retail. Because of this, we here at TRIAD always cringe when we hear someone say that in-store retail is dead. We don’t believe that, we refuse to believe that. In fact, most retailers would agree with us. Just this month Birchbox, the web-based, body-care subscription service, opened its first Bricks –and-mortar store. In-store retail is not dying, but rather evolving.
Obviously this means that in-store retail is changing, and as with any big change things are phased out and new trends are introduced. One of the most prominent tends is that of omnichannel retail. The idea is to connect retailers and consumers in all facets of retail at the same time, bringing the two closer than ever before. Shoppers are no longer content with shopping experiences that exists within the confines of a store or the edges of a web page; shoppers want an all-inclusive, seamlessly integrated shopping lifestyle.
“You can please everybody.”
So what does this have to do with individualization? Above everything else, the customer wants individualization; Omnichannel retailing is just a step in that direction. Essentially, the old adage that “you can’t please everyone” is on its way to becoming extinct. With Omnichannel retailing, brands can please everyone.
With today’s technology, interacting with the consumer is really not that complicated. Brands have their bricks-and-mortar stores (well, not all of them), have social media accounts, they have their website, they have customer reviews on Google and Yelp. All of these channels work together to make each individuals shopping experience unique for his/hers preferences. The consumer can pick and choose when and where they want to connect and interact with their favorite brands. All the brand has to do is make sure that they make themselves available. With enough creativity, the possibilities of engaging with consumers are endless.
Integrate your bricks-and-mortars
This consumer customization and individualization is far easier when only dealing with online retail, however the facet that will make or break a brands omnichannel attempts, is in-store. In-store is where the creativity really kicks in. Some stores offer their guests free WiFi so that they can browse in-store and on the stores app that starts upon entering the store, at the same time. Apple has started the trend of doing away with the traditional cash wrap approach and has armed its associates with card-reading iPads instead. The newly opened Birchbox store sought to create an environment that made it feel as if the customer was shopping online, while in-store (they have a 3D-scanner to scan customers faces!).
The end goal of all of these marketing attempts is to personalize the shoppers experience at an individual level. Omnichannel retailing is allowing brands to create an environment in which a customer feels as if they are getting a one-to-one interaction with an entire brand, without actually doing so.
We’d love to help you accomplish your goals of interacting, and engaging with your customers. We just finished creating Under Armour’s new “Brand House” flagship store and we’re quite
proud of it. You can check it out here