Why your retail store needs to up its game


Date: 19 February 2020

A couple come home from a high street shopping trip with bags full of purchases.

Thanks to technology, consumerism has evolved from a rather passive form to an active one. In the past, people didn’t have the internet at the their fingertips, and therefore couldn’t find reviews, nor could they look for cheaper options. If they didn’t get it at your store, they stood a chance of losing that product for good.

Today, the internet allows you to picture-match. This means that you can take a photo of a product you like, run it through a search engine and find what you are looking for, sometimes at the wholesale price.

However, this does not mean that traditional retail is dead. Far from it - people are still going to bricks-and-mortar institutions. Here’s how to use innovation and smart tech to create an experience that gets customers excited.

People crave interaction

Shopping used to be an experience. You would call up your friends and meet up so you could hit the shops together. Friends would ask each other’s opinion on how outfits look and take their advice before making a purchase.

Aside from that, customer service is also an important aspect. Ecommerce has taken all of that away by giving us impersonal websites and apps to pick products from.

While quick and efficient service is definitely at the top of everyone’s mind, your business can learn more about how to crank up your productivity with technology, by incorporating software into your physical retail systems.

A screen can’t replace the tactile experience

Consumers still appreciate the tactile experience of shopping: touching fabric, trying an outfit on, gaining confidence in a product by testing it out, smelling perfumes, testing cosmetics on their skin or handling a bag, etc.

It’s one thing to see something online and be smitten by it, but it’s another issue when it comes to whether it will suit you or not. Certain colours might be garish on you, but bold on another, and certain items will complement your existing style while others will just look out of place.

Furthermore, products such as shoes and certain pieces such as bras need to be fitted properly, and you will never know how well an item fits you until you try it on. Therefore, being able to see, touch and test the products you’re buying remains an important aspect of shopping.

Some online stores have cottoned on to this, and now allow customers a trial period to keep the product, and return it no strings attached if it doesn’t fit the bill.

Lack of creativity is what is killing the industry

It’s not that technology is able to replace traditional stores - it’s the fact that retail is falling behind in terms of innovation. Ecommerce is very much alive with change.

Retailers have to stop looking at the market’s basic needs and focus on the needs of their specific market niche. On-trend products coupled with great service and an online presence that resonates with audiences will ultimately create experiential shopping that people will get excited about.

Copyright 2020. Article made possible by Lightspeed HQ.

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