A new report from Boston Retail Group in the US claims that retail customers want highly personalised experiences whether that’s online, via their mobile phone or in the physical outlet. To deliver these experiences the retail sector is planning to make extensive us of IoT (Internet of Things) and AR (Augmented Reality).
The report found that customers are willing to try new technology if it improves their overall experience and adds value. The report also found:
- 32% of consumers are like to choose a shop offering an AR experience over on that doesn’t
- 29% would like a VR (Virtual Reality) experience as part of their shopping environment
- Consumers prefer to use technology instead of human interaction if it makes the purchase process quicker and easier.
Technology will bring a new dimension to shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. Retail outlets need to adapt to the advances in digital technology combined with the growing expectations from consumers. In a previous article, we explored how technology such as AR (Augment Reality) offers consumers immersive try-before-you buy experiences where they can view products virtually on their bodies or in the homes.
Retail stores are shifting from being places to peruse and purchase merchandise to becoming a technologically enabled and smart environments, highly tailored and customised to the needs of their customers.
The report highlights that, despite the growth in ecommerce and mobility, the physical store remains a critical component of the customer’s brand experience. Its role, however, is starting to experience major disruption and will dramatically evolve in the coming years.
One are that is being disrupted is inventory. As a means of increasing inventory options for customers, retailers realise that their brick-and-mortar locations can sell products without actually carrying the inventory within the stores. 36% of retailers have implemented virtual inventory and another 27% plan to implement this within three years Though the research looks at North America, we can expect the same to happen in Australia even though retailers may be slightly behind their North American counterparts.