Retail has no choice but to be dynamic, flexible, adaptive and innovative to keep up with consumers. We’ve moved so far from the idea that retail is all about selling products that we can’t really even see it on the horizon anymore.
Retail, nowadays, is about connecting with a customer and offering them an experience, not just a product. And as consumers keep evolving, the retail industry has to follow suit.
Here are some of the cooler changes we’ve recently seen in the retail sector.
The Omnichannel Shopping Experience
Some retailers are keeping pace with technology and consumers by offering a truly omnichannel experience. This means a consumer can go from channel to channel seamlessly, such as doing research online, testing the product in person at a physical location and finally placing their order online. And throughout the process, the consumer’s preferences are retained, making their shopping experience much more enjoyable.
Online Retailers Are Shortening Shipping Times
More and more people are shopping online and retailers are coming to understand that one of the major points that decides whether someone will order something online or go out to buy it is the delivery time.
For that reason, Amazon now offers same-day delivery in certain cities in the United States, with one- to two-day delivery for the rest of the continental area of the country. It’s likely we’ll be seeing same-day delivery become increasingly common, at the very least from a retailer like Amazon.
Once that happens, brick and mortar stores will lose even more foot traffic, and they should be prepared to find alternative solutions if they haven’t done so already, such as building an online presence.
Retailers Are Focusing More on the Experience
Consumers are no longer just looking to make a purchase. They want an experience. For example, they want to relax and maybe even have a snack or two while shopping.
An increasing number of retailers are starting to understand precisely what consumers are after and, as a result, are offering more than the products they normally sell in their physical locations.
Some retailers are offering relaxation corners where customers can take a small break and even have a cup of coffee and a snack. Other retailers are making life even easier and are offering fresh food, even if they aren’t grocery stores.
Pop-Up Stores Help Build Memories
Consumers also want to build fun memories, which is why pop-up stores are becoming increasingly popular. They tend to show up precisely when they’re needed most, such as around the launch of a movie or around specific holidays, and are a great way for customers to experience a somewhat different shopping experience.
It’s also a great option for retailers because pop-up stores are certainly cheaper than maintaining a physical location all year-round, which is why many online retailers are turning to these types of stores.
The retail industry needs to keep changing and they need to speed up the rate at which they do it because at the moment they aren’t really keeping up with consumer habits and wants. The ones that will suffer most are those with physical locations, especially since online retailers seem to be more responsive and adaptive.