Technology

The Smart Lab: The Future of Retail Is …

TechnologyFeb 12, 2019

The Smart Lab: The Future of Retail Is …

Going to be interactive, Emmanuel Raheb writes, like “cold zones” in clothing stores where customers can try on jackets.

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Emmanuel Raheb is the CEO of Smart Age Solutions, a digital ad agency and coveted Premier Google Partner. Contact him at eraheb@smartagesolutions.com.

Evolving trends are often a great way to boost sales, if you’re strategic enough to catch them. If you want to take full advantage of these trends, you need to plan their implementation in advance.

Clicks-and-bricks has been the most recent trend businesses have been following. Eighty-eight percent of consumers shop online before buying in store, so companies tried to create strategies around helping consumers find more information online so they can buy in store when they’re ready.

That’s still very alive today, but what’s changing is that smart shop owners are using additional technology in stores to create more memorable shopping experiences for consumers.

Interactive retail takes the shopping experience to the next level by providing customers with ways of simulating the use of products in different conditions.

For example, Business Insider reported that by 2040, retail stores will have dedicated “cold zones” where shoppers can test jackets and other cold-weather apparel; it was just one of a number of predictions made in Euromonitor International’s “Commerce 2040” report.

Such experiences are important because they remove friction for customers during the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey.

The so-called cold zones will, theoretically, help reduce jacket returns and increase customer satisfaction. With continuous seamless experiences such as the one described above, customers will keep coming back.

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Jewelry stores can implement interactive retail by having brass-and-glass samples that they can leave out for customers to play with and try on without assistance.

Additionally, stores can create unique events and parties designed to make shopping more fun for customers.

As we all know, experience is increasingly becoming important in the business sphere. It’s no longer enough to just offer a product for sale. In order to get people to buy from you, you need to sell them an experience along with a product.

Asking the question, “What makes my jewelry store different from other jewelry stores?” is a great place to start. When you do things differently from your competitors, you add reasons for customers to buy from you instead of others. Interactive retail is a great opportunity to differentiate yourself.

Amazon is one of the companies experimenting with interactive and forward-thinking retail.

With their new Amazon Go grocery stores, the company offers a cashier-less shopping experience.

Additionally, Amazon provides physical-store customers with review data from its website. This creates a
more seamless online-to-offline transition and solid customer experience.

By listening to their customers and implementing the right technology, Amazon continues to increase their sales.

If you want to stay competitive in the business landscape, you need to stay on top of evolving trends. Because consumers are interested in convenience and experience more than ever, you need to constantly challenge yourself to find ways to create fun experiences for your customers.

You can’t implement old technology and expect great results. The only path forward is to invest in new initiatives that will provide you with a great return on investment.

Emmanuel Raheb is the CEO of Smart Age Solutions, a digital ad agency and Premier Google Partner. With nearly 18 years’ digital marketing and e-commerce experience, Raheb is passionate about helping national jewelry brands and local retailers alike. Contact him at eraheb@smartagesolutions.com.
Emmanuel Rahebis the CEO of Smart Age Solutions, a digital ad agency and coveted Premier Google Partner.

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