We know online shopping and we know offline shopping, but what about all the other aspects of digitalisation within the retail environment or in the consumers’ path to purchase? Hybrid shopping is the best of both worlds and is being delivered in various forms. Retailers need to react to customers arriving in their stores or online after experiencing their app, website or prior real-life browsing. This could be through tech enabling personalisation, VR or AR and we’re advising our clients to understand the mindsets of shoppers, especially of the target customer, to order to deliver the right services in-stores from learning about their online experience.
For the brands and retailers understanding consumers are belief-driven, they are working on their supply chains, delivery, packaging, manufacturing and energy consumption and need to deliver what they are achieving well, to their customer.
In terms of subscription-style service and personal shopping, have you seen Stitch Fix? They use algorithms to pick clothes to match every customers’s tastes and shape and it’s proving to be very popular… US-born and now in the UK, their presence here is currently wavering but the idea of convenience and tech working effectively for decision-making for consumers is intelligent and time-saving.
For hyper personalisation, Nike launched Nike by You which allows customers to completely customise trainers to their exact specification and detail. The tech is very good, and it’s very easy to do, worth a try for some custom sneaks!
In terms of communication from retailers, it’s also getting more and more personal, not just your average ‘You’ve left something behind in your basket’ but there are now more layers of messaging and retailers are trying to overcome reasons customers haven’t made purchases more.
There’s also an emerging virtual dressing room trend, building on the AR ‘try this piece of furniture in your living room’ tech now being used quite broadly in homeware retailing. It’s also being proven that retailers with virtual dressing rooms are seeing a large uplift in sales. Adidas, ASOS and Macy’s are listed as examples in the US, and Google offer it amongst their ‘Google Shopping’ platform which means brands such as Anthropologie and H&M will also allow it, but again, not yet available in the UK so we can’t test it out yet!
TA3 Swim uses YourFit tech so customers snap 2 photos of themselves, as guided through instructions on the app and the YourFit by 3DLook calculates the best size option based on a customer’s unique body measurements. And I think that’s a hang up of virtual fitting rooms, the fear of how your body is scanned to mimic different clothes being put on you.
Other tech within retail has been evidenced in within shelving in a physical retail environment, with screens showcasing product ranges, sizes, promotions and models wearing the product to help bring the pile of leggings for example to life.
Checkout free shopping beyond Amazon is also on the rise still (they’ve targeted themselves with 260 checkout free stores by 2025)… with Tescos and Aldi also implementing it as a trial. Sainsburys trialed it in Holborn near to their Head Office in London but within five months re-introduced tills. Morrison’s are also working on it! For small convenience-sized grocery stores, within years it will become the norm.
What tech are you enjoying with retail? Drop us a comment below!