How Stores Have Changed With Technology
When you walk into your local store, there’s one thing you can be sure of—it’s going to look different than it did 50 years ago. Technology has taken over the retail industry in a major way, allowing stores to connect with customers and drive sales in new ways. Find out how the world of retail has changed thanks to technology by reading the following article on how stores have changed with technology.
What are the challenges facing brick and mortar businesses?
The introduction of online retailing has been a boon for consumers, and there’s no doubt that many people prefer to shop online. This has created challenges for brick-and-mortar stores, and you’ll want to familiarize yourself with these challenges if you are considering opening a new brick-and-mortar business. For example, one major challenge is simply getting customers into your store—it can be difficult to compete with online retailers when it comes to price, selection, and convenience. Another challenge is convincing customers that your physical location offers value beyond what they can get from an online retailer.
The Brick and Mortar Experience
It’s worth noting that a brick-and-mortar store is about much more than having a physical presence and offering customers an in-person shopping experience. You need to make sure your retail store is seamlessly integrated with your online storefront, so customers can pick up their purchases—or easily purchase them—whenever they are ready. Brick-and-mortar stores need to think digital, rather than simply physical, to thrive in today’s marketplace. That means you should have online ordering capabilities and be able to take returns on site (if applicable). You should also offer convenient pickup options for people who want items quickly. And, of course, you should have a mobile app for both iOS and Android users. If you don’t already have one, now is a great time to create one!
Brick and Mortar Adaptations
As technology has advanced, so too have brick-and-mortar stores. Increasingly, stores are adapting to keep up with consumers’ changing shopping needs. Some of these changes include bringing in smaller sizes for clothing and shoes, adding in-store pickup options, and even partnering with a local dry cleaner or coffee shop. When thinking about how your store can adapt to meet customers’ modern needs, ask yourself: What do my customers need that they don’t already have? How can I make it easier for them to come into my store? How can I make it easier for them to use what I sell?
Shopping online has become more and more popular. As technology advanced, many companies have decided to make it easier for customers to shop online. Many online shopping sites have special deals that are available only to online shoppers. For example, Amazon has Prime Day which occurs twice a year where members can get deep discounts on certain items.
Many people choose to buy their appliances and furniture online because they can easily compare prices and brands of different products in just a few minutes without leaving their house or office. Another great thing about online shopping is that you don’t have to pay sales tax if you live outside of a state. This is great news for consumers who live in states with high sales taxes like New York and California. Online stores also offer free shipping on orders over $35 which makes buying things even cheaper than if you were to go into a store.
Which Retail Model Will Win?
Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have a lot of work to do if they want to survive in today’s changing retail climate. A single store can rarely hope to compete with online retailers that offer thousands of products and operate at razor-thin margins. The answer, therefore, may be in integrating e-commerce and traditional retail models. Instead of trying to beat online retailers at their own game, companies should focus on doing what they do best and complement online sales by providing shoppers with a unique in-store experience.
if you’re an existing retailer who wants to make sure your business is ready for tomorrow, here are some important questions you need to ask yourself: How will your company incorporate technology into its business model? Will you partner with an established e-commerce provider or start your own website? What type of mobile app will you develop? How will your stores change as technology advances?
Why Are There Still So Many Physical Retailers?
Over time, our means of shopping have evolved dramatically. We’ve gone from haggling with merchants in bazaars to doing all of our shopping online, but brick-and-mortar retail is making a comeback. The question is why? Many retailers have been driven out of business by online shopping because they can’t compete on price or convenience with e-commerce websites that never have to pay for rent or staff and have plenty of other ways to cut costs. So what gives? Why are there still so many physical retailers? Let’s take a look at some of them.
What can you do today to be ahead tomorrow?
Consumers are getting more and more tech-savvy. If you’re not doing everything in your power to stay ahead of them, someone else will come along and take all your customers. Put simply, if you’re not staying on top of technology, you’re going to get passed by. The key is making it easier for customers to buy from you than it is for them to buy elsewhere — or do without entirely. So, how can you ensure that your business stays competitive?