If you hadn't heard, Amazon is opening a large network of pop-up shops in US malls, with 21 stores located in 12 states already open. The power of retail continues to attract consumers. While many consumers are taking advantage of online deals, experiencing a product in person still weighs high with shoppers. In fact 25% of people make a purchase after a local search with 18% of these being made within 1 day
The Internet has changed how businesses operate and customer shop forever. From simple things like customers looking for the phone number of a store online to the development of the Internet of Things (IOT) – the retail landscape has changed dramatically. It's important for retailers to keep up or risk getting left behind. Storetraffic.com
This infographic from Store traffic provides a snapshot of how the Internet has and will continue to play a roll in the shopping experience. The basics include ensuring your accurate business location, phone number, and hours appear in search and directory listings. Next steps are to ensure your business appears where people are looking for your products – like in social media conversations.
And finally, it's the ability to directly interact with your customers through mobile and IoT devices. One example that I continue to use personally is the Keyring mobile app. As I'm driving, the mobile app often notifies me of an offer or discount in a retailer that's nearby.
The State of the Internet of Things study from Accenture Interactive found that nearly two-thirds of consumers intend to purchase a connected home device by 2019, while ownership of wearable technology is expected to double year over year in 2016. Accenture predicts that IoT will be particularly disruptive to the retail industry in three areas:
- Customer Experience – Customers use their smartphone or wearable devices to quickly scan an item and call up product information, reviews or social media commentary. Customers receive personalized digital coupons upon entering the store. Customers use robots with touch screens for browsing inventory that can lead customers to desired products.
- Supply Chain – Smart shelves in store that detect when inventory is low. Smart robots that work autonomously will aid in areas ranging from stock replenishment to product assembly to hazardous materials handling. Smart packaging that monitors freshness or age of perishable goods.
- New Channels and Revenue Streams – Smart price tags that can be changed in real time based on demand or other trends. With a connected pantry, basic groceries arrive when needed. Suggested recipes based on ingredients available in home. With Connected Home Comfort Devices, automatic setting / remote monitoring of temperature, lighting.