For retailers to succeed, they should start thinking about how to activate consumers through their phones.
At this point, the struggles of retailers are well known and they’re only increasing. Store closures could reach 12,000 by the end of 2019, according to Coresight Research.
For retailers to survive, it helps for them to successfully integrate their digital experience with in-store shopping. But that takes something more than simply offering in store pickup for items bought online.
“At this point the endless aisle and BOPIS [Buy Online Pick Up in Store] are table stakes for today’s retailers,” says Emily Albright Miller, VP Strategy, Big Red Rooster. “Ultimately, it’s the companies who are focused on customer experience that are winning. We’ve seen investments by physical stores in video screens and digital kiosks that simply aren’t paying off because they don’t acknowledge the fundamental customer needs they are trying to solve.”
Instead, Albright Miller says that retailers need to service customers through the screens they carry in their pockets—their phones. “We anticipate that in the next couple of years we will see more and more experiences improved through thoughtful integration of the mobile device,” she says.
Big Red Rooster, a JLL company since 2016, works to create brand-strategy campaigns that help clients adapt to this changing landscape. “Customers see brands, goods and services in a completely integrated way and the retailers that can reflect that reality are the ones that will win,” Albright Miller says.
Albright Miller says one main focus is working to help its clients think differently about their retail footprint and approach the market with a total portfolio strategy.
“A portfolio-based approach can provide the context that is critical to today’s commerce – a combination of brand experiences that ultimately work together to lift the total business – physical and digital,” Albright Miller says. “Understanding these forces will allow retailers to carefully calibrate against their entire portfolio of experiences, from pop-ups to showrooms, to deliver solutions, to flagships and everything in between.”
And what retailers are utilizing a portfolio approach to reach customers? Albright Miller first points to Ikea. “We love how Ikea developed a solution to solve for their customers’ biggest pain point–locating desired items in the warehouse at the conclusion of their shopping experience,” she says. “Shoppers can now utilize the Ikea app to scan product barcodes as they move through the showroom, with selections added to their virtual cart with specific warehouse locations, making it quick and easy for shoppers to collect items at the end of their trip.”
In Under Armour’s Chicago flagship, Albright Miller says the company is using technology to add an experiential element to the shoe buying experience. There shoppers can test the functionality of their potential new shoes through the OptoJump experience, which is the same system that elite athletes use to measure their vertical leap.
Lush developed a solution that solves for a deep customer passion for sustainability. “Through the use of QR codes printed on their products, Lush has been able to remove product packaging on all bath bombs, while still allowing customers a solution for accessing detailed product information that was typically printed on product packaging,” Albright Miller says. “The result is a superior visual merchandising experience with a reduced environmental impact.”
In the future, Albright Miller sees brands investing in two areas—commerce capabilities to compete with the digitalization of the retail landscape and experiential solutions as a way to differentiate. “We believe it’s the combination of the two, what we call experiential commerce, that will help brands win in today’s complex retail landscape,” she says.
Article originally published by GlobeSt.com.