Channel Planning Director
The Future of Retail
People now shop from home, in stores and on the go. There should be no more debate about whether digital is going to take over from physical stores because in the future the two will merge, as retail reinvents itself for the future. Brands should be adapting in two vital ways:
1. Embracing digital technology
While e-commerce has made shopping more convenient, people still like to touch and try on products before buying. Successful physical stores focus on ways digital touchpoints can enhance the convenience and experiential qualities of shopping, allowing consumers to enjoy the pleasure of real-world shopping.
SKII’s Future X store, for instance, provides a unique, interactive experience through a massive digital wall showing images generated by facial expressions, while artificial intelligence and facial-recognition tools power personalized skin analysis.
Alfamart has already deployed digital storefront signage in selected stores to drive time- and location-based promotions, boosting footfall and sales.
2. Creating a new shopping experience
Luxury brands are inventing new shopping experiences, making retail stores part of the consumer journey. Physical stores complement an online experience, providing personal interactions with consumers, and offering treatments that make them feel special.
Pop-up stores are an increasingly important way to reach consumers offline, test markets and launch new products. Brands are finding them a useful way to strengthen their relationship with consumers and inspire future purchases online.
The lines between online and offline experiences continue to blur for consumers; if retailers and brands keep pace, the future of retail will be bright.