Econsultancy have had some good pieces recently on how retailers are embracing digital. The big fear for retailers seems to have been that customers are going to their store to view and try on products and then using their smartphones or going home and going online to get a better deal. With this mentality retailers turn their backs on digital as it is a threat and some have even tried to block internet access in their stores, so customers can’t do this. This kind of thinking makes you redundant. If you look at the likes of HMV who almost ran away from the threat of digital downloads, they are no practically irrelevant and constantly trying to catch up. On the flip side, if you embrace the technology and customer behaviour, you can win.
M&S are testing “an array of digital goodies” at one of its stores just outside Liverpool. According to Econsultancy the new store will ”…use high definition TV screens to showcase products, staff equipped with iPads, virtual counters, lots of QR codes and free wi-fi.”
This is really smart by M&S, they are looking at consumer behaviour and trying to enhance the customer experience. I had a recent experience in a Schuh, where a shoe was out of stock in the store I was in and due to my 2 year old pulling every shoe from the displays and onto the floor, I had to leave. But I went on to their fantastic mobile enabled site and reserved a pair of the shoes from the store nearest to where I work.
By using digital technology you are enhancing your customers experience, in your store. This makes them more likely to want to stay there longer and the longer they stay the more likely they are to purchase.
We are going to see a lot more of this. Exciting stuff.