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It’s been a rough couple of years for traditional retail. Companies like Amazon have upended the retail structure, and as consumers continue to turn to e-commerce, brick-and-mortar retailers must adapt to survive.
To do so, many companies are turning to hot-button tactics like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), simple or even nonexistent payment tactics (hello ApplePay and Amazon Go), and more. However, these strategies are more aspirational than practical, as they require heavy infusions of capital, huge upgrades to existing infrastructure and widespread consumer adoption to be successful.
While retailers work to make these long-term dreams a reality, there are several trends brick-and-mortar retailers can pursue to stay relevant and competitive in the more immediate future:
The key here is to offer additional value beyond the in-store experience. For example, letting consumers virtually paint a room is a great application for a paint company or hardware store, as this technology enables a new and unique capability. This technology also integrates with the devices consumers already have, which allows retailers to meet consumers where they are currently engaged.
As e-commerce continues to take a larger piece of the retail pie, brick-and-mortar retailers must evolve. However, because customers will continue to want to see and touch goods before they make purchase decisions, this space isn’t destined for obsolescence.
To thrive in the new retail equation, brands are making the in-store experience more experiential and engaging in the short-term, integrating technology that meets customers in the middle. Long-term, these retailers and beginning to incorporate next-generation tactics like AR and VR into their existing strategies in practical ways.
And we’re here for it all. By staying up to date on the retail industry, we’re well-positioned to serve our clients with the most relevant and engaging content and strategies. The retail industry is constantly evolving, but keeping up on trends – both immediate and far off – is just part of the job. And, as consumers ourselves, it’s half the fun.