Beyond the Bags: Shopping changes its focus

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Beyond the Bags: Shopping changes its focusKaren Schwartz
May 20, 2018

The shopping experience is changing as e-commerce grows, and while some are taking advantage of the new retail landscape, traditional businesses are suffering.

A successful shopping trip could soon mean coming home empty-handed. That’s because the focus of shopping is slated to shift to become all about an experience, says the BBC. The next decade is expected to see a marked migration from dedicated real estate to more of a pop-up shop strategy as brands seek to engage with consumers who make the bulk of their purchases online.

With e-commerce growth in North America expected at around 15 percent, largely on par with the previous two years, brands are blurring the lines between store and getting people’s attention. The Museum of Ice Cream, for example, is on a successful streak around the country as it seeks to capture shoppers’ imaginations with diving pools of sprinkles and a rock-candy cave. Tickets ($38) go fast for the sugar-fueled fun, which also results in an online tagging flurry.  

Traditional stores are suffering, while some shops, including discount stores, keep opening, recent research says. The blend of the future – a mix of online and off, might just meet the needs of the new customer, say experts, who expect personalized apps and these kinds of “in-store” experiences to be a part of the picture. These kinds of destinations include mattress firm Casper, which lets people try out the mattresses on the road before buying online, and Samsung, which is seeking to become more than just a store with several co-working locations that also service Samsung products. They also include brands that started online, like glasses company Warby Parker, which now offers brick and mortar locations where potential customers can try on their frames.

“Consumers will choose the best, cheapest, and most convenient option available more often than not. So you have to give them a reason to come to the store,” explains digital consultant Jeff Barrett. “When they are online, they expect personalization. We have the technology to bring that to the physical store experience.” He continues, “And that’s the new key to brick and mortar retail: Make it an experience.”

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