There has been a lot of headlines recently about the “retail apocalypse”. But ever optimistic, we’re seeing the blurred lines between the physical retail space and ecommerce as a big opportunity and an exciting evolution in the space! While it’s true that online shopping is increasing share of total sales, brick and mortar stores that are adjusting to the digital shopping habits of their consumers are not only seeing increased buzz, but also increased loyalty.
As brands think about how other online platforms and services will interact with their website, they must go beyond an ad that clicks through to a bland ecommerce site. The functionality exists for a smart, elegant flow between platforms and retail. Brands put a lot of effort into creating content that shows the product in action, in relatable settings, but brands that have been able to translate that into a fully immersive online and offline experience are leagues ahead of the standard. Everything from UGC aggregators that have shoppable hotspots within images to image recognition and dynamic shopping tag functionality built into social platforms can be utilized to keep people engaged at every touchpoint.
Voice-activated shopping is also beginning to gain more traction as a consumer touchpoint. How users move from device to website to retail should be considered during the user experience design phases of all digital initiatives. Fully digital store displays with smart shelves, interactive mirrors, and digital checkout are the next wave of features that will begin popping up in physical stores.
Brands can now design a shopping experience that matches their customers’ online and offline habits and flows into a seamless experience. Instead of thinking of it as an apocalypse, we’re thinking of it as a renaissance, and we’re excited for the creative ideas to come!
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