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Victoria Greendyke - 02.26.2018

Building Experiences Now for The Store of the Future

Shifts in how consumers work, shop and live combined with anywhere, anytime access to online merchandisers are posing challenges for our clients with brick-and-mortar stores. Despite the rise of eCommerce, consumers still have an affinity for visiting, browsing and experiencing product in-store. For many consumers, evolving desires to shop online and inspect or pick-up in-store is assuring that in-store experiences in the future will be very different from today.

Experience of the future is a concept that we use at Sagepath to explain the ever-evolving, digital enhancements to a consumer’s interactions inside a store. Digital innovations have made the in-store experience less focused on queues and salesperson availability and more focused on hyper-convenience, self-service, and enhanced decision making capabilities.

To meet the changing consumer expectations from online experience to in-store experience, experience of the future innovations are hitting the market at a head-spinning pace. But while it may be tempting to embrace every latest innovation, in-store experiences should not be architected without consideration of the full spectrum of digital channels that influence the in-store experience. After all, consumers don't think in siloed channel experiences with brands. Instead, they think of shopping as a single experience regardless of whether it is wholly or in part conducted online, in-store, or through social channels.

To meet consumer desires for fast, convenient transactions, self-service will likely become a key factor in stores of the future, along with a number of technologies that can meet consumer wants:

  • Digital product showrooms
  • Interactive mirrors and displays
  • Floorplan and shelf inventory tracking
  • Digital product detail displays
  • Augmented / Virtual Reality
  • Mobile payments
  • Re-engineered drive-throughs
  • Sales team devices with global inventory sets

Store of the future technologies are designed to cater specifically to two differentiators for consumers--convenience and self-service. Consumer purchasing options continue to blur the lines between physical and digital, whether shopping in-store and buying online, browsing online and buying in-store, or browsing and purchasing online. As a result, it's become essential for business-to-consumer brands to understand the consumer journeys of their key personas and build in-store experiences that match consumers' evolving purchasing needs and behaviors. Once consumer journeys are understood, it becomes possible to map in-store technologies to meet the varying needs of in-store consumers.

At Sagepath, we are uniquely positioned to leverage our consumer-first approach to map consumer needs to technologies. If your enterprise is preparing to stay on the cutting-edge of retail experiences, for consumers, now is the time to talk to us.