How to be ready for the shopper of the future
All retailers, regardless of size, turnover, product offering or consumer profile, have two primary goals in common – to attract new customers and to maintain interest among current audiences.
Of course, with competition growing every day, this can be easier said than done and, as such, brands need to be ahead of the curve in terms of what makes the shopper tick and how their changing behaviours will influence the state of the market. The average shopper five years from now could look very different to that of today, so retailers should be considering how factors such as technology will play a role and can be implemented in stores.
While there’s certainly no one-size-fits-all approach, retailers should strive to be innovators and look to other sectors for inspiration on how to adapt specific mechanisms. HMY Group (UK)’s Managing Director, Stuart Geekie, recently took part in a discussion panel around the shopper of the future at the Retail Design Expo 2017 – here, he shares his advice on how retailers can make sure they don’t get left behind and are able to grow their business effectively.
- Get the basics right
To be a successful retailer, you need to do the simple things well. There’s no point implementing an all-singing, all-dancing approach to shop floor technology, if you haven’t considered factors such as shopper journey or ease of purchase. The shopping environment should be both exciting and efficient, so it’s essential that retailers regularly review whether their store is reflective of these things and look at ways to improve.
- Tapping into technology
It may be a slightly more traditional way of thinking, but the phrase ‘eye-line is buy-line’ is still very relevant in today’s market. As such, technology can be used to shake this up and draw shoppers into a specific range of product category on the shelf. For instance, virtual reality (VR) is beginning to find its way into the early stages of store design and allows us to see a proposed shop floor layout as it’s being designed, giving both retailer and suppliers, such as HMY, an insight into what the shopper will see and feel.
From a consumer perspective, VR heralds the dawn of an extremely exciting time for shopper experience and there’s opportunity for consumers to shop in-store in real time, from the comfort of their own home. There’s also scope for fashion retailers to offer customers the chance to ‘try on’ items when purchasing online.
- Create a shopping haven
When faced with two retailers from which to buy the same product, shoppers will always opt for the one that will give them the better shopper experience, regardless of how innovative or exclusive the item is.
It’s true that the act of shopping is often more rewarding than the purchase itself, so it’s important that retailers acknowledge this and adapt their in-store strategy accordingly. Retailment is a key factor to consider and millennials, in particular, are becoming accustomed to social media, holograms and even robots being integrated into their overall experience. Seeking advice from specialist external suppliers on how to adapt this to retailers’ own environment not only ensures an unbiased view, but also opens up new avenues for innovation which may not have been considered.
For further information on how to future-proof your shop floor and beyond, get in touch.
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