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InsideFMM | October 20, 2014

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How Luxury Brands Create Connected Retail Environments

How Luxury Brands Create Connected Retail Environments
Macala Wright

During L2 Think Tank’s “Commerce: E, M and F” session, Donald Chesnut, Chief Experience Officer, SapientNitro presented a talk on “Connected Retail: Optimizing the Customer Experience from Attraction to Transaction.” As the web and consumers evolve, the lines between the physical and digital are increasingly blurred, they’re either being enhancing one another or distracting from one another.

According to the US Census Bureau, consumer commerce is growing at at a rate of 20 percent per year online and three percent per year in store. In the next four years, 90 percent of retail sales will still take place around the physical stores. So how do we enhance the in store experience?

Right now, retailers are using digital to maintain relevance, not enhance customer experience. Self check out, digital display instead of print displays, coupon scanners and touch screens to find out about store events are all analogue substitutes for doing amazing things. They’re not that well designed and not connected to what consumers are actually doing in store, that’s why they don’t perform (just look at QR Code ROI). Simply put, retailers are implementing innovative technology in traditional ways.

Here are five points you musn’t overlook:

  • Don’t focus on acquisition, focus on interaction, not a direct sale. You must evaluate how your digital efforts bolster in store acquisition.
  • In store in not an online experience – you cant just put the website in the store.
  • Digital allows retailers to enhance the store’s foundational strengths – immediacy, convenience, control and collaboration.
  • Is shopping more social than solitary? Yes, consumers use their technology to make in store purchases with the help of their family and friends digitally.
  • Shopping is still a visual or sensory, customers come in store to interact with garments and products. Because of that, they need guidance, your associates need to be consultants.

“Connected retail is a fully integrated, digitally enhanced in-store experience that engages customers at the intersection of the virtual and physical world,” said Chestnut. “In order to d this, you must connect the environment, product, customer and associate.”

Did You Know: Apple has a fully connected ecosystem. The products are there to explore with, they’re inspiration points there to enhance the environment. Apple averages $6,000 per square foot in sales.

As retailers and brand professionals, we must ask ourselves “how do we as retailers gives women – and men – back confidence and make them feel good about themselves?” Watch the amazing keynote online: FORA.tv

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