Rebirth of the Resilient Store: 2020 Store Experience Study

Say “goodbye” to the 2010s with its brick-and-mortar turmoil and “hello” to the 2020s when the essential beauty and strength of stores converge with the intelligence and efficiency of digital technology.

In the just released RIS 2020 Store Experience Study, key takeaways from its benchmark research indicate the retail industry is nearing the conclusion of long and painful road of transition. The journey began with the disruptive launch of e-commerce and then evolved into integrating complex omnichannel services. Now, as we enter the 2020s, retailers are beginning to shift into the even more complex task of digital transformation.

One major outcome of this long period of dramatic evolution is the death of boring stores that were slow to change to the customer demands of omnichannel realities. A second major outcome is the rebirth of the once-and-future resilient store, a new breed of brick-and-mortar artistry (creative, experiential, innovative) supported by a heavy dose of smart and efficient technology.

Key Takeaways from 2020 Store Experience Study

This is the 17th year RIS and the IHL Group have collaborated on an annual Store Experience Study.

In the study, major highlights include the top five last-mile fulfillment investments for 2020, top three strategic priorities, top two leading AI/machine investment recommendations, and the number one transformational tech investment.

Here are some key takeaways from the study:

  • 5.7% growth in revenue in 2020 is forecast by study respondents.
  • 4.2% increase in overall tech budgets with a 3.7% increase forecast for store technology budgets
  • The top three strategic priorities for 2020 are: 1. Personalizing the customer experience (63%), 2. Inventory visibility (54%), and 3. Empowering store associates (53%).
  • The top in-store tech investment for 2020 is mobile devices for managers.
  • The top in-store tech investment for 2021 is mobile devices for associates.
  • The number one in-store transformation technology for investment over the next two years is proximity or location-based marketing (25% have it in place today and another 34 will install within two years).
  • The top area for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) investment in 2020 is in operational functions (i.e. such as forecasting, inventory control, supply chain, merchandising management).

For a complete list of the study’s takeaways, charts and analysis click here.

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