Smart Stores for Smart Shoppers

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Smart Stores for Smart Shoppers

By Joe Skorupa - 12/15/2019

Say adios to a record number of stores that failed in 2019. They will not be missed except as an example of what not to do, e.g. resist digital transformation, underfund and poorly execute omnichannel services, and deliver frustrating shopping experiences.

Uncovering a path that avoids these pitfalls and leads to a smart, store-of-the-future strategy is the mission of a recent RIS Targeted Research report, "Smart Store Strategies for Digitally Savvy, Time-Crunched Shoppers". This report examines specific technologies and steps to take that will lead retailers to developing omnichannel stores that match the tech-savvy, time-crunched lifestyles of modern shoppers.

Smart Store Strategies

How important is it for retailers to adopt a smart, store-of-the-future strategy to succeed with today’s consumers? Overwhelmingly important, according to 81% of retailers.

However, technology alone is not the sole answer. Store associates also play a big role, according to 88% of retailers.

And yet, while a smart, store-of-the-future strategy is considered to be overwhelmingly important, it is also true that most retailers do not actually deliver it to shoppers. Instead, retailers give themselves a middling grade (5.5 on a 1-10 scale) for meeting smart-store expectations. Hence the record number of failed stores in 2019.

Other key takeaways in the report include:

  • The top two investment plans for customer-facing technologies in 2020 are new payment options (42%) and order tracking capability (34%).
  • In 2021 the top two are:  click-and-collect (22%) and in-store chat or service through a mobile app (21%).
  • Study data indicates retailers also have aggressive deployment plans for investing in back-office technologies. In 2020, the top two investments include in-store mobile devices (42%) and personalized marketing capabilities (38%).
  • In 2021, the top two back-office technologies for investment are advanced order management (42%) and unified online and offline commerce systems (34%).

The full report offers recommendations for taking specific steps to take over the next two years to remain competitive with the fast pace of change in the retail marketplace and help avoid making 2020 another record year of store closings.

For the full report click here.

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