How Innovative Tech Will Lead Retail Surge
If you’re looking for a strong retail marketing strategy in 2023, embracing tech is inevitable. Huge retailers like Amazon are betting big on innovative tech going into 2023, and while your store may not have a huge footprint, it can still learn from current trends. As shoppers drop the direct-to-consumer model in favor of the brick-and-mortar customer experience, tech solutions are paving the way for a hybrid model that marries the convenience of online shopping with the immediacy of in-store purchasing.
Amazon Giving It Another “Go”
Looking to Amazon, the retailer has recently stated that it is doubling down on its efforts to bring its brand of “Go” and “Fresh” stores to more shoppers. These Amazon concept stores feature innovative tech that allows shoppers to pick up items and have the items automatically scanned while shopping. This occurs through various tech, including cameras, machine learning modules, scanning equipment, and mobile devices.
Regarding Amazon’s Fresh stores, shoppers use Dash Carts, a type of specialized shopping cart that scans items as they get placed in the basket. As with Amazon’s Go stores, the premise is that shoppers can pick up items and skip the checkout process. Items get added to the shopper’s total as they are selected. Amazon’s goal is to remove the barriers to purchasing found in the traditional brick-and-mortar shopping experience.
Other Tech Innovations in Retail to Keep an Eye On
Convenience retailer Circle K has also partnered with checkout tech maker Mashgin to include its touchless self-checkout systems across Circle K stores in the United States. These automatic systems identify purchases when items get placed in the Mashgin scanner.
Additionally, new systems are in development or are already deployed on a limited basis that enhance the shopping experience by providing real-time information. As a retail marketing solution, one such system tells customers about the nutrition information of products as the customer handles the item, and shoppers can even receive recipes that customers can make using the products they are holding. Another way tech is helping is through SMS store navigation systems that guide shoppers to products as they traverse a sales floor.
Solutions for All Retailers
While the above tech innovations are exciting and certainly point toward a digitized future in retail, your store doesn’t have to spend millions of dollars to take advantage of tech. Experiential marketing and social media can effectively provide a memorable customer experience without breaking the bank.
For instance, an in store demonstration or store sampling experience can bridge the gap between convenient online shopping and the excitement of purchasing items in real time. The web allows consumers to shop a wide selection of products at once, but they must then wait for these items to ship. The web also allows shoppers to read online reviews and watch videos demonstrating products, but these types of media don’t provide real-world experience. A demo of products in a retail environment not only offers shoppers the ability to see and touch products to get firsthand experience, but these experiences also allow for on-the-spot purchases.
Retailers can also generate word of mouth marketing opportunities and increase sales per square foot by promoting in-store demonstration experiences on social media. By encouraging shoppers to take pictures and post about their experiences on various social media platforms, the store and the shopping experience it provides become the stars of the show.
Focus on the Customer Experience
Experiential marketing is all about the retail customer experience. Promoting these events on social media is a way to extend this experience beyond the shopping trip. When WOM marketing develops on social media surrounding in store marketing events, shoppers and their friends and family are reminded about the experience., sometimes days, weeks, or even months after a purchase was made. Retailers can make this more likely to occur by utilizing automation software solutions. When an in-store experiential marketing event goes smoothly, it’s more likely to enhance the customer experience, making it memorable and something shoppers want to share.