The Shopping Experience Gets a Tech-Up
Consumers don’t like shopping in stores as much as they
once did and that’s a problem for retailers with most of their dollars invested
in brick and mortar outlets.
According to The Wall Street Journal, shopper
satisfaction at retail stores is declining upwards of 15 percent a year, based
on ongoing research by Interpublic Group (IPG) of more than 10,000 North American
John Ross, president of Shopper Sciences, a division of IPG, said
the online experience and all the information available to consumers before
making a purchase has made it more critical than ever to improve the shopping
experience in stores.
“The role the store is playing is changing,” Mr. Ross, who was chief
marketing officer at Home Depot before joining Shopper Sciences, told the Journal. “Shoppers
are walking up with a different set of expectations.”
IPG and others are are testing digital scanners, interactive mirrors in dressing
rooms, kiosks with virtual customer-service reps, smart carts and other high
tech/high touch technologies to meet the growing expectations of shoppers.
Stop & Shop
has been testing handheld scanners in 289 stores. The devices provide consumers
with access to promotions as they move around the store, and also speed the
J.C. Penney has “FindMore” stations around its stores — 52-inch
touchscreens that enable consumers to go through the chain’s entire merchandise
selection or check a price.
The Limited is looking at a test of interactive
mirrors that will scan clothing as a consumer enters a dressing room
to let her know other options and whether or not an outfit matches, for example.
Heasley, the chain’s chief executive, told the Journal, “It’s
like ‘Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, what is the best outfit of all?'”
Eagle, Best Buy, Macy’s and Sports Authority are all testing a location-based
application that gives consumers financial incentives to visit stores.
“We think consumers have more opportunities than ever to bridge their
digital and physical shopping experiences, particularly through smart phones
and mobile technology,” Matthew Smith, Best Buy’s vice president of marketing
services, said in a press release. We intend to explore ways we can use the
power of location-based technology to personalize a Best Buy shopping experience,
from check-in to check-out, with rewards and offers delivered right on a customer’s
Discussion Questions: What do you think are the biggest factors leading
to consumers’ unhappiness shopping in stores? What new technologies do you
think hold the greatest promise for improving the in-store shopping experience?
Shoppers to Stores – The Wall Street Journal
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